Spiced Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

This is a caramel apple turned into a cupcake and it’s probably the best idea i’ve ever had.

Except for that one time I made apple pie toast.  I thought that was way, way, way fun and a contender for my best idea.  And then there was the time I made apple crumble bars, which wasn’t my best idea but is a good recipe classic.

But let’s move on to this epic fall cupcake recipe.

I know in the title I say the cupcake part is, “spiced.” But I’m here to say the cupcake part isn’t too spicy. 

I’m not a big fan of overly spiced fall desserts.  If we really get down to it I just think I don’t like certain spices that are typically in fall desserts.  Like nutmeg, allspice and cloves.  I love the smell of them, but the taste makes me feel like I’m eating a fall-themed potpourri. 

But then I like chai tea lattes a bunch, so I confuse myself.  I really do like strong cinnamon and / or ginger flavors.  Like, if we’re talking chewy ginger cookies (which I’ll be sharing an epic recipe for in November), sign me up.

For this recipe, I was in the mood for a fall apple dessert because apple cider donuts aren’t a thing in Houston, which I think is totally lame.  One day I would love to visit an apple orchard that makes fresh apple cider donuts.  That whole food experience just sounds really dreamy to me.  Do they make apple cider donuts where you live? If they do, please go enjoy one for me.  Until I can get my hands on an apple donut, I’ll be enjoying these apple cupcakes.  

If you like caramel apples, fun, or fall baking…then you’ll love this recipe.

Spiced Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

Yield: makes a dozen


spiced apple cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 large apple, peeled & finely chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

salted caramel buttercream
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup caramel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350ºF.  In a bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and apples.  Add in butter, eggs, vanilla extract, milk and heavy whipping cream.  Mix together until a batter forms.  Pour into a muffin tin lined with cupcake holders.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool.  

While cooling, whip up your frosting.  Use an electric mixer to mix together all buttercream frosting ingredients.  Once cupcakes are cool...frost & serve!