Caramel Apple Cupcakes68

Posted by chockylit in Advanced Techniques,Apples,Experimental Recipe,Step-by-Step Photos (Friday September 1, 2006 at 12:44 pm)

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

These luscious cupcakes are a childhood treat reinvented for the kid in all of us. Welcome fall with a few friends by baking up a batch of these challenging, yet satisfying goodies. The soft, tart apple shines through the spiced, not-so-sweet cake and the cream cheese filling lends a sweet smoothness. All this is topped with a robe of chewy, sweet, and slightly salty caramel.

Be sure to bake, cool, and stuff the cupcakes before starting the caramel. You want the cupcakes ready and waiting as soon as the caramel comes off the stove. Please note that you will need a candy thermometer for this recipe!

Apple Cupcakes
9 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

2-3 apples, granny smith
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

1. Rinse and core the apples. Place them on an ovenproof pan or baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes until soft.
2. Remove the apples from the oven, let cool slightly, then remove peel and mush the apple with the back of a fork. Measure out 1 cup of apple mush and set aside to cool.
3. Combine flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl and whisk to combine.
4. Crack the eggs into a separate, medium sized bowl and beat with a form to break up. Add the oil, apple juice, vanilla, and cooled apple mush and mix to combine.
5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients until all ingredients come together.
6. Scoop into cupcake papers about 3/4 full so cupcakes will have a significant dome. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes, rotating the pan after 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Filling

4 ounces Philly cream cheese
1/4 stick butter
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Be sure to bring the butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours. Then beat the butter vigorously with an electric mixer.
2. Scrape the bowl and add the cream cheese and beat until combine.
3. Add the sifted powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Fill Cupcakes
1. Cut out a cone from each cupcake. Flip the cone and cut off the excess. Set the top aside.
2. Fill each cavity with the cream cheese filling.
3. Replace each top.

scooping in filling
cupcake ready for filling

scoop of filling
filling the cupcake

squishing on the tops
replacing the top

Thick Caramel

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
6 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Bring the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk to a boil over medium-high heat stirring to combine.
2. With a wooden spoon, stir all ingredients together and then slowly add the heavy cream.
3. Continue to stir for about 20 minutes until the caramel reached 248 degrees. It is important to continuously stir the mixture and to allow it to reach temperature.
4. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Transfer to a bowl and continue to stir for 2-3 minutes allowing the caramel to cool slightly.

Final Assembly
1. Using a small offset spatula, frost each cupcake with the caramel.
2. If desired sprinkle warm caramel with any number of toppings, like coconut or crushed nuts.
3. Transfer the cupcake into the freezer to allow the caramel to set without dripping over the edge of the cupcake paper.
4. Continue frosting and topping the cupcakes and try to work fast. As the caramel cools, it becomes less spreadable. If possible work in pairs and let your helper top the cupcakes and transfer them to the freezer. By the time you reach the last few cupcakes, you will not longer need to freeze them and you can take all the cupcakes out and transfer them to the counter.
5. Top off each cupcake with a popsicle or craft stick to finish off the look.

Caramel Apple Cupcake
finished product

68 comments for Caramel Apple Cupcakes »

  1. They look lovely! And I have a suspicion that they are a bit easier to eat than actual caramel apples are.

    Comment by Nic — September 1, 2006 @ 1:47 pm

  2. Good point! When has eating caramel apples ever been easy…

    Comment by chockylit — September 1, 2006 @ 1:52 pm

  3. I am so baking these come Tuesday (my personal “make a mess in the kitchen” days).

    But I was wondering – is it possible/advisable to just substitute chunky applesauce for the baked apples? And if not – how on earth do you remove the peels once they’re all warm and mushy? (Can you just leave the peels on?)

    Thanks :)

    Comment by Sara — September 1, 2006 @ 5:07 pm

  4. The peel comes off pretty easily with a fork and fingers. It wasn’t too bad. I don’t know if I would leave it in, might be weird texture-wise. But you could give it a try.

