Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting promise to be a huge hit at any fall party or family gathering. Make them extra-special with a sweet drizzle of caramel topping.

Delicious any time of year, this easy cupcake recipe is crowd-pleasing and easy to make!


Want to save this recipe?

Enter your email below & we’ll send it straight to your inbox. Plus you’ll get great new recipes from us every week!

Save Recipe

Cupcakes with Apple

These are the perfect fall cupcakes with authentic apple cider flavor. If you love apple cider donuts, these are on your must-bake list for this year’s fall baking!

These delicious cupcakes start with a simple cupcake batter that is topped with a sweetened apple topping, then baked and frosted with a delicious cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

If you’re into caramel drizzle – who isn’t? …..drizzle away right before serving.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • These apple cupcakes would make a great single-serve dessert for Thanksgiving and family get togethers. They would make beautiful cupcakes for a fall bridal , baby shower or any special occasion.
  • Delicious warm fall flavors with apple flavor in every single bite!
  • Crowd-pleasing – whether you’re at a brunch, bake sale or potluck, these tasty cupcakes will disappear in no time!

Apple Spice Cupcakes Ingredients

This recipe uses simple ingredients that you should easily find in the grocery store. You might even have some in your fridge or pantry!

Ingredients for apple cinnamon cupcakes on marble board with text overlay.
  • All purpose flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Butter
  • Light Brown Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Fresh apple Cider
  • Vanilla extract
  • Fresh apples – we like to use Honeycrisp apples – they’re the best!
  • Lemon juice
  • Cream cheese – for the frosting. Use full-fat cream cheese in this recipe.
  • Powdered Sugar

What are the best types of apples for apple cupcakes?

Honeycrisp apples and Granny Smith apples and Fuji are all great choices. I do not recommend using McIntosh apples.

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Frosting Ingredients

Just a few more ingredients for the delicious cream cheese frosting!

Ingredients for cinnamon cream cheese frosting on marble board with text overlay.

How to Make Apple Spice Cupcakes from Scratch

Delicious cupcakes, made entirely from scratch are way easier to make than you think. Skip the cake mix for this recipe and let’s make it from scratch.

You will need a mixer for the frosting and the cupcake batter can be mixed by hand. Either a stand mixer or electric mixer/hand mixer will work.

Dry ingredients for apple cupcakes in mixing bowl with whisk.

STEP ONE – Preheat oven to 350°F. Add cupcake liners to cupcake pan and set aside.

STEP TWO – In a medium bowl or large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, then set aside.

Wet ingredients in mixing bowl with wire whisk.

STEP THREE – In a separate large bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, two eggs, apple cider and vanilla extract.

Dry ingredients are added to the wet ingredients in mixing bowl.

STEP FOUR – Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.

Cake batter in mixing bowl with whisk.

The cupcake batter will be thick – that is perfectly okay!

Cupcake batter is spoon into the muffin tin.

STEP FIVE – Scoop 2 Tablespoons of cupcake batter into each cupcake liner and set aside.

Diced apples and brown sugar in saucepan.

STEP SIX – In a small saucepan, combine the diced apples, brown sugar, lemon juice and 2 Tablespoons of butter.

Cooked apple mixture in saucepan with spoon.

Cook on medium heat for 3 minutes, until butter has melted and apples have started to soften a little.

Apple topping is sprinkled on top of apple cupcake batter.

STEP SEVEN – Scoop 1 Tablespoon of apple mixture onto each cupcake.

STEP EIGHT – Bake in 350°F oven for 20 minutes. Test by inserting a toothpick into the center of a cupcake. The toothpick should come out clean when the cupcakes are done.

Cream cheese and butter in bowl from stand mixer.

TIP – Making the frosting while the cupcakes are in the oven will save you time.

STEP NINE – Let’s make the perfect cinnamon cream cheese frosting! Use a stand mixer with paddle attachment. On medium speed, mix the cream cheese and room temperature butter until well-combined. This should take about 2 minutes.

STEP 10 – Reduce speed to low speed and gradually add in the powdered sugar until fully combined, pausing once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl and taste the frosting.

For a sweeter frosting, you can add additional powdered sugar. * (see note in recipe card)

Cinnamon is added to cream cheese frosting in bowl from stand mixer.

STEP 11 – Add in the cinnamon, vanilla and salt and mix for one more minute.

STEP 12 – Transfer frosting to a piping bag, fitted with a cupcake frosting tip.

Baked apple cider cupcakes, in muffin tin fresh from the oven.

STEP THIRTEEN – When cupcakes are done, remove them from the oven and place on wire rack to cool. 

