Caramel Apple Cupcakes

These Caramel Apple Cupcakes are a moist cinnamon cake filled with a spiced apple compote and are frosted with an easy salted caramel buttercream!

These Caramel Apple Cupcakes are a moist cinnamon cake filled with a spiced apple compote and are frosted with an easy salted caramel buttercream!

I cannot tell you the last time I actually had a true caramel apple. This is for two reasons:

  1. Lack of opportunity
  2. Laziness

Why cover an entire apple in caramel and then cut it up when you can cut up an apple and then dip each slice in caramel, thus sparing yourself caramel between the teeth and feeling justified in increasing the caramel to apple ratio? {Was that sentence long or what?!}

These Caramel Apple Cupcakes are a moist cinnamon cake filled with a spiced apple compote and are frosted with an easy salted caramel buttercream!

Or skip all that nonsense and eat a Caramel Apple Cupcakes!

These cupcakes have a moist cinnamon cake that is soft and dense. I then filled them with a brown sugar apple compote and topped them with a salted caramel buttercream. I use my homemade salted caramel sauce in the buttercream but you could certainly use store-bought.

The cake is moist and dense with a very large crumb. They kind of melt in your mouth they are so soft. Buttermilk has a way of doing this. If they sound familiar it’s because they are a slight modification of my Sprinkles Copycat Triple Cinnamon Cupcakes.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Apple compote is my fancy way of saying apple pie filling, because it sounds so Cupcake Wars doesn’t it? It’s a lightly spiced cinnamon brown sugar apple pie filling, that made my kitchen smell better than any candle could have!

It’s all the flavors of a caramel apple without the messy eating process.

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Caramel Apple Cupcakes

  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 13 1x


These Caramel Apple Cupcakes are a moist cinnamon cake filled with a spiced apple compote and are frosted with an easy salted caramel buttercream!



For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (186 g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Saigon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature, 113 g)
  • 1 cup sugar (230 g)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup low-fat buttermilk (195 g)

For the Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 1/8 teaspoon Saigon Cinnamon
  • ¼ cup superfine sugar

For the Apple Compote:

  • 1 apple {Granny Smith or other sour apple}
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • ½ small lemon (juiced)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter (softened, 226 g)
  • 2 cups confectioner sugar [more if needed to thicken] (220 g)
  • 2 teaspoons cream or milk
  • ½ cup cooled salted caramel (235 g)


Make your Apple Compote:

  1. In a small saucepan combine all the ingredients through cinnamon for the apple compote. Taste and adjust sugar or lemon juice as needed. Add the cornstarch and stir to mix. Set over medium heat until it comes to a boil, stirring frequently until the apples begin releasing their juices. You don’t want the cornstarch to burn.
  2. Reduce the heat low and simmer for 15-25 minutes or until the apples are crisp tender and the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and cool.

Make the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven 350°. Line 12 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla with the last egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
  4. Alternately add flour and buttermilk in three additions on low speed beginning and ending with flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. You want to stop mixing as soon as the last flour has disappeared.
  5. Scoop or pour the batter into the liners ¾ full. I use a large cookie scoop for this task and it works beautifully. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. I always start checking at 12 because I’m not a fan of dry baked goods. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick, inserted into the center, comes out with a few clinging crumbs but no wet smears!
  7. Remove from tins immediately and let cool on a wire rack. They must be completely cool before frosting.

For the Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until combined, then add cream and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Slowly pour caramel into frosting and beat until combined. If the frosting is too loose, then add a bit more powdered sugar. Taste as you go!


  1. Cut a large piece out of the middle of each cupcake and place it beside it. You will lose a little cinnamon sugar but it’s okay. Fill each hole 2/3 of the way full with compote. Place the cut out cake back on top of the hole. It will stick up a little bit. This is fine, the frosting will hide it.
  2. Frost. You can either pipe or spread the frosting on your cupcakes.


The recipe for the Salted Caramel used in the frosting can be found here

Updated Recipe: In October 2020 I changed the butter from melted to softened because it makes a lighter, softer cake that is slightly less dense. I prefer this method but if you loved the original more dense cupcake, then just melt the butter
This recipe makes a baker’s dozen.

  • Category: Desserts

Did you make this recipe? I want to hear all about it! 🥳 Tag me on Instagram @cheflindseyfarr and use the hashtag #cheflindseyfarr

Caramel Apple Cupcakes
Caramel Apple Cupcakes

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  • Kristine @ Kristine's Kitchen
    October 2, 2014 at 8:45 am

    You make the best filled cupcakes, Lindsey! These look amazing and so perfect for this time of year! I love how you thought of everything, right down to the sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. 🙂

    • Lindsey
      October 2, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      Thanks, Kristine!! I loooove cupcakes! The cinnamon sugar was a last minute addition because what does a cinnamon cupcake need? More sugar! 😉

      • Jill
        September 17, 2019 at 10:27 am

        Can I use regular cinnamon? Or is Saigon cinnamon a different flavor.

        • Lindsey
          October 1, 2019 at 9:15 am

          Hi Jill, It does have a slightly different flavor. There are actually several main varietals of cinnamon, but you can totally use whatever you have on hand!

  • Josephine
    October 2, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Oh my gosh! Those look divine. My cooking this time of year, though, is so much more prosaic because I am so short on tim. I made your Rosemary chicken again this past weekend and used the leftovers the next two nights with your salad recipes. So delicious, healthy and easy!!

