join me in the kitchen

Caramel Apple Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

I love autumn! 

I love how the weight of the thick summer air lifts to reveal the cool crisp dark breeze of fall.  The sun sets earlier, beckoning me to my kitchen and dinner table where the foods of the season can be savored.  Pumpkins, squash, and gourds paired with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.  Warm red wines nudge the cool white bottles off the shopping list.  Walking home after work I’m reminded of those first few weeks of school as a kid.  The excitement.  The newness of a new grade, new class, new teacher.  I wish I could bottle the hours between 3:00pm and 6:00pm and call on them during the humidity of summer and the frigidness of winter.  Fall is so short, such a small transitional season, I feel it my responsibility to take full advantage.  

And so I present my official first step into fall cooking/baking!

These cupcakes were somewhat “muffiny” in texture.  The pieces of apple were plump and juicy–a nice surprise!  I could have chopped the apples smaller, but I liked the nice chunks in each bite.  These cupcakes almost reminded me of coffee cake, they pair nicely with a warm cup of tea, and the frosting is a delicious treat!   Overall, I found these very enjoyable–a great way to kick off the season!

Caramel Apple Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Insert liners into cupcake pans.  In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar with the oil, cinnamon, and vanilla using an electric mixer.  Once combined, add the eggs one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition.

In a separate bowl sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt).  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.  Beat until blended and then stir in the apple pieces until they are evenly distributed through the batter.

Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way.  Bake for about 22-25 minutes.  Cool on cooling rack and frost with maple cream cheese frosting (recipe below).


Look at the beautiful chunks of apple!

Recipe notes: The original recipe does not specify how many cupcakes to expect the recipe to yield–my batter turned out about 18 “normal” sized cupcakes. 

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • One 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

Using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Slowly sift the confectioners’ sugar into the bowl.  Continue beating until all lumps are gone.  Add the vanilla and maple syrup and mix until fully incorporated.  If mixture becomes too drippy, sift in addtional confectioners’ sugar and continue to beat until you reach a spreadable texture.


Recipes adapted from “Crazy About Cupcakes” by Krystina Castella available for purchase here.

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