Cakes and Cupcakes

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Cinnamon and apple studded cupcakes topped with caramel buttercream frosting and a drizzle of caramel topping. These Caramel Apple Cupcakes are perfect for your next fall gathering.

caramel apple cupcakes

Here in Minnesota, fall has been BEAUTIFUL! I LOVE this time of year! The cooler weather means flannel, apple picking, beautiful colors and best of all, fall baking!

Fall in Minnesota has always been a favorite time of year for my family. We go to the local apple and pumpkin farms, flock the farmer’s markets for the autumn harvest and crank up the ovens. Nothing makes the house feel cozier than the smell of something baking in kitchen and these caramel apple cupcakes are the perfect fall treat!

caramel apple cupcake


The cupcakes use butter and brown sugar (two of my favorite ingredients) and shredded apple. I used Granny Smiths, but you can use your favorite baking apple. The recipe also uses buttermilk, which is a standard ingredient in traditional cake recipes of the past. Butter milk adds to the tenderness of the crumbs. I also like using it, because my grandma always had a carton in her refrigerator, so it feels homey to me.

caramel apple cupcakes

If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, you can substitute by using regular milk and lemon juice or vinegar. Simply put 2 teaspoons of lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup and add enough milk to equal  the 3/4 cup called for in the recipe. Give it a stir and let it stand for 5 minutes.

The batter is relatively thick, but fear not…the combo of buttermilk and baking powder create a chemical reaction, resulting in moist, fluffy and of-so-tender cupcakes!

caramel apple cupcake batter

caramel apple cupcakes

Look at all that gooey caramel! So much easier to eat than a caramel apple, but all the same great flavors! And you know how I love cupcakes…they are the perfect-sized, individually-wrapped, portable piece of cake heaven (and so much easier to eat than a caramel apple). Happy Baking!

Yields 24 cupcakes

Caramel Apple Cupcakes
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  • Cake:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup shredded cooking apples, such as Granny Smith (about 2 medium)
  • Frosting:
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • -additional caramel ice cream topping


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. In large mixing bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs; beat 1 minutes, scraping bowl often.
  3. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Add flour mixture to egg mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, scraping bowl often.
  5. Stir in vanilla and shredded apple.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared pan, filling 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven. Remove cupcakes from pan and allow to cool completely.
  7. To make frosting:In large bowl, combine all frosting ingredients; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  8. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Just before serving, drizzle with additional caramel topping if desired.

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