Moist & flavorful apple spice cupcakes with salted caramel frosting on top!
- 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 2/3 cup (135g) packed light or dark brown sugar (I prefer dark)
- 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup (80ml) milk*
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 large apple, peeled and finely chopped (about 2 cups)*
Salted Caramel Frosting
- 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (5 Tablespoons; 80ml) heavy cream, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 – 3 cups (240-360g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- optional garnish: salted caramel and apple slices
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2 liners – this recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set aside.
- Make the cupcakes: Whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth then whisk in the vanilla extract and milk. Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently until combined. The batter will have a few lumps. Fold in the apples.
- Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full with batter. Bake for 21–23 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean when done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the frosting: While the cupcakes are cooling, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add brown sugar and 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream. Whisk constantly until sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the salt, then stop whisking as mixture begins to simmer. Simmer without stirring for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 30 minutes. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat in 2 cups confectioners’ sugar and the remaining heavy cream. Slowly add 1/2 – 1 cup more confectioners’ sugar until you reach your desired thickness. Add a little cream or milk if you find the frosting too thick. Frost cooled cupcakes and drizzle with salted caramel, if desired.
- Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Bring to room temperature, then stir in 1 Tablespoon of heavy cream to thin out before using. (Frosting is thick after refrigerating.) Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and then bring to room temperature if desired.
- Milk: Recipe tested with skim milk and 1% milk. Almond milk, soy milk, 2% milk, and rice milk are all OK.
- Apples: I suggest Granny Smith apples for their beautiful tart flavor!
Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!
Keywords: apple spice cupcakes