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Apple Spice Cupcakes

Apple spice cupcakes with salted caramel frosting are a great anytime cupcake, but especially in the fall! These fall applesauce cupcakes feel like a warm hug with applesauce in the batter along with cozy spices like cinnamon, cloves and allspice.

apple spice cupcakes with caramel frosting and apple chips on wood cake stand with wood background

Give me an apple spice cupcake and I’ll be one happy girl. I feel like this flavor of cupcake transcends seasonal boundaries – so make it anytime you want a warm hug in the form of a cupcake 🤗

What kind of applesauce to use in apple cinnamon cupcakes?

I used unsweetened store bought applesauce, but feel free to use regular applesauce, cinnamon applesauce or homemade applesauce.

apple spice cupcake with caramel frosting and apple chip on wood cake stand with wood background

How to properly measure flour

Use a spoon to spoon the flour into the measuring cup. Then use a butter knife to level off the excess flour. Do not stick the measuring cup into the bag of flour and do not pack the flour into the cup – both will result in an increase in flour, making your baked goods dry.

Can you make apple cupcakes gluten free?

Yes! We have made these cupcakes gluten free with awesome results by using King Arthur’s Gluten Free measure for measure flour. Substitute that flour as a one for one replacement.

apple spice cupcake batter in metal muffin pan

How to make cream cheese frosting

Maybe you want a delicious salted caramel cream cheese frosting for your cupcakes! Follow the frosting directions below, but substitute one 8 oz brick of room temperature cream cheese for one of the sticks of butter. It’s that easy!

How to garnish fall applesauce spice cupcakes

After adding the frosting to the cupcakes, here are some ideas on how to garnish them..

  • drizzle caramel sauce on top of the frosting
  • add an apple chip to each cupcake
  • sprinkle with chopped nuts
  • sprinkle with a dusting of cinnamon
how to make apple spice cupcake batter collage

How to store unfrosted cupcakes / how to store frosted cupcakes

If you’ll be frosting the cupcakes within 48 hours of baking them, store the unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container on the counter.

Once the cupcakes are frosted, store them in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days.

How to freeze cupcakes

You can freeze frosted or unfrosted cupcakes. This method applies to both.

Freeze them on a baking sheet, once frozen, wrap each in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe container. To thaw, remove the plastic wrap and place inside a large container, then place them in the fridge overnight.

apple spice cupcakes with caramel frosting and apple chips on wood cake stand with wood background

How to convert cupcake recipe to cake recipe

If you want to make this recipe into an apple spice cake, double the cake portion of the recipe and bake in a 9×13 inch pan. Check on the cake at 30 minutes, and adjust baking time as needed.

For the frosting, 1.5 x’s the recipe to cover a 9×13 inch cake.

apple spice cupcakes with caramel frosting and apple chips on wood cake stand with wood background apple spice cupcakes with caramel frosting and apple chips on wood cake stand with wood background

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Apple Spice Cupcakes

Apple Spice Cupcakes

Yield: 14-16 cupcakes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour

Apple spice cupcakes with salted caramel frosting are a great anytime cupcake, but especially in the fall! These fall applesauce cupcakes feel like a warm hug with applesauce in the batter along with cozy spices like cinnamon, cloves and allspice.

Ingredients

APPLE SPICE CUPCAKES

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce (or any type of applesauce)

Salted Caramel Frosting

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup caramel sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt (use table salt in the frosting and extra course salt on top if desired)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (or more for taste preference)
  • dash of milk or heavy cream if frosting becomes too thick

Instructions

Apple Spice Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a muffin pan with liners, set aside. 
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Mix to combine and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the room temperature butter and brown sugar, beat using an electric mixer until combined & creamy, about 30-60 seconds.
  4. Add in the eggs, beat again. 
  5. Add in the applesauce, lightly beat.
  6. Gradually add in the flour mixture, mixing by hand with a spatula until it’s just incorporated. The batter will be thick. 
  7. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 19-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  8. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then move them onto a cooling rack  to cool completely. 

Salted Caramel Frosting 

  1. Place room temperature unsalted butter, caramel sauce and salt in a mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer on medium and beat the butter for 1 minute, until whipped and fluffy. 
  2. Add in the powdered sugar, beat again on low for 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until everything is incorporated. 
  3. If the frosting is too thick, add a tablespoon of milk or heavy cream, and beat until creamy.
  4. In a plastic piping bag (or ziplock bag) fit with a piping tip (I used a wilton 1M) add the frosting. Push the frosting down into the bag. Twist the top of the bag closed, and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes in a circular motion. Drizzle with caramel sauce and add an apple chip if desired.

Notes

The post above answers questions on how to make frosting, how to make gluten free cupcakes, how to freeze cupcakes, and how to properly measure flour.

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