    I think applesauce may work fine, but I would recommend unsweetened and chunky…

    Comment by chockylit — September 1, 2006 @ 5:14 pm

  5. What a clever idea! They look delicious.

    Comment by Jennifer — September 1, 2006 @ 6:16 pm

  6. LOVE.LOVE.LOVE these!

    Comment by peabody — September 1, 2006 @ 7:17 pm

  7. wow, I don’t usually drool over caramel, but these look truly scrumptious! I love how you style all your food, it rivals any industry professional’s work!

    Comment by jenjen — September 1, 2006 @ 8:06 pm

  8. Awesome! Amazing!!

    Comment by Tanna — September 1, 2006 @ 11:24 pm

  9. Can you use store bought caramel and just melt it down with a little cream?

    Comment by Carolyn Bergman — September 2, 2006 @ 5:48 am

  10. Wow, these I’ve gotta do for my daughter’s apple picking party!!!

    Comment by melanie — September 2, 2006 @ 6:50 am

  11. All I can say is Wow!

    Comment by Ivonne — September 2, 2006 @ 8:14 am

  12. What Great Cakes!! I live in Scotland and have just started a (very) small baking business…hope you don’t mind if I borrow some of your recipes…? :)

    Comment by Teresa Mac — September 2, 2006 @ 8:43 am

  13. can I use DULCE DE LECHE for the caramel???

    Comment by dd — September 2, 2006 @ 9:05 am

  14. These are a fabulous idea for fall, so inventive and as always I love your pics and organized method!!!

    Comment by January — September 2, 2006 @ 11:56 am

  15. I am gonna have to try these!! I love everything caramel!!

    Comment by Michelle — September 2, 2006 @ 6:57 pm

  16. you should be on hell’s kitchen. you could teach chef ramsay a thing or two!

    Comment by julia — September 3, 2006 @ 5:33 pm

  17. Have you considered using caramel whipped creme instead? It would be more palatable, it’s just as sweet and oh so creamy! Though it is does tend to seperate if not eaten in a few days.

    Comment by stephanie — September 4, 2006 @ 9:23 am

  18. Oh my goodness, I’m salivating whilst I type this! What a beautiful and delicious sounding cupcake this is!

    Comment by Ellie — September 5, 2006 @ 12:52 am

  19. I’m mouthwatering!is it possible in the future have this new magazine in Italy?

    Comment by Saffon — September 5, 2006 @ 6:13 am

  20. I really enjoy your cupcakes and as a cake decorator (aspiring, yet still) I love the flavor combinations. You inspired me to try the papers/cups that you use – but comments weren’t so good – how do you remove the cupcake without making a mess of things?

    Comment by Christy — September 5, 2006 @ 12:51 pm

  21. And where can I get those cups you use in the UK? I know you won’t know the answer to this… But does anybody? Help!

    Comment by Pete — September 6, 2006 @ 2:28 am

  22. OK, I found them online from a UK supplier (the shipping seems ridiculously high, but will be worth it). But now I am wondering what size you use. I seem to have several options: 1oz, 2oz and 3.25 oz. Which do you recommend? Have you ever made really teeny tiny ones by the way? Like in the ketchup cups they have at McDonalds?

    I love your page. Why don’t you do a book?

    Comment by Pete — September 6, 2006 @ 4:19 am

  23. Beautiful! What a unique idea – I love them!

    Comment by gilly — September 6, 2006 @ 5:05 am

  24. What a great idea! These look divine!!

    Comment by Dianka — September 6, 2006 @ 12:06 pm

  25. It’s the day after I baked these – I still have the mess in the kitchen to prove it – but I just had to drop by and say that they are SO WORTH IT. (And I don’t even really like apples!)

