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!
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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!
- All purpose flour
- Baking Soda
- Baking powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Light Brown Sugar
- 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!
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.
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.
STEP THREE – In a separate large bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, two eggs, apple cider and vanilla extract.
STEP FOUR – Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
The cupcake batter will be thick – that is perfectly okay!
STEP FIVE – Scoop 2 Tablespoons of cupcake batter into each cupcake liner and set aside.
STEP SIX – In a small saucepan, combine the diced apples, brown sugar, lemon juice and 2 Tablespoons of butter.
Cook on medium heat for 3 minutes, until butter has melted and apples have started to soften a little.
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.
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)
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.
STEP THIRTEEN – When cupcakes are done, remove them from the oven and place on wire rack to cool.
STEP FOURTEEN – Pipe frosting on top of each cooled cupcake.
OPTIONAL – Use a fork to drizzle with caramel topping before serving and enjoy!
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.
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.
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.