Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

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I’ve made apple cupcakes a million times. I’m most known for my Tree Hugger Apple cupcakes which I debuted at Cupcake Camp Seattle a few years ago. I’ve made them dozens of times for family and friends. The only problem with these cupcakes is the amount of time they take and the number of steps needed to make them. I wanted to come up with a simpler, yet equally as delicious version of an apple cupcake that could be made in one bowl.

Now, there’s no getting around prepping the apples in butter, sugar and spices. That’s just a MUST for these cupcakes, especially if you want them filled. If you wanted to skip the filling step, you could add the cooked apples to your batter before baking and omit the raw apples from the batter. You’d have swirls of cinnamon and apple throughout the cupcake. YUM!

But, I wanted filled cupcakes this time so I chopped up half a large apple and put that in the batter. I’ll fill the cupcakes when they’re cool with the cooked apple mixture.

I topped these cupcakes with an apple, cinnamon and caramel buttercream… it took has chunks of apples running through it. Super good… super sweet!


Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup milk (you could use apple juice too)
1/2 cup chopped apples

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line your cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugars.
  3. One at a time, mix in the eggs. Add the vanilla then beat on high for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. Sift into the batter the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix by hand about 5-6 strokes.
  5. Add the milk and mix only until all the flour and milk are incorporated.
  6. Gently fold in the apples. Do not over mix!
  7. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Leave in pan for 3-4 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

1 large apple, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk mixed with 1 heaping tbsp corn starch

  1. In a medium pan, melt the butter on medium-high heat.
  2. Add the apples, sugars and vanilla and stir. Cook until bubbling, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the milk + cornstarch mixture and bring to a bubble. Cook for 1-2 minutes until thickens.
  4. Remove from heat and continue to stir for about 1 minute.
  5. Set aside to cool.
  6. Fill cupcakes and reserve remaining apple mixture for buttercream.
Apple Cinnamon Buttercream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 lb powdered sugar, sifted
2-3 tbsp heavy cream
remaining apple mixture
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
  1. Cream together the butter and shortening.
  2. Add about 1/2 the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Add 1-2 tbsp cream and mix until combined.
  4. Add all of the remaining apple mixture, cinnamon and salt.  Mix until smooth.
  5. Add remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  6. Add enough cream until you get the consistency you desire.
  7. Scrape sides of bowl and mix on high for 1 minute.
  8. Frost cupcakes and drizzle your favorite caramel sauce over frosting.
  1. Core the center of your cupcakes out.
  2. Fill with apple filling.
  3. Top with apple cinnamon buttercream.
  4. Drizzle with your favorite caramel syrup.
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49 Comments on Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

  1. Kim
    November 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm (1 year ago)

    While everyone I served these to loved them (made them for my older brother’s birthday), I was not thrilled by them. I was very disappointed by how crumbly they were. I followed the cake recipe exactly, so I am not sure what went wrong. For my first cupcake with a filling, it was very frustrating. However, I did enjoy the icing, though I made a couple adjustments. I added more cinnamon than 1/8 tsp ( idk how much, just kept adding until I liked the taste) and I used only butter instead of shortening.

    • Betsy ~ @JavaCupcake
      November 12, 2012 at 8:30 pm (1 year ago)

      I’m sorry you didn’t like the texture of these cupcakes…. I have a few other apple cupcake recipes on my blog you should check out. Let me know if you try them and if they turn out any differently for you! Keep baking… it takes lots of recipes to find what’s perfect for you!!! xoxoxo <3 Betsy

  2. Christina Wedell
    November 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm (1 year ago)

    I made these and they were amazing! However the next day they were a little dry. Any idea on how to store them to keep them moist? I had them wrapped really well in the fridge. I really love these but need them to be able to stay moist for atleast a day or 2. thanks for the recipe!

    • Betsy ~ @JavaCupcake
      November 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm (1 year ago)

      I seldom store my cupcakes in the fridge. Unless I’m using a cream cheese frosting and I’m not serving them immediately. I find that my Martha Stewart cupcake carrier actually makes my cupcakes too moist sometimes… so I’d suggest trying a tupperware container with a lid that seals, this will keep in the moisture! :) Good luck!

  3. Hailey
    November 14, 2012 at 12:10 am (1 year ago)

    I plan on making these soon and from experience what tastes better, or apple juice
    Thank you it seems like the majority has liked the recipe and I think it’s sounds delicious . Thank you

  4. Nas
    November 18, 2012 at 3:49 pm (1 year ago)

    This recipe looks amazing! I’d love to try making the frosting & filling & using them on plain cupcakes I have stored in the freezer. I often prepare plain cupcakes in chocolate & vanilla & freeze them for future use; that way when I’d like to or need to make cupcakes I can concentrate on frostings, fillings & toppers instead of baking.

    My question is, do you feel that the apple cinnamon filling & buttercream would taste better with a vanilla cupcake, or a chocolate cupcake? Has anyone here ever tried these combinations?

    Thanks :)

    • Betsy ~ @JavaCupcake
      November 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm (1 year ago)

      I think it’d be great with both!! Apple and vanilla is more classic… but apple and chocolate!! DELISH! Let me know how they work for you!

  5. Aubrae
    December 2, 2012 at 3:12 am (1 year ago)

    I would like to make these! How do I hollow out the cupcakes and how much do I remove?

  6. Michelle
    September 24, 2013 at 6:46 pm (7 months ago)

    How full do you fill the liners for these cupcakes? I don’t believe the recipes says. Also, how small of chunks do you cut the apples into for the filling/buttercream?


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