    I doubled the recipe and managed to get two dozen of ‘em, which is perfect since I wound up with way too much filling (which I didn’t double) – turns out that filling makes a super frosting too :)

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    Comment by Sara — September 6, 2006 @ 6:55 pm

  26. They looooooooooooooook so yummy! i love things with a shiny scrumptious coating on top, can i ask how many ounces your lil baking cups are?

    by the way i love your site! it would be lovely to see your cupcakes outdoors, like under natural sunlight and a grassy meadow or something as the background. maybe a cupcake picnic should be in order :D lol

    Comment by Janie Hazel — September 13, 2006 @ 6:45 pm

  27. Wow, great idea, very creative. the photos look awesome.

    Comment by Tara — September 14, 2006 @ 11:38 am

  28. I actually get a bit emotional when I look at these cupcakes. And a bit restless, I want to make them now!! Your site is very appealing to all the senses. Beautifull colors…

    Comment by Marieke — September 15, 2006 @ 10:10 am

  29. Hi Chockylit! I am a big admirer of your site, and I have tried so many of these delicious cupcakes. My lates have included the chocolate and the peach ones.

    But I have had one problem through this whole thing: When I peak into the oven they look nice with little tops on. But when I take them out carefully, they collapse! It really bothers me, and I am hoping to find a solution. Thanks for all your help, looking forward to your book!


    ps. the thyme cupcakes are also good with fresh mint!

    Comment by Lise — September 18, 2006 @ 11:10 am

  30. I am so behind in answering your questions. Sorry! So, very busy…

    Lise, normally cupcakes fall if they weren’t cooked all the way. Be sure to test them, the tester should come out clean – not a crumb on it – else the cupcakes may fall. Hope that helps.

    Comment by chockylit — September 19, 2006 @ 8:05 pm

  31. How cute! What a fabulous idea, really!

    Comment by Pim — September 20, 2006 @ 4:54 pm

  32. this look unbelievably cute and delicious. definitely making them next weekend! you make very inspiring cupcakes…

    Comment by jessica — September 21, 2006 @ 12:48 pm

  33. your cupcakes are always magnificent. I love the way you pair different ingredients with each other creating a whole new flavour! love the photos as well! good job!

    Comment by swee — September 24, 2006 @ 6:54 am

  34. Apple Picking…

    There’s something about the turn of the season, when summer wanes and fall begins to unveil its multicolor coat, when there’s a new crispness in the air and the scent of spice rides on the breeze. It’s this time of year that I truly c…

    Trackback by ThisNext- Blog — September 28, 2006 @ 9:33 pm

  35. Hi –

    I’m trying these tomorrow but never know what it means when a recipe just says “ginger.” Fresh, grated? Dry powder? I cook Indian food all the time and so have both on hand but just don’t know which to use. Please let me know if you have time!

    Thanks so much,

    Comment by Christy — October 8, 2006 @ 6:50 pm

  36. Amazing! Amazing! I changed it up a bit – I made the filling and added half a can of Dulce de leche to it and iced with that. I cannot believe how much they taste like real caramel apples. Thank yoU!

    Comment by Christy — October 10, 2006 @ 6:38 pm

  37. omigod are these legal?

    Comment by Rosemary — October 13, 2006 @ 3:50 pm

  38. hi! I was wondering if it is possible to do this caramel without the corn syrup and use an alternative ingredient? it’s because Im from portugal and I don’t find anywhere this specific syrup, just golden syrup…

    Comment by francisca neves — November 29, 2006 @ 5:59 am

  39. francisca,

    I would make my own invert sugar syrup by combining sugar, water and cream of tartar in a ratio (by weight) of 500/100/1, and simmering slowly until it reaches 225F. This will produce an invert syrup which is about 75% sugar, and should inhibit crystallization as effectively as the corn syrup would.

    Comment by Patrick — January 4, 2007 @ 6:25 pm

  40. Actually, that should be about 500/200/1.

    Comment by Patrick — January 4, 2007 @ 6:27 pm

  41. I made these yesterday instead of the filing I did cream cheese frosting and left off the carmel. They were great more like a muffin or breakast cake. Thanks for the great recipes and beautiful site you are really talented.

