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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
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