Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

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.

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes-4

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
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 cupcakes
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup milk (you could use apple juice too)
  • ½ cup chopped apples
  • 1 large apple, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp milk mixed with 1 heaping tbsp corn starch
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 lb powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tbsp heavy cream
  • remaining apple mixture
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  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. 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.
  1. Cream together the butter and shortening.
  2. Add about ½ 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.


41 thoughts on “Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

  1. I’m thinking about making these cupcakes soon, but my mom is already making angel food cake so I have to wait. I’m only a kid, but I’m really into baking! This blog inspired me to bake. Thank you for that! I’m thinking about making your chocolate and banana cupcakes with P.B buttercream for my sisters birthday. Any heads ups for me?

  2. these look amazing. i have a crazy obsession with apples. i will have to try this out soon. after thanksgiving im sure i have so many things in my oven as it is 🙂 i have apple cider, do you think i could use that instead of milk or apple juice? ill have to try. no other apple cupcake compares to yours that i have found. when i make them i will come back and repost. im still a novice baker and am not prepared for the heart break of a recipie not working out if i try on my own.

      1. They turned out delicious! I ran out of apple cider and forgot I had apple juice. And accidentally added an extra stick of butter to the batter( I was too anxious) but they tuned out just perfect but crumbly. Very sweet and tasty. My next cupcakes are the cinnamon eggnog Burban ones! This time I won’t mess up. Your cupcakes all look and sound great cant wait to try more. 🙂

  3. I made these cupcakes last night and it was amazing. i bake all by myself and im only a teen. My whole family loved them.

      1. Ya. It was my first time so it took a couple of hours but it was worth it, so now im making it for a party so it will take less time. Do you have any other great recipe like the apple *cinnamon cupcake?

    1. Hi Rebecca,

      No – you don’t have to keep them in the fridge. Although they should be eaten within 2-3 days of baking them. 🙂 If you do put them in the fridge, prepare for the cake to not be as moist as when they were first baked. The fridge tends to dry them out a bit.

      Good luck! Let me know how they turn out!


  4. I wanted to put to a To put some kind of goldschlager frosting on these cupcakes. I was wondering if you had any ideas on how I could go about this

  5. I made these cupcakes today and was terribly disappointed. There was definitely not enough cinnamon flavor in the components and the frosting is nothing to brag about. The instructions are pretty vague as far as how much filling for each cupcake so you know how much filling should remain for the frosting. I would not make these again.

  6. Hey!
    I made these cupcakes tonight and they were amazing. My only complaint is that the frosting had a stronger butter flavor than I would have liked. I added more cinnamon and come vanilla but that didn’t seem to help. Do you have any suggestions for how to adjust this in future batches?

    1. What kind of butter did you use? Was it a margarine? Margarine tastes bad in frostings. If you don’t like the taste of butter at all, you can use all shortening… but then it will taste like shortening. Try beating the frosting longer… that can change the consistency and taste as well. Other than that… you may just not like buttercream. Try a Swiss Meringue frosting or something with egg whites/yolks instead! <3

      1. I would also suggest trying a buttercream with cream cheese. The cream cheese helps mask the flavor of butter and I find it tastes better on fall desserts. I will actually be making a caramel cream cheese buttercream for these cupcakes tonight – if it turns out well and I remember, I’ll post it on here for others to see (only if you’re okay with that Betsy) 🙂

        I have also found that the quality of the butter makes a difference too. Unfortunately, that usually means it will be more expensive, but it’s worth it to me. And as Betsy says, always use real butter – always!

  7. I JUST finished making these.
    The boyfriend walked in, took a bite, smiled.
    That’s how you know they’re good.
    Thanks so much for the great recipe!

  8. 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.

    1. 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

  9. 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!

    1. 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!

  10. 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

  11. 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 🙂

  12. 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?

  13. This has got to be my favorite cupcake recipe ever! I found this over a year ago and have made it a lot. I finally found this one here and was sooo excited when I realized you had more yummy recipes! Ill definitely keep checking back for more!

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