Say hello to fall with these wonderful, easy Apple Cupcakes topped with velvety Maple Buttercream Frosting. Cinnamon, ginger, and cloves add the perfect warm spices to flavor these delicious apple cakes.
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Baking with apples always means something extraordinary comes out of the oven full of fall flavors. This apple cupcake recipe is easily made from scratch with simple pantry ingredients and flavorful spices.
Let's talk about the frosting...it is simply amazing and makes these cupcakes a bit decadent. Flavored with maple syrup and brown sugar, the frosting is soft, billowy, and perfect for pairing apples and warming spices.
❤️Reasons To Love This Recipe
- This cupcake recipe is easy to make using your favorite baking apple.
- No mixer is required; mix the cupcake batter with a wire whisk and spoon.
- This recipe takes spices seriously...and why not? Cinnamon, ginger, and cloves may be the best spice pairing ever.
- Make these cupcakes for your fall get-together, set them out on your Thanksgiving table; and it is OK to make a batch of these cupcakes in the middle of summer because apple desserts are yummy anytime.
- The frosting is flavored with maple syrup and brown sugar for a wonderful caramel flavor that will have you licking the beaters.
- These cupcakes are a family favorite and have become our go-to recipe for potlucks.
🧾Apple Cupcake Ingredient
Let's go over a few key ingredients
- Apples - Use a good baking apple - I like Fuji, Gala, and Pink Lady apples. Granny Smith apples are an excellent tart option. Depending on the size of the apples, you will need 3.
- Flour - all-purpose flour is what I bake with
- Butter - use salted or unsalted butter...it doesn't matter with this recipe.
- Brown sugar - gives these cupcakes a bit of a caramel flavor and makes them tender.
- Spices - cinnamon, cloves, and ginger add the perfect flavors
- Greek yogurt - use your favorite; I use Zoi or Greek God's yogurt
Maple buttercream ingredients
You need four ingredients for this fluffy buttercream:
- Powdered sugar is best as it is much finer than other types of sugar and mixes into icing better.
- Butter - unsalted works well for this recipe, but you can use salted if that's what you have. The taste will be similar.
- Brown sugar - any brown sugar works. Use the same type as in the cupcakes.
- Maple syrup - go for a good quality to get the best flavor.
How To Make Apple Cupcakes: Step By Step
Prepare your muffin tins with cupcake liners or parchment paper and heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 1. Get the butter ready - Melt it in the microwave or melt it in a small saucepan on the stove. Set this aside to cool.
Step 2. Prep the apples -Using a food grater, grate peeled and cored apples using the large holes. This will leave nice shreds that will mix well in the batter.
The apples will turn brown because of oxidation. This will not change the recipe's flavor; it is normal for apples to do this. You can drizzle lemon juice over the apples to stop the oxidation.
Step 3. Prepare the dry ingredients - In a medium bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and all the spices. Mix this well.
Step 4. Prepare the wet ingredients - In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, melted butter, vanilla, and Greek yogurt until well combined.
Step 5. Mix together - Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredient, then mix with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are combined. You can use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, but keep it on a lower speed for the best results.
Step 6. Fold in the apples - Add the shredded apples to the batter and gently mix them in to combine.
Bake - Fill the muffin cups about ¾ full with apple cupcake batter; this is about ¼ cup of batter.
Bake for 20 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean when done. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
The easiest way to fill a cupcake pan with batter is to use an ice cream/cookie scoop. A #20 scoop holds three tablespoons of batter, which is ¼ cup. This will fill the cups ¾ full.
Whip Up The Maple Frosting
Step 1. Place softened butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy.
Step 2. Add the powdered sugar to the bowl and start mixing on low speed to combine the sugar. Increase the mixer to medium speed and mix until the buttercream is light and fluffy.
Step 3. Fill a piping bag with a 1M frosting tip and the frosting. Pipe a large rosette on top of each cupcake. Optionally, you can spread the icing on the cupcake with a knife.
Baked and frosted with a pretty buttercream rosette on top. These cupcakes bake up moist and tender with a delicious cinnamon and spice flavor. You are gonna love'em!
- Buttercream consistency: If your buttercream is too thick or stiff to pipe, try adding a bit more maple syrup or a splash of milk. Conversely, if it's too runny, add more powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency.
- Frosting Technique: If you're not confident in your piping skills, consider using a butter knife or offset spatula to spread the buttercream in a rustic style. You can also sprinkle some cinnamon or nutmeg on top for a decorative and flavorful touch.