    Comment by Natalie — January 12, 2007 @ 7:39 am

  42. in the making caramel stage, it says boil ingredients and then the next step says stir. should we also be stirring during the 1st step?

    Comment by jess — October 9, 2007 @ 11:10 am

  43. I updated the instructions. Stir in step 1 as well.

    Comment by chockylit — October 9, 2007 @ 11:33 am

  44. Hello! I tried these last night–and I’ve just got one question: Was the caramel supposed to get hard (like toffee–or candied apple coating)?

    If not, any idea what I may have done wrong?

    The apple cake is DELISH! And very easy too. THANKS!

    Comment by Mikaela — October 31, 2007 @ 7:17 am

  45. It never really got hard but more chewy. The key is cooking it enough, but not too much. Caramel can be tricky…

    Comment by chockylit — October 31, 2007 @ 8:53 am

  46. valentine flower…

    this is a great read thanks for sharing…

    Trackback by valentine flower — December 30, 2007 @ 7:51 pm

  47. Hi there, I LOVE your website!!
    I also am in love with your cupcake papers.. But where did you get them? For the life of me I can not find any.. Any indication would be MUCH appreciated.

    Comment by Faith — February 22, 2008 @ 6:03 am

  48. Scratch that I found the page you posted about the papers lol can’t wait to order some

    Comment by Faith — February 22, 2008 @ 6:04 am

  49. woooooooooooooooooow
    so nice

    Comment by qushy — March 31, 2008 @ 6:30 am

  50. Oh my,makes me hungry.Good cupcakes,good money too!

    Comment by erica — April 3, 2008 @ 9:00 pm

  51. These are incredible! So delicious and well worth the effort. FYI that I made these in mini muffin tins and didn’t do the filling. Then I dipped the tops in caramel rather than using a spatula – much less messy but also easy since I didn’t have to worry about the top and filling falling out. I had to make an extra batch as I ended up not having enough to bring to the party I originally made them for! Thanks!!!!

    Comment by Sara — October 29, 2009 @ 6:52 pm

  52. I just discovered your blog and cant wait to try them. Only thing is in Turkey we dont have the condensed sweetened milk. Just regular milk. What can i use as a substitute?

    Comment by zeynep — July 16, 2010 @ 3:45 am

  53. Oh my word – these sound ab-sol-utely scrummy!!! I am going to HAVE to make them RIGHT NOW!!!

    Comment by Sarah Thomas — August 17, 2010 @ 1:00 am

  54. beautiful cupcakes

    Comment by minnie mouse and mickey mouse — August 18, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

  55. beautiful yummy cupcakes

    Comment by julie — August 18, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

  56. Do you think you could use grated apple (like you grate carrots for carrot cake) instead of the apple mush?

    Comment by Dominique — October 15, 2010 @ 10:08 am

  57. Hi there! I just made these cupcakes – the cupcake itself and the filling were incredible! The only problem I ran into was the caramel topping…it hardened like a rock! Thankfully I was able to pull the top off and just use the remaining filling as the frosting. Any tips on making sure the caramel doesn’t harden? Thank you so much! I look forward to making these again soon.


    Comment by Raquel — October 18, 2010 @ 9:14 pm

  58. In response to Raquel with the rock hard caramel, here are some tips I’ve learned from making caramel for flan and for these cupcakes:

    *use a thick bottomed pan to let the caramel reach its peak slowly – too rapidly, and you might get tooth-cracking caramel (I bought a non-stick one from Ikea that works perfectly every time)

    *make sure to keep the candy thermometer in the caramel the entire time to ensure accuracy

    *melt the butter first, then add the brown sugar and stir until all granules are saturated with butter – it will be a thick, grainy paste; add the corn syrup and stir until incorporated; add the condensed milk slowly, constantly stirring until completely incorporated; slowly stream in the cream in stirring continuously

    *it took 15 minutes for me to reach 248 degrees, so it’s not dependent on the time – temperature with candy is more important

    *the caramel should be the consistency of a creamy soup when you take it off of the heat – not thin like water, but not thick like store bought chewy caramels

    *try low fat condensed milk to change the consistency a bit

    *add the salt, then very slowly add the vanilla

    I hope these tips help.