    • Lindsey
      October 2, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      Thank you! You are in good company with the chicken…I make it at least once a week! Fingers crossed Randy doesn’t get sick of it! If you want a fast dessert make this pear crisp! Gahh it’s so good…and I am obsessed with the crumb topping…better than my last recipe.

  • marcie
    October 2, 2014 at 11:15 am

    These would totally win on Cupcake Wars, and yes, “compote” is such a fancy way of saying pie filling. haha I love everything about these — caramel apples are some of my favorite things. By the way, what number piping tip do you use? Those swirls are magnificent! Pinning, to say the least. 🙂

    • Lindsey
      October 2, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      Best compliment EVER! I used a Wilton 2D on these…it’s my faves! Thanks for the pin!

  • Manali @ CookWithManali
    October 2, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    these looks amazing!! I love the way you have piped the frosting, which tip is that? 2 D?

    • Lindsey
      October 2, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      Thanks! Yup, you got it! 2D. <-- It's my favorite

  • Jessica @ Sweet Menu
    October 2, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Wow! Your cupcakes are truly amazing Lindsey! And this once is no exception! Just beautiful.

    • Lindsey
      October 3, 2014 at 11:46 am

      Thanks, Jessica! I do love me some cupcakes!

  • Michele @ Two Raspberries
    October 3, 2014 at 7:38 am

    ooo these look wayyy to delicious! such a great flavor combo 😉 i love caramel apples but turned into a cupcake?! YUMMM!!!

    • Lindsey
      October 3, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Thanks, Michelle!!

  • David @ Spiced
    October 3, 2014 at 7:58 am

    You have officially earned the title “Cupcake Goddess.” These cupcakes are making me drool a little bit. You gotta warn me before I read your posts at 8am in the morning. Haha! If I could get my cupcakes to look half as good as yours, I’d be in business. Seriously. I might start a business. That caramel sauce on top is a work of art!

    • Lindsey
      October 3, 2014 at 11:27 am

      Thanks, David!!! People keep telling me I need to start a cupcake business…particularly the people in my building. It’s kind of hilarious you mention the caramel sauce, because I had hidden just enough caramel sauce in the back of the fridge the night before to decorate all the cupcakes but when I got up the next morning there was, like, none left! I had scrape the sides of the container to get any out!! Which is why only 3 are decorated! lol!

      • David @ Spiced
        October 3, 2014 at 12:58 pm

        Well it sounds like you have a mouse problem, Lindsey. I mean caramel disappearing mysteriously overnight? On second thought, I suspect the husband could be the culprit there! But I’ve definitely done stuff like that for photos, too. Just make it work, right? 🙂

        • Lindsey
          October 3, 2014 at 5:48 pm

          LMAO. Mouse problem. The only problem I have around here is a husband who is digging in the back of the fridge to get at my secret caramel stash! Alls well that ends well!

  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
    October 3, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Look at the surprise inside these cupcakes – I am in love with them! I need these in my life… but how do I stop eating them!? 🙂 YUM!

    • Lindsey
      October 3, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      That is always the problem! Haha!

  • Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom
    October 3, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    yes, cupcakes are always the answer. period. and wow!! you are like the “surprise inside”/filling cupcake queen!!! love all of your cupcakes! so inventive and creative! love the apple compote! totally trying this!

    • Lindsey
      October 4, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks, Alice! I hope you do try them! You won’t be disappointed! Nothing with that much cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top could be bad, right?!

  • Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice
    October 3, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Lindsey, you amaze me with your cupcake recipes. I’m seriously in awe of how beautiful these are! Love, love, love these! Pinned!

    • Lindsey
      October 4, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      {blush} Thanks, Gayle! I love making them! So many fun combinations and options!

  • Jess @ whatjessicabakednext
    October 4, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    These cupcakes look lush! Love caramel and apple, match made in flavour heaven!

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  • Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog
    October 5, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Wow these cupcakes sound amazing! I love caramel apples but caramel apple cupcakes sound way better!

    • Lindsey
      October 7, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Haha! I think cupcakes sound better than most things! But I’m biased!

  • Kelly - Life Made Sweeter
    October 6, 2014 at 5:18 am

    These cupcakes are stunning LIndsey! Love caramel apples but in cupcake form sounds even better 🙂 I would love one of each of your cupcakes – they’re all gorgeous girl 🙂

    • Lindsey
      October 7, 2014 at 8:31 am

      Thank you, Kelly! We’ll have to make that happen sometime!

  • Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust
    October 6, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I love that you stuffed these with apples! So genius. And pretty! Pinned!

    • Lindsey
      October 6, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      Thanks for the pin, Dorothy! They were super yummy with the apple pie filling…then again, what isn’t?

  • Jacqui
    October 8, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Oh yum! My two favorite things…apples and caramel. Can’t go wrong with this! Thank you for linking up to Party Time and we hope to see you again next week!

    • Lindsey
      October 8, 2014 at 11:11 pm

      Absolutely! Thanks, Jacqui!

  • Marina | Let the Baking Begin!
    October 10, 2014 at 1:54 am

    Lidsey, wow! These look incredible! I’ve been wanting to make something similar to this for a while now and here I see these cupcakes!

    • Lindsey
      October 10, 2014 at 8:20 am

      Thanks, Marina! They are delicious!

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  • Laura@Baking in Pyjamas
    November 16, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Those look amazing! So pretty. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!

    • Lindsey
      November 18, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Laura! Will do!

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  • Alyssa
    November 11, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    I was super excited to make these but found they were too dense and doughy to enjoy. Good idea though.


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