These Caramel Apple Cupcakes are completely homemade and well worth the effort. They’re the perfect Fall dessert, bake sale item and Thanksgiving Dessert!

Finished recipe with text overlay for Pinterest.

Mmm Hmm folks! You heard me right, Caramel Apple Cupcakes! Can we say fall has arrived in cupcake form? I sure think so. It is time to say goodbye to the tastes of summer; the strawberries, the fresh lemonade, and light summer salads.

And it is time to say hello to soup season, fall cookies, and sweet potatoes for those Holiday parties. The flavors of the season are starting to appear. Pumpkin, maple, hazelnut, and salted caramel all seem to call to me at the start of the Fall Season. 

But nothing says fall to me quite as apples do. I think the flavors are pretty spot on and these cupcakes are so much easier to make than making the real deal, caramel apples.

Overhead picture of caramel apple cupcakes on a cake stand and on the countertop.


How to make caramel apple cupcakes:

  1. First begin with the cupcakes by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and then stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt on a sheet of parchment paper then set it aside. 
  2. Next, place the butter in a bowl and mix until fluffy. Then add the sugar and mix for about 3-5 minutes before adding the eggs one at a time. Mix slowly as you add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and then alternating with the ⅓ of the hot water. Continue this process until batter is combined.
  3. Finally, fold the grated apple into the batter but do not overmix. Then, fill the baking cups with the batter so the cups are ⅔ full. Bake for 18-20 minutes and let them cool for about 20 minutes. 
  4. For the frosting, place all the ingredients in a bowl and beat until well combined and fluffy.
  5. Lastly, whisk in the heavy cream until you reach a brown caramel color. Set it aside to cool for 5 minutes. 
  6. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large piping tip with the frosting and frost the cupcakes. 
  7. Drizzle the caramel over the cupcakes and serve. 

Cupcakes on a cake stand.

Cook’s Note – Caramel Apple Cupcakes:

  • Creaming Butter and Sugar: When you cream the butter and sugar, you are creating millions of little air bubbles that will expand with the addition of your leavening-the baking powder or baking soda. If you mix too fast or too long, you will collapse all your air bubbles and your cupcakes will be really dense and brick-like not light and fluffy.
  • It’s always best to cool the cupcakes at room temperature. Putting them in the refrigerator to cool can dry out the cake.
  • How to Stuff a Cupcake: Sometimes it’s nice to have a little surprise in the center when you bite into a cupcake. This recipe has caramel that oozes out (yum!).
    • To get that caramel right in the center: 
      • Make sure your cupcakes are cooled or they could collapse if you try to core them when they are too hot.
      • Line up cooled cupcakes on a sheet of wax paper so you don’t get caramel on your counter.
      • Using an apple corer, gently remove the center of each cupcake, cutting all the way through the cupcake until you hit the paper baking cup.
      • Then pour the cooled caramel into a plastic squeeze bottle or a pastry bag and squeeze caramel filling into the center of each cupcake.
      • You can use this technique to fill your cupcakes with frosting, chocolate ganache, preserves, fudge, marshmallow, and anything else your heart desires!

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. 

Cook’s Tools:

  • muffin tins
  • mixing bowls 
  • whisk
  • stand mixer or handheld mixer
  • rubber scraper
  • piping bag and pastry tip
Caramel Apple Cupcakes on display.
5 from 6 votes

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Author Georgetown Cupcake for the Today Show
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
18 cupcakes
These Caramel Apple Cupcakes are completely homemade and well worth the effort. They're the perfect Fall dessert, bake sale item and Thanksgiving Dessert!


  • mixing bowls
  • whisk
  • spatula
  • stand mixer or handheld mixer
  • muffin tins
  • piping bag and large round piping tip



  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 16 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • cup hot water
  • 2 ½ cups freshly grated Gala apples 4 to 5 medium-size apples


  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces cream cheese at room temperature for the caramel


  • ¼ cup caramel sauce



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard cupcake pan with 12 paper baking cups, and a second pan with 6 baking cups. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
    Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  • Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Stop to add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly on medium speed, after each addition. It's important to add them one at a time so that they will completely incorporate into the batter and you don't put too much weight on your batter at once. This would collapse all the little air bubbles you created when you creamed the butter and sugar.
    Mix in the eggs.
  • Reduce the speed to low. At this stage, it's always important to mix as slowly and as little as necessary since you don't want to traumatize your batter. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add 1/3 of the hot water, beating until well incorporated. Add another third of the flour mixture, followed by 1/3 of the hot water. It's important to add the flour and water little by little like this, so that your batter does not have too much weight thrown on it and that you allow each amount of flour and water to completely mix into the batter. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining hot water, and beat just until combined.
    Add the flour to the wet ingredients.
  • Using a spatula, fold the grated apple into the batter. Take care not to overmix the batter. If you overmix the batter, the cupcakes will not be light and fluffy but instead very dense.
    Fold in the shredded apples.
  • Use a standard-size ice cream scoop to fill each baking cup with batter, so the cups are 2/3 full.
    Fill the muffin tins with the batter.
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. After 5 minutes, transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely for approximately 20 minutes.
    Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes, and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until well combined. Be sure to beat at high speed at the very end for at least 2 minutes to ensure that the frosting is light and fluffy.
    Beat together all of the frosting ingredients until light and fluffy.
  • Fill a large piping bag with a large round icing tip and swirl the frosting onto the cupcakes.
    Frost the cupcakes and drizzle with caramel sauce.


  • Use a fork to drizzle the caramel sauce over the cupcakes.
    Close up picture of a caramel apple cupcake.


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 113mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 55g | Vitamin A: 765IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 0.9mg

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This Caramel Apple Cupcakes recipe first appeared on Food Folks and Fun on October 1, 2012. I have since updated the pictures but some of the originals are below. 

Caramel Apple Cupcakes with Text overlay for Pinterest

Caramel Apple Cupcakes on a plate






Close up picture of cupcakes on a platter.












These Caramel Apple Cupcakes are completely homemade and well worth the effort. They’re the perfect Fall dessert, bake sale item and Thanksgiving Dessert!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Yum! Caramel apples are my favorite so having them in cupcake form is even better

  2. These are the cutest! Loving the detailed instructions and photos on the process – it’s super helpful. Thanks!

  3. Shadi Hasanzadenemati says:

    I made your recipe for a gathering the other day and everyone kept asking for the recipe. It was totally a hit!

  4. You had me at caramel apple cupcakes! These were so delicious and easy to make.

  5. These cupcakes are perfect for fall. They make a great dessert to bring to a Thanksgiving pot-luck too with all the fall flavors.

  6. These Caramel Apple Cupcakes are a treasure for fall baking. Yummy and delicious! I am gonna make them for Thanksgiving! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Marilyn Bauer says:

    Are your Caramel Apple Cupcakes stuffed with caramel? Your article tells how to stuff the cupcake with caramel, however, the recipe doesn’t note it.

    1. Hi Marilyn,

      These are not stuffed with caramel. In the recipe notes, I gave a variation of the recipe for stuffing the cupcakes with caramel if you’d like to try that option. I hope this helps!


  8. Wow these caramel apple cupcakes look incredible! Im a sucker for anything with caramel and apple is my go to fall flavor so I’m all over these! Perfect fall treat!