Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Last night, I took my girls trick-or-treating.  Our community hosts a safe trick-or-treat and Halloween event in our downtown district.  It’s awesome, because all of the businesses open their doors to the kids and pass out candy & treats – the city closes the streets to traffic, some of the storefronts create little haunted houses, the high-school kids dress up and pass out candy at the elementary school, and there are little kids EVERYWHERE.  

My sister owns one of those downtown shops, so my whole family hangs out in her (warm) store, where we order pizza, visit, and pass out treats.  It’s one of the many things I love about living in my small, Midwestern town, and as a Mom, I feel much better about that kind of Halloween experience for my kids.  

So, as far as my kids are concerned, Halloween is done for the year.  Which is fine by me – now I can get back to fall baking!  

In case any of you are counting, we only have 25 days of fall baking left.  That’s not much time, people!  Only 25 days of pumpkin, apple, warm, cinnamon-y spices…then before we know it, we’ll be baking with mint, cranberries and sugar cookie dough.  

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

But, in the meantime, we need to enjoy every last second of fall.

Cue the Caramel Apple Cupcakes.

These are an apple-spiced caramel cupcake, topped with a light and fluffy vanilla-caramel buttercream that’s sprinkled with sugar. My favorite part is the adorable fondant apple garnish.  Adorbs.

After a lot of experimentation, I’ve finally found a great marshmallow fondant recipe that actually tastes pretty good – for fondant, that is.  It’s buttery and sweet, and not chalky at all.  I didn’t post the recipe here today, the process is deserving of its own post, so stay tuned for that.

I just love the way these came out.  These would be so cute for a back-to-school cupcake or a perfect teacher appreciation gift.  Green apples would be really cute, too.  And, if you can make apples, you could certainly make pumpkins, beach balls…just think of the possibilities! 

Hope you love these!  Enjoy!

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Caramel Apple Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These delicious caramel apple cupcakes are topped with an adorable fondant apple - the perfect dessert to kick-off fall! Cupcake Recipe adapted from Bourbonnatrix Bakes, via Baked Explorations
Serves: 24 cupcakes
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¾ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 and ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • ½ cup caramel bits (optional)
  • 3 sticks (1 and ½ cups) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 pounds confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup caramel sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy, about 4 minutes.
  5. Add the sugar, and beat until light and fluffy, about another 3 minutes.
  6. Add the egg and mix until combined.
  7. Add ⅓ of the flour to the butter mixture, then half the applesauce, another ⅓ of the flour, the rest of the applesauce, then the rest of the flour, mixing between each addition until combined.
  8. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix on low speed for a few seconds.
  9. Fold in the caramel bits.
  10. Scoop ¼ cup of the batter in each of the cupcake liners.
  11. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the tops spring back, and a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth,fluffy, and well combined.
  2. Add sugar and salt, and slowly beat together.
  3. Add cream and vanilla, and beat on low speed to combine, then beat on medium high speed for 5 minutes.
  4. Add caramel sauce, and beat to combine.
  5. Spoon frosting into a large piping bag, and frost as desired.

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