I don’t think you’ll find a more fall flavored cupcake recipe than the one for these caramel Apple Pie Cupcakes! The spiced cupcakes are topped with a cinnamon buttercream frosting, and apple pie filling – made from scratch with fresh apples – and the final flourish is cinnamon sugar pie crust, a drizzle of salted caramel sauce, and sprinkled with crushed cinnamon crackers. They are a showstopping cupcake that tastes as delicious as they look!
I’ve got lots of fun and easy Cupcake Recipes for Parties and celebrations (and for everyday treats!) for you to try out – right-click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one!
This post is part of the Crafty October series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog – a celebration of everything Halloween and Autumn. Now in its 8th year, the 2019 series is bigger and better, running from September 1st, all the way through All Hallows’ Eve on October 31st!
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Apple Pie Cupcakes
I think cupcakes are one of the best desserts in the world! To me, they are perfectly portioned, portable sweet treats that can be as simple or as fancy as you like!
I love making cupcakes for parties and celebrations, and have the BEST vanilla cupcake recipe that I have been using for as long as I can remember. But sometimes, you just need to break out a box mix, and I don’t judge myself when I do that – sometimes it just makes life a little bit easier!
What I’m saying is, is these cupcakes are made using a box of cake mix, but the apple pie filling and frosting is made from scratch, and we have a few other ingredient hacks along the way.
These apple pie cupcakes are relatively easy to make – there are 5 different steps to making them, but I think the end result is worth it – don’t you?
Ingredients used in this recipe
For my UK readers: When I go on vacation to the USA, I like stock up on my favourite American food products and ingredients, so you’ll find them used in some of the recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog. However, we can buy lot of American ingredients online these days, and in supermarkets (check the World Foods aisle!) which is awesome! (Although sometimes the price can be on the high side…) When I use American ingredients in recipes that I share on my blog, I always aim to suggest British alternatives, or include Amazon affiliate links to where you can buy them online.
The full list of cupcake ingredients can be found in the printable recipe at the end of this post, but I’m going to mention a few notable ones here that you may not find in your supermarket.
- Box of Betty Crocker Spice Cake Mix which isn’t available in the UK, but you can buy it online.
A good alternative would be Betty Crocker Carrot Cake Mix which we can get in UK supermarkets. Both mixes contain spices, and the tiny amount of carrot in carrot cake mix, isn’t like to alter the flavour too much.
Or of course, you could use my vanilla cupcake recipe (mentioned above) and substitute the vanilla for 1½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
- To make the little cinnamon sugar pie crust triangles that sit on top of the cupcakes you need a box of pre-rolled pastry/pie crust which you’ll find in the refrigerated section of the supermarket.
- For the topping you will need some salted caramel sauce (but if you can only find regular caramel sauce, that is fine). You will also need Graham crackers which are an American sweet, cinnamon flavoured cracker. The closest in texture in the UK would be Digestive biscuits, or if you can find a cinnamon flavoured biscuit in your local supermarket, use those. Actually, Aldi or Lidl would probably be a great place to look for something like that!
Equipment used in this recipe
This recipe uses American cup measurements. Since I use this type of measurement often, I find it handy to have a set of measuring cups in the kitchen.
In addition to the usual cupcake making equipment – mixer, bowls, spatula, cupcake pan, wire cooling rack etc., you will also need a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for baking the pie crust; and a large piping bag and star tip for the frosting.
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How do I make apple pie cupcakes?
Full instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post, but here is a quick outline so you know what to expect from the recipe. I highly recommend always reading a recipe all the way through before starting.
Make the cake mix according to the package instructions. Most box mixes require extra ingredients like eggs, or fat – check your mix as they may vary from brand to brand.
Place cupcake liners in pan and divide the mix between them. You should get around 22-24 cupcakes. I like to use an ice cream scoop to get equal measurements. Once they are cooked, transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool.
While the cupcakes are cooking you can make the apple pie filling and leave that to cool completely. You can also get your frosting ready and transfer it to a piping bag.
The pie crust is next, so unroll it and put it on a lined baking sheet, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake and then allow to come to room temperature before cutting into triangles.
With all the cupcake elements prepared, all that is left to do is assemble!
Pipe a swirl on each cupcake, leaving the top flat so that the apple pie filling has somewhere to sit. Spoon the apples onto the frosting, sprinkle with crumbled Graham Crackers, drizzle with salted caramel sauce, and finish off by pushing a pie crust into the frosting.
Decorate in manufacturing line style as it actually makes things a lot quicker than completing all the decorating steps cupcake-by-cupcake.
Once they’re made, it’s time to devour! I hope you enjoy these delicious cupcakes that are filled with the flavours of autumn!
Make It An Autumn Meal!
Looking for some seasonal recipe inspiration to go with these caramel apple cupcakes? Here are a few suggestions to make a complete meal:
- Starter: Hearty Minestrone Soup with Arugula
- Main Dish: Roasted Pork Loin with Apple + Onions
- Side Dish: Spiced Roasted Autumn Vegetables
- Beverage: Apple Cider Margarita
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy! Please feel free to check them out too.
More Recipes Using Apples
More Cupcake Recipes
If after making these cupcakes you want some more recipes to try out, here are a few I think you might like!
For the Cupcakes
- 1 (15.25oz) box spice cake mix + ingredients to make the cakes
For the Apple Pie Topping
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 6 cups peeled and chopped Gala apples
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1½ cups water
- 2 tsp cornstarch (cornflour)
For the Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted sweet cream butter, softened*
- 2½ cup powdered (icing) sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 4 Tbsp heavy whipping cream (double cream)
For the Cinnamon Sugar Pie Crust
- 1 roll pie crust/pastry, unrolled
- ¼ cup unsalted sweet cream butter, melted
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup Graham cracker crumbs
- Salted caramel sauce
- Preheat oven to cake mix requirements and place cupcake liners in pan.
- Mix cupcakes according to package instructions. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full with cake batter. Bake for specified time and once cooked leave to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
- While the cupcakes are baking, make the apple pie filling. Melt butter in a saucepan over a medium-low heat. Stir in the apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Pour in 1 cup of water and simmer until apples are tender.
- To thicken the apple pie filling, combine ½ cup of water with cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk till smooth. Pour this slurry into the simmering apples and stir for a couple minutes until thickened. Let cool completely.
- Combine all the frosting ingredients in a stand mixer bowl and mix on medium speed to stiff peaks. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
- To make the pie crust, pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl. Unroll the pie crust and place it onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the melted butter onto the pastry and sprinkle all over with the cinnamon sugar.
- Place the cinnamon sugar pie crust into the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool to room temperature then cut into triangles.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, making sure to keep the top of the frosting flat so that the apple pie filling can on top.
- Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the cooled apple pie filling onto the frosting.
- Sprinkle Graham cracker crumbs onto the top of the cupcakes.
- Drizzle the salted caramel sauce over the cupcakes and then press a pie crust triangle into the frosting.
*In the UK sweet cream butter is our regular butter - use unsalted. You can read all about different types of butter on Good Food.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 22 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 285mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 2gSugar: 37gProtein: 2g
This site uses an outside source (Nutritionix) to provide estimated nutrition. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
The Crafty October series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog is filled with free printables, crafts, recipes, and more for Halloween and Fall! You can check out Crafty October from 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012 for tons of awesome Halloween ideas and inspiration!