When it comes to dessert, reach for simple recipes like these spiced apple cupcakes with caramel cream cheese frosting, and get ready to indulge in your favorite fall flavors!
There is something about autumn that makes me want to break out all the simple recipes, sweets included, and get in the kitchen all day long.
Those spicy notes wafting through the air, filling up my home with scrumptious delight, who could resist?
So What’s Going On Here?
- If you use applesauce as a binder alone, you lose the apple flavor, so in this recipe I used applesauce in addition to eggs, so that the eggs act as a binder and the applesauce acts as a flavor enhancer.
- Apple juice is used to add moisture, as well as increase apple flavor.
- Spices like cinammon and nutmeg are essential, but can be swapped for others like allspice and clove, or the amounts changed to suit your personal tastes.
Since I was really experimenting here, I maybe drank a glass or two of spiked apple juice, for confidence and good luck, ha!
I was very pleased with how these spiced apple cupcakes turned out, because baking is all about precision when it comes to the ingredients, and dropping the ball and creating a mess is definitely my specialty.
What Flour-Measuring Method Should I Use?
There are three methods of measuring flour that can be utilized in most any recipe out there:
- Weight Measure: when extreme precision is required, like for macarons, pull out the scale.
- Spoon-and-Level: generally the gold standard of measuring flour, you simply scoop out flour and plop it gently in the measuring cup, then level it off. It tends to incorporate a little less flour overall.
- Scoop-and-Dump: this method is fairly straightforward. Just push that measuring cup into the bag of flour, shake off the excess, then dump it into the mixing bowl. This tends to add more flour than the other methods.
For this recipe, I went with the scoop-and-dump, because there is already a fairly large amount of liquids and moisture available, I felt that it would be better offset with a smidge more flour.
I could never consider these spiced apple cupcakes as complete without some caramel cream cheese frosting, which is another simple recipe that comes together in a snap! The creamy, sweet-yet-not-too-sweet frosting is the perfect complement to the delicately spiced apple-ness of the cupcakes.
Appleness? Can that be a thing? Can I make it a thing? Yes?
Spiced Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
For The Cupcakes
- Heat oven to 350 degrees, then line 24 regular-size muffin cups with paper baking cups or grease cups with shortening.
- In large mixing bowl on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, around 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs until thoroughly incorporated, then slowly add the applesauce, apple juice, and vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, then add it to the wet ingredient in three batches, mixing until just combined.
- Divide the batter between the muffin cups, filling them about ¾ full, and bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy, then slowly mix in the powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Add the caramel sauce and gently stir to combine. Frost each cupcake, then top with some M&M's and enjoy!
Originally posted: September 13, 2014. Updated: October 12, 2018