Apple Caramel Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

7 Dec

Prompt: Caramel, apple

It was a crisp autumn day when Michelle and Sean went to the apple orchard. The couple calmly walked down the
rows, smiling at the excited children around them.

Sean and Michelle were in no hurry to fill their apple basket, unlike the harried parents around them. The two of them would just walk down the rows, occasionally snatching perfect apple.

The couple had plans for these apples. Michelle envisioned caramel and apple
together, perhaps in a pie, while Sean could practically taste his mother’s apple crisp already.

It was too bad Michelle and Sean missed the baking apple rows.


As the snow is pounding down and we have a second snow day in a row, I thought I should update the blog! This recipe is really special to me, even though it doesn’t have any chocolate in it. At ALL! So you know that it must have been baked for an amazing person.

My brother-in-law and I have a very special relationship. We text and talk on MSN, we tease each other and tease my sister/his wife, he is my big brother. So I knew I had to do something extra awesome for him. His birthday is at the end of November, but all the way back in September he told me what he wanted. We were out with our whole family,  my grandma and aunt celebrating my father’s birthday when he told me he didn’t care what I made him, but that he wanted three ingredients in it. Cinnamon, caramel and apple. As soon as he told me these I invisioned the cupcake I ended up making for him. An apple cupcake with caramel filling and cinnamon frosting. I spent lots of time looking up different recipes that would fit my needs, and came across quite a few websites. They all looked yummy, but two blogs/recipes really had what I needed.

Apple Caramel Cupcakes
Original found here
I got 12 good sized cupcakes, she got 16 (from using apple sauce perhaps?)

2-3 apples, granny smith equaling 1 cup OR 1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

So all the ingredients here.
Except the eggs.. forgot about those guys!

I chose to not use apple sauce like the woman I got the recipe, but use mushed up apples like the lady SHE got the recipe from! It’s really up to you. We really liked the little tiny chunks of apple in our cupcakes, but it would be a LOT easier to use apple sauce! But we had apples in the house and no apple sauce, so my decision was made for me!

It was a messy and not really a nice looking process, so I will only show a few pictures! I cored the first two apples (I used granny smith, those would work and taste best I would think! Plus, they are my favourite, so they are around my house all the time!) but left the skins on. It was supposed to take 30-40 mins in the oven for them to mush up, but I didn’t have the time! So I put them in my toaster oven until they started to burn on the top! But they were still a little hard, so I popped them into the microwave. That worked a lot better. Once they were pretty soft and mushy I took them out and started to.. well.. mush them some more! I realized I didn’t have enough for a cup, so I found another Granny Smith apple in my fridge, but it was already cut up. This made it soften a lot faster in the microwave, plus I set it for longer, but at a lower level.

Mushing up some apples!

Finished product.

After dealing with the apples I put all the dry ingredients (the flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt) in a medium sized bowl.

Then I mixed them all together. Man did it smell good!!

Then in a new medium sized bowl, add two eggs and use a fork to break them up.


Okay, so now add the oil, apple juice, vanilla and either the cooled apple mush or apple sauce.


Then combine the wet and the dry ingredients. I just added the dry to the wet, but you should probably get a third bowl for this. It’s really up to you. I thought they tasted fine anyways!


Once they are all mixed up, scoop into your muffin tins.

Bake for 20-22 minutes at 350*.

Now onto the CARAMEL.

I have to say, I did NOT have any luck with this part. I thought I followed the instructions perfectly, and used all the right ingredients, but it just.. didn’t work! Didn’t stop bubbling! Maybe I didn’t use the right stuff, maybe I stirred it for too long.. I just don’t know! Or maybe it was supposed to get hard and weird inside the cucpcakes! It miffs me! But I will tell you guys how to do it! There won’t be pictures of the process though, because I don’t want to steer you guys wrong! But the woman whose blog I took this from has another blog, and she had some tips and pictures there as well. Here you go.

2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

A picture of the ingredients I used.

 Now, I am just going to quote the woman from directly here, since I don’t want to mess you up as well!

Put sugar, water and corn syrup in saucepan, stir just to combine ingredients. Turn to medium-high heat, without stirring, for 5-10 minutes until caramel turns an amber color. Wipe down any spatters with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Lower the heat a little and add the cream and butter. (Caramel will bubble!) After the bubbling decreases, stir caramel to break down lumps. Pour into a pyrex measuring cup to cool.

I think I just waited too long. After about 20-30 minutes of it not turning an amber colour, I just added the other ingredients, then again waited too long for the bubbling to go down. So my advice for you, if it doesn’t change colour in 15-20 minutes, then just add the stuff anyways. It looked the right colour after I added everything, and it tasted fine, but it just became completely solid in the cupcakes! But maybe another problem was that I didn’t use it until the next morning, and put it in the fridge then the microwave… I probably should’ve just tried it all again, but I was tight for time!

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a really tasty and easy frosting. My family just loved it, and said it reminded them of cinnamon buns. It would probably taste realllyyyyy good on top of them too!

I got it from the Cupcake Project, which is a blog I just love! You can find the recipe here.

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature (This is pretty much a stick. I just leave a little bit left in the package.)
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablesoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I added a little bit more. Yummy!)
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar (add more or less to make it a stiffness that you like)
  1. Mix cream cheese and butter well.
  2. Add vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. Add powdered sugar.


Yes, it really is that easy!  I didn’t have enough icing sugar (or powdered sugar) at night when I made it, but I also put this in the fridge and added more in the morning, after my mom ran to the store for me (thanks mom!). Because I put it in the fridge it was a little hard to ice, but cream cheese frostings are often a little thicker anyways!

Now for the fun part! Filling the cupcakes!

Grab a small, sharp knife and a cupcake. Bring the knife to a place inbetween the middle of the cupcake and the edge. Stick the knife in on an angle. Trying to keep the knife in the same spot inside the cupcake, cut the cake around the outside. Try to keep the knife in the same space at the edge. Then the center should come right out.

Now, I hope you don’t think that I just make this look easy because I have done it a million times. This picture is actually my first attempt at doing this method to fill cupcakes!! And can I just say how much easier and how much cleaner it is then other filling methods!

Once you have the top off, then take it and cut it. The more you cut off, the more filling you can put in the cupcake. But make sure you still have a top to put back on.

 Here is a picture of all three pieces you will end up with.

And here is the cupcake with its hat back on! You are now ready to fill this cupcake! Go ahead and eat the extra little bit!

Now you can fill and ice! I took a break, put everything away and went to bed before this step, but you can keep on going if you have the time!





These cupcakes were not perfect, but they were pretty yummy and my B.I.L. enjoyed them, so thats good enough for me! Please leave some comments!

Until next time,


5 Responses to “Apple Caramel Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Anja December 7, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    OMG! THESE LOOK AMAZING! I might have to make them, after exams of course! lol 🙂

  2. Mom December 7, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    Your photos look just as delicious as the cupcakes tasted! I especially loved the icing. I might get you to make it so we can put it on top cinnamon buns at Christmas. Keep up the yummy work!

  3. Bev December 7, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    Looks really yummy, but lots of work!!! cute apron Leah!

  4. Amanda Murphy December 7, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    My mouth is watering! Apple-Caramel … mmmmmmmmm 🙂

  5. Maggie December 7, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    These were DELICIOUS (and I usually really dislike cupcakes!)
    Aw, your opening comments almost made me tear up 🙂 You two definitely have a special relationship… haha!
    PS. I love your apron!

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