These caramel apple cupcakes are the perfect treat! Full of fall flavors like sweet caramel, tart apples, and warm cinnamon, all in a moist cake topped with fluffy and sweet caramel frosting.
Who doesn’t love a deliciously delicate, sweet cupcake?
These caramel apple cupcakes are packed full of apple goodness coming from both shredded apples and applesauce, along with sweet caramel and warm cinnamon, and topped with a smooth and creamy caramel frosting.
They’re perfect for any time: a dinner party dessert, a thank you gift, a birthday, or just a Wednesday!
Trust me, you’re going to love these caramel apple cupcakes so much, that you may have to make a double batch!
Ingredients for caramel apple cupcakes
For the cake:
- All-purpose flour – A simple cake ingredient that helps hold your cake together.
- Brown sugar – Brown sugar adds moisture and a sweet molasses flavor, unlike traditional white sugar.
- Baking powder – Baking powder helps give the cakes a tender crumb.
- Cinnamon – A classic fall flavor that adds warmth and sweetness.
- Whole milk and vegetable oil – These add moisture and fat to our cupcakes to keep them moist.
- Unsweetened applesauce – Applesauce helps both the moisture and the flavor of the cupcakes. (Make sure it’s unsweetened so it doesn’t add any extra sugar!)
- Shredded apples – Shredding the apples helps them cook evenly and quickly in the cupcakes.
- Caramel sauce – Easily found in the baking aisle of your grocery store, caramel sauce helps add a deep, rich sweet flavor.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract helps bring all of the flavors together and adds sweetness.
- Eggs – Eggs help to emulsify and bring the batter together.
For the frosting:
- Powdered sugar – A classic sugar used in the frosting because it easily dissolves at room temperature.
- Butter – This is the fat of choice for our frosting, it’s what makes it a buttercream.
- Caramel sauce – To add a caramel flavor.
- Kosher salt – All frostings need a little bit of salt to balance and bring out the flavors.
In your local grocery store, there’s usually a huge variety of apples to choose from!
So how do you know which ones will be best for these caramel apple cupcakes?
My favorite type of apple to use for this recipe is granny smith because they are crispy, crunchy, sweet, and tangy.
They also hold their shape and don’t dissolve when cooked down.
I would stay away from McIntosh, gala, fuji, or red delicious. These are often mealy apples, and not very good to use in this application.
You could make the caramel buttercream frosting 1-2 days before, and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Pull it out an hour or so before you need to use it, to let it come to room temperature, and use electric beaters or a stand mixer to whip it back up, ready to be used for piping.
Storage and leftovers
Leftover cupcakes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
More cake recipes
- Looking for something cute and sweet? Try my Robin Egg Cupcakes
- Need something festive for the Fourth of July? Try my Fourth of July Cupcakes
- Want more caramel apple? Try my Caramel Apple Dump Cake
- Craving juicy peaches? Try my Peach Bundt Cake
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup caramel sauce
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup shredded granny smith apple
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup caramel sauce
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 12 muffin pans with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon.
- In another bowl, whisk together the milk, vegetable oil, applesauce, caramel sauce, eggs, and vanilla.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until no large lumps of flour remain.
- Next, add the shredded apple and fold it into the batter.
- Divide the batter between the muffin tins making sure to fill each one ¾ of the way full.
- Bake the cupcakes for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
- Store any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.
- Add the softened butter and caramel sauce to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Beat on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, or until they are fully combined.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the powdered sugar. Once all the powdered sugar has been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl and then turn the mixer to high speed and beat until the frosting becomes light and fluffy.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with your choice of tip and frost as desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 355Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 214mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 1gSugar: 39gProtein: 4g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.