Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

My Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes are a perfect treat that combines classic flavors.  I’ve made apple cupcakes before but wanted something a bit easier than my other recipes.  This homemade apple cupcake has a delicious apple filling and is topped with a homemade apple cinnamon buttercream.  Every bite contains delicious apple cinnamon flavor that can’t be beaten!

Cupcake split open showing the apple filling.

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes Recipe

While I wanted this recipe to be one you could whip up all in one bowl, there is just no getting around the process of prepping your apples with butter, sugar, and spices. Trust me when I say, the result is 100% worth the effort. It only takes a few extra minutes while you are baking the cupcakes to cook down the apple filling. 

This apple cupcakes recipe is a great way to make a simple cupcake seem decadent.  By adding a cooked apple spice filling into the middle after they are baked, you add a hidden element of flavor and texture that really adds to the experience of eating this cupcake.

If you want the ultimate holiday flavor on your dessert buffet, make sure to add these Cinnamon Eggnog & Bourbon Cupcakes to your menu.

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes displayed on a table.

Can You Skip the Filling in These Apple Cupcakes?

If you want to skip the filling step, you could wait to bake the cupcakes and add that cooked apple mixture to your batter before baking instead of chopped apples.  The result would be all of the cinnamon and apple texture mixed into every single bite instead of just in the center of the cupcake. Both give amazing results, so do what works best for you.

If you don’t mind a bit of extra work, you will fall in love with my Caramel Apple Cupcakes and my Caramel Apple Milky Way Cupcakes recipes.

A dozen Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes setting on a wooden cutting board.

What’s the Best Apple for This Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes Recipe?

In my opinion, almost any apple will result in delicious cupcakes with this recipe. Typically, I like to use a firmer apple when baking to add extra texture.  A good Granny Smith or Honeycrisp works great for this recipe. You can, however, use Gala, Fuji, or even Jonagold for a nice sweet option that cooks down beautifully for your cupcake.

Ingredients for Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

How to Frost Apple Cupcakes

My apple cinnamon buttercream is a bit different than your average recipe as it includes bits of apple.  You can cut the apple into small pieces so that it is easy to pipe through any tip in your piping bag. Alternately, you can make this be one cupcake you use a larger tip for piping so you can leave the pieces a bit bigger for more texture.

When I make these cupcakes, I allow them to cool completely before filling them with cooked apple mixture.  Then, I will pipe on a nice swirl of frosting with a large tip and sometimes even drizzle a bit of caramel syrup over the top before serving.  You could even save a little of the cooked apples and add a teaspoon to the top of the frosting if you wanted.

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes

Ingredients

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

Filling

  • 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

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

Instructions

Cupcakes

  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.

Filling

  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.

Buttercream

  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.

Assembly

  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.

42 comments

  1. Kim

    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.

    Reply

    1. Betsy ~ @JavaCupcake

      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

      Reply

  2. Christina Wedell

    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!

    Reply

    1. Betsy ~ @JavaCupcake

      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!

      Reply

  3. Hailey

    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

    Reply

  4. Nas

    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 :)

    Reply

    1. Betsy ~ @JavaCupcake

      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!

      Reply

  5. Aubrae

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

    Reply

    1. Betsy ~ @JavaCupcake

      I use an apple corer to take out the centers. :)

      Reply

  6. Michelle

    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?

    Reply

  7. Kaitlyn

    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!

    Reply

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