Cream cheese frosting is piped on top of cooled cupcakes.

STEP FOURTEEN – Pipe frosting on top of each cooled cupcake.

Side view of caramel-topped apple spice cupcakes.

OPTIONAL – Use a fork to drizzle with caramel topping before serving and enjoy!

Close up side view of apple cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Do Apple Cupcakes Need To Be Refrigerated?

Yes, the cupcakes with cream cheese frosted will need to be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to five days.

Storage & Freezing Instructions

Storage – Store any leftover apple pie cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Freezing – You can place cupcakes in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw completely in refrigerator before serving.

Overhead view of four caramel apple cupcakes on a white palte.

Variations

Change up the frosting – caramel apple frosting and peanut butter frosting are two great alternatives to the cream cheese frosting.

Garnish with an apple slice – Top with a sliced apple for garnish right before serving. Don’t add the apple until serving time or it will brown.

Sprinkle with walnuts or pecans – A sprinkle of chopped walnuts or pecans on top will add a delightful crunch to the cupcakes.

Add nuts to the cupcake batter – Add in some finely chopped walnuts or pecan to the batter.

Sprinkle with ground cinnamon – A sprinkle of ground cinnamon will add even more cinnamon flavor and will look pretty sprinkled around the cupcake on a single-serving on a white plate.

Four apple cupcakes with cream cheese frosting on a white plate.

My Top Tips for Making Cupcakes

Cool before frosting – this allows the icing to sit on top of the cupcake perfectly. If the cupcakes are still warm, the frosting will melt into a pool.

Use room temperature ingredients as instructed – when the recipe calls for room temperature ingredients, you need to use room temperature ingredients for best results.

Do not overfill the cupcake pan – Fill the liners of cupcake pan 3/4 full to allow for expansion.

More Apple Recipes to Enjoy!

Best Apple Crisp Recipe

Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Maple Glaze

Apple Pie Bars with Streusel Topping

Apple Oat Muffins with Maple Frosting

Easy Apple Pie Bars Recipe

Apple Dump Cake Recipe

I would love it if you left a comment about this recipe below! Subscribe to join the community and receive regular updates straight to your inbox! Let’s connect via Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Apple cider cupcakes with cream cheese frosting on a white plate, drizzled with caramel topping.

Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


  • Author: Sandra Flegg
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes

Description

These Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting promise to be a huge hit at any fall party or family gathering. Make them extra-special with a sweet drizzle of caramel topping. 

Delicious any time of year, this easy cupcake recipe is crowd-pleasing and easy to make!


Ingredients

Main Cupcake Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

2/3 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/3 cup apple cider

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Apple Topping:

2 honeycrisp apples, diced

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Frosting:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

4 ounces cream cheese, full-at at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar (see notes)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Optional:

caramel topping to drizzle on top of frosted cupcakes


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Add cupcake liners to cupcake pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine 1/2 cup melted butter, 2/3 cup light brown sugar, eggs, apple cider and vanilla extract. 
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until fully combined. Mixture will be somewhat thick.
  5. Scoop 2 Tablespoons of batter into each cupcake liner and set aside.
  6. In a small saucepan, combine diced apples, brown sugar, lemon juice and unsalted butter. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes until the butter has melted and apples have softened slightly. 
  7. Scoop 1 Tablespoon of apple mixture onto each cupcake. 
  8. Bake in 350°F oven for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. 
  9. Make the frosting: Using a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and room temperature butter on medium speed for 2 minutes. 
  10. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar until fully combined, pausing to scrape down the bowl and taste the frosting. Add additional powdered sugar for a sweet frosting, if desired. *
  11. Add in the cinnamon, vanilla and salt and mix for one more minute. 
  12. Transfer frosting to a piping bag, fitted with a cupcake frosting tip.
  13. When cupcakes are done, remove them from the oven and place on wire rack to cool. 
  14. Pipe frosting on top of cooled cupcakes. 
  15. Optional – drizzled with caramel topping before serving and enjoy!

Notes

*To ensure a smooth frosting, use a whisk to remove any clumbs in the powdered sugar before adding to cream cheese and butter mixture.  

For a sweet frosting, you can add up to 2 cups of powdered sugar. 

Storage – Store any leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to five days. 

Freezing – You can place cupcakes in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw completely in refrigerator before serving. 

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 174
  • Sugar: 15.4 g
  • Sodium: 137.2 mg
  • Fat: 8.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.3 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22.4 g
  • Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 1.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 38.1 mg

Keywords: apple cider cupcakes, apple spice cupcakes, apple pie cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star