Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

The Story:

I love all the cheesy activities that come with October.  I love apple cider, pumpkin patches, toasting pumpkin seeds, hay rides, corn mazes, carving pumpkins and dunking apples in caramel. However, as pretty as I can get my cupcakes, that’s how ugly my carmel apples turn out every year.  They look pretty for about 5 seconds, and then the caramel sluffs off taking all the drizzled chocolate and candies with it, making a big puddle  of calories on the plate. [end-story]

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Yield: 20-24 cupcakes

Caramel Apple Cupcakes


Apple Cake:
1 box white cake mix
2 tsp. cinnamon or apple pie spice
3 eggs
¼ C. butter, melted and cooled
¼ C applesauce
1 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ C. peeled and chopped apple
Caramel Buttercream:
1 C. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. caramel sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 C. powdered sugar
Melted caramels for drizzling


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners.
2. Sift cake mix and cinnamon in to a small bowl and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, butter, applesauce, milk and vanilla extract together.
4. Stir in cake mix until smooth.
5. Stir in chopped apples.
6. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full and bake for 17-22 minutes of until an inserted knife comes out clean.
7. Buttercream: Beat butter for 1 minute. Add caramel and vanilla extract and continue to beat. Slowly add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.
8. Pipe buttercream onto cooled cupcakes and top with melted caramel.

Caramel Apple Cupcake

31 thoughts on “Caramel Apple Cupcakes

  1. 1
    Kristen says:

    This is the recipe I’ve been waiting for this fall! I was wondering how small/large you chopped your apple pieces and if a particular type of apple would work better than another (I know that’s the case with apple pies anyway).

    Always look forward to your recipes!

  2. 2
    Cindy B. says:

    Sounds delicious, I now have two great recipes to try out this Fall!

  3. 3
    Susan says:

    I am looking forward to trying this! One question though, what kind of caramel sauce do you use?

  4. 4
    Debbie says:

    Two great recipes to try. Thanks! Sad to hear about your caramel apples. Try again.
    A tip to keep your caramel from slipping and sliding — make sure you have washed your apple thoroughly in very warm water. This both slightly cooks the skin of your apple and removes all the wax from the apple. The wax is part of what makes the caramel slide off. Also, using slightly cool caramel is helpful. Then get them in the fridge quickly to set before they puddle.

  5. 5
    Delores Coston says:

    That looks great. I can’t wait to try this recipe for myself. I truly enjoy your website. You give great idea, tips and recipes. I really like the tutorials you do and show how things are done.

  6. 6
    Nyra Blanks says:

    Wow they look good was just saying I was going to make this flavor … Great minds think alike and it is the season for these thx;)

  7. 7
    Edith says:

    Lizzy, you are wonderful. I impulsively bought a Pillsbury Caramel Apple cake mix box and then wondered, “What am I going to do with this. Let me check Lizzy’s site.”
    And here it is, I will skip the apple pie spice but use all the other ingredients.

    Thank you!

  8. 8
    Kate Simson says:

    Mouth Watering…Can’t wait to try this recipe This weekend. I wish everyone at my home likes it too..

  9. 9
    renée says:

    Hey Lizzy,

    It’s my birthday tomorrow and at our family party tonight my kids gave me your new book! I’m so excited. It is amazing and I’m so inspired by your recipes, creativity and photography. I am a new fan. Congratulation on all of your accomplishments and thanks for all of your hard work. I look forward to keeping up with you here.

  10. 10
    Madelyn says:

    I tried this recipe last night. The cake part turned out great, but I had trouble with the frosting. I added melted caramel as I mixed the frosting, and the melted caramel solidified 🙁

    • 10.1

      Ah! Oh no! For the buttercream note that I used “caramel SAUCE.” I used the store bought caramel topping that people usually use on ice cream. It will blend in to your frosting but yes, the the little squares you have to melt down will hit the cool frosting and harden back up. I am so sorry if I didn’t make that clear, Madelyn. I hope you try again!

  11. 11
    Janice Mateo says:

    Tomorrow at work we are having a bake food sale in support of the Alzheimer’s Association. I have already made your Caramel Apple Cupcakes, and now am ready to frost the Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cupcakes. Must say that the Caramel Buttercream frosting is phenomenal. So can’t wait for the sale. Your cupcakes are such a hit.

  12. 12
    Eva White says:

    Lizzy — got a question, a great friend is bringing over FREE apples so would like to try the recipe now, have an event on 10/26 ~~ your thots on making ahead and freezing the cupcake, icing closer to the event? And if so, how much ahead of time is ok to freeze…Can’t wait to bake ’em up ~~ LOVE your ideas, pics and recipes!!

    • 12.1

      I honestly would only freeze them for a few days before, I like things as fresh as possible. Seal them in containers or freezer bags! And as for the frosting, keep it in the fridge and frost the day of! Take the frosting out the night before to thaw and the cupcakes about 5 or so hours before the event. It just depends on how cool or hot it is where you live!

  13. 13
    Melissa says:

    Made these today with apples my fiance and I picked at the orchard this morning. DELICIOUS!

  14. 14
    Alyce says:

    Hi Lizzy!

    Would the recipe still work if I cut up some apples and put them in the batter?


  15. 15
    Eva White says:

    Lizzy…..just wanted to share, made the Caramel Apple cupcakes for a bonfire this weekend and had a few extras brought to work this a.m. Once again……A huge hit, love them ~~ Excited to try Pumpkin Snicker-doodle next ~~ So happy my Girlfriend introduced me to your site <3!

  16. 16
    Sami Salazar says:

    What is that tip called? 🙂

  17. 17
    Rebecca says:

    I am going to try this recipe out this week, and I am very excited!

    Do you happen to have an estimate of how many cupcakes this will make?

    Thank you!

  18. 18
    Jen says:

    Trying this recipe right now…very excited!!!
    Your website is foolproof! I recommend it to all my friends when they want a fun new cupcake recipe to try! I’ve been “bumming” your recipes for well over a year now and they’ve never let me down! Easy and fun to put your own spin on…ex. your cinnamon toast crunch cupcake makes a GREAT RumChata cupcake 🙂 I just sub 🙂
    Thanks so much!

  19. 19
    Jen says:

    Do you think I could sub apple butter in for the melted butter? I want to get a really appley flavor and I have a big jar of apple butter from the orchard that I need to use.

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