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Apple Caramel Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Deliciously moist apple spice cupcakes topped with sweet caramel buttercream. This easy cupcakes recipe makes the perfect fall dessert!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple caramel cupcakes, apple recipes, easy cupcake recipes
Prep Time 42 minutes
Cook Time 33 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 18 cupcakes
Calories 501kcal
Author Chrissie


For the cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 apples cut into small chunks

For the Caramel Buttercream:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 5 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 pinch sea salt

For the Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 3 drops vanilla extract


For the Caramel Sauce:

  • It's a good idea to start by making the caramel sauce since it will need time to cool before you use it. Add the brown sugar, 7 tbsp unsalted butter, whole milk, sea salt and vanilla extract to a medium saucepan over medium heat. As the pan heats up, whisk the mixture over the heat continuously as it begins to bubble and boil. Continue whisking the caramel mixture over the heat for about 7 minutes. Over this time you'll notice it become smooth and a little bit thicker and once this happens, transfer the caramel sauce to a jar and refrigerate to cool completely.
  • While the caramel is cooling you can begin preparing your cupcakes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.

For the Cupcakes:

  • Add the butter and brown sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix them together on medium-high speed until the mixture is creamy and smooth (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla and mix on medium speed until everything is combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated evenly.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger and whisk these ingredients together with a wire whisk. Add half the flour mixture to the butter/egg mixture and mix on low speed just until combined.
  • Add 1/2 cup of milk and mix on low speed just until combined. Repeat this process with the remaining flour mixture and then the remaining milk. Be very careful not to over-mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly.
  • Chop the apples into small chunks and add them to the cupcake batter. I don't bother peeling the apples because, it creates a really nice appearance to these cupcakes.
  • Gently stir the apple chunks into the batter just until they're distributed evenly throughout and spoon the batter into the 18 muffin cups you've prepared with paper liners.
  • Bake the cupcakes for 25-28 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. They'll puff up nicely in the oven and they'll be a nice golden brown colour when they're done (use the toothpick test, just to be sure!).
  • Remove the cupcakes from the muffin tin and set them on a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

  • While the cupcakes are cooling, you can begin to prepare the frosting by adding 1 cup of unsalted butter to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip the butter on high speed for about 2-3 minutes or until you notice it is very creamy and smooth and it turns pale. Add the cooled caramel sauce to the butter and mix these together on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth. The caramel must be cool when you do this! If it's even a little bit warm it will change the texture of the butter and make the frosting too soft and runny to pipe.
  • Once the caramel and the butter have been combined add the icing sugar, 1 cup at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Once all the icing sugar has been added and the mixture is smooth, add the pinch of salt and add the milk 1 tbsp at a time and whip the frosting on high speed until it becomes fluffy and light.
  • Add the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe the frosting on to the cupcakes in a circular motion (only once they've cooled to room temperature!).


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 501kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 163mg | Potassium: 117mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 63g | Vitamin A: 710IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg