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Apple cider cupcakes with cream cheese frosting on a white plate, drizzled with caramel topping.

Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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


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!


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


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


caramel topping to drizzle on top of frosted cupcakes


  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!


*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


  • 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