- Pear Cupcakes: substitute apples with ripe, firm pears for a unique twist on the recipe.
- Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes: substitute Greek yogurt with pumpkin puree, and add a teaspoon of pumpkin spice for a Fall-inspired flavor.
- Carrot Cupcakes: Replace apples with shredded carrots and add a handful of raisins or chopped walnuts.
- Chocolate Chip Apple Cupcakes: Toss in a handful of mini chocolate chips into the batter for a sweet surprise.
- Apple and Coconut Cupcakes: Add a touch of tropical flavor by mixing in desiccated coconut into the batter.
- Vegan Apple Cupcakes: Substitute eggs with flaxseed meal or applesauce, and use dairy-free butter and yogurt for a vegan-friendly version.
- Gluten-Free Apple Cupcakes: Use a gluten-free flour blend instead of regular all-purpose flour to make them gluten-free.
- Caramel Apple Cupcakes: Drizzle some caramel sauce on top of the frosting to give it a caramel apple spin.
It's best to use firm, crisp apples that keep their shape and don't break down when baked. You decide if you want a sweet or tart apple for your recipe.
Recommended apples are - Braeburn, Cortland, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Jonathan, Mutsu, Pink Lady, or Winesap.
You can substitute brown sugar with coconut sugar or granulated sweeteners like Stevia. However, this may slightly alter the taste and texture of the cupcakes.
You can use whole wheat flour, almond flour, or oat flour as alternatives. Please note that using different flours may affect the texture of the cupcakes.
Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with spices like nutmeg, allspice, or cardamom. Each spice will bring a unique flavor to your apple cupcakes.
Yes, you can make this dairy-free by substituting the butter with vegan butter, coconut oil, or apple sauce and the Greek yogurt with a non-dairy yogurt.
Yes, you can add other fruits. Berries, peaches, or bananas can add a fresh twist to these cupcakes. Just make sure to adjust the baking time accordingly.
- Good food grater for shredding the apples
- Mixing bowls in various sizes
- Sturdy wooden spoon for combining the batter
- Reliable muffin tin for baking
- Whisk for mixing the wet ingredients
- Stand mixer or handheld mixer for the frosting
- Icing bag with a 1M frosting tip for decorative rosette pattern (butter knife also works)
More Sweet Treat Ideas
Try these Easy Coconut Cupcakes with a cake mix if you crave a more tropical flavor. Yes, that's right, this recipe starts with a boxed mix for an easy-to-make dessert. And these Maple Flavored Autumn Leaf Sugar Cookies are a must-bake fall treat.
Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Once frosted, they should be refrigerated and consumed within three days for optimal freshness.
More To Make And Eat
- Make a bowl of Apple Cranberry Oatmeal for breakfast. It's creamy, spicy, and full of tart cranberries. Occasionally, we make this for supper.
- These two tarts are quick to make, and no pan is required. Apple Cranberry Galette and this Rustic Apple Tart bake up quickly with lots of tender apples.
- Try this Maple Apple Skillet Cake that's deliciously rustic with a swirl of cinnamon apple slices on top.
- Bake this Caramel Apple Cake with three layers of apple deliciousness.
- How about a savory recipe like this Baked Sweet Potatoes with Apples? This is a delicious casserole to pair with ham and sausages. And this casserole is always on the holiday menus.
Apple Cupcakes (with Maple Buttercream)
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- Heat the oven to 350° F. Add cupcake liners to a 12-serving cupcake pans and set aside.
- In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave, then set aside to cool. Alternately, melt the butter in a small saucepan on the stove.
- Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the peeled and cored apples. Note: the apple will most likely turn brown from oxidation. This does not affect the taste or use.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, and brown sugar.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, the cooled melted butter, vanilla, and greek yogurt until well combined.
- Add dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and stir until well incorporated.
- Stir in the shredded apples with a spoon. You should now have a nice thick batter.
- Scoop ¼ cup of batter in the prepared cupcake liners, they should be ¾ full. Bake for 15-20 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool.
Maple Buttercream Frosting
- Using your stand mixer with whisk attachment whip butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup until fluffy at medium speed. Alternately, use a handheld mixer and mix on medium speed.
- Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing on low to incorporate. Then whip on medium-high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Load a piping bag with 1M frosting tip and all of the frosting. Frost your cupcakes making a pretty rosette on top. You can also use a knife and spread the icing on top of the cupcakes.
- Store the cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing sweet and savory family-friendly recipes for your cooking and baking inspiration.