    Comment by Sophia — November 5, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

  59. the instruction is the most clear and understandable I ever saw, I love it.

    Comment by lisa — April 13, 2011 @ 7:16 am

  60. What a great recipe for the holidays! I always love apple and caramel together, they make such a great combination.

    Comment by Nia — August 11, 2011 @ 10:37 am

  61. Does it really only make 9 cupcakes?!? I just tripled the recipe and I think I’m going to have a house exploding with them!

    Comment by Caitie — October 21, 2011 @ 10:58 am

  62. Caramel Apple Cupcakes sounds mouthwatering good.

    Comment by Billy — December 14, 2011 @ 10:35 am

  63. Do these need to be refrigerated? How long do they stay fresh? I’m a little paranoid when baking with cream cheese frostings that they will spoil if not refrigerated.

    Comment by Christie — February 18, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

  64. I like to make cupcakes plain, then when cooled use a small funnel inserted in the top and fill the cupcake with whatever kind of taste you really like. Then top with your flavoured topping. Works well when the children like different flavours.

    Comment by Bernie — March 2, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

  65. I think I will just make the carmel topping and forget the apples! LOL
    Love Love Love this idea!!!!

    Comment by Gaylin Langhofer — July 21, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

  66. Made these cupcakes today!!!!! Amazing , took 4 cooks in the kitchen to make. Lol

    Comment by Tara nunnery — July 26, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

  67. I made these cupcakes today! started at 6 & went until about 10:30, but that includes cleanup & I don’t have a dishwasher. I cannot eat them until tomorrow, official cheat day. I do my cooking for cheat day on Fridays; however, I did try some of the batter, filling & caramel & they are to die for! Can’t wait to taste it all together. I did have a bit of a hard time mashing the apples; however, my apple corer is also a wedger so I cooked the slices. There were some bits of apple in the cupcakes b/c I did not feel like reheating & mashing a few of the stubborn wedges. The only issue I ran into was w/the caramel. I did not read all of the comments before making so I added all of the caramel ingredients together. However, the caramel reached 248 in only 2 minutes. I used a t-fal thick bottomed pan. The consistency was very soupy, but I went ahead and applied the caramel fearing it would get hard quickly. However, the caramel never got that thick. I ended up dipping the cupcakes in the caramel, but burned my fingers a bit. I guess I should have waited quite a bit before putting on the caramel or heated it too quickly. Anyways, mine didn’t turn out as pretty as yours (i.e. the caramel is all over the cupcake bottom not pretty and thick like yours.) I was just wondering if you have any advice for next time about the caramel because these are so delicious I am sure they will become an annual fall treat. I will follow the detailed instructions you gave to another commenter & probably use a different pot. BTW, I made this for the fall festival at my church coming up & tripled the recipe. However, it made 42 instead of just 27 w/tons of caramel left over. Sorry so long, but just one more side note. As I was putting all of the cut cone pieces (to discard) in a bowl, I had an epiphany. You know what would be a great recipe to pair with this to use that discarded bread? Bread pudding, but it would be apple bread pudding! Sharing with my neighbors & so excited to stuff my face with them tomorrow. Thanks. I found this blog/recipe from pinterest just so you know. :)

    Comment by Chrissie — October 26, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

  68. I just made these and the caramel and filling are AMAZING! My one concern is that my cupcakes came out more like muffins. The apple flavor was subtle and they weren’t very sweet, however, the filling and topping were so sweet that it was okay that the cupcakes taste like muffins. Is this what they’re suppose to be like? Did I do something wrong? How do I get the great apple flavor that everyone is posting about?

    Comment by Ashley Gardner — April 11, 2013 @ 8:14 pm

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