Caramel Apple Cupcake Recipe

This seems like a great recipe to post as we are rapidly approaching the fall season. I am not a fan of pumpkin spice anything, but apple…apple I will do. This was another office birthday request for anther one of my IT support people. If you can’t tell by now they’re my favorites.

I made an apple cupcake with a salted caramel frosting and a caramel drizzle. The apple flavor was incredibly subtle and the homemade caramel added a nice touch on top. The sea salt sprinkle lent itself nicely to the sweet and salty balance. One request I received to make them better was to add apple pieces to the cupcake to give it a bit more flavor and texture. I will definitely have to try that out next time.

Apple cupcakes with a salted caramel frosting, homemade caramel drizzle and a sea salt sprinkle

Apple cupcakes with a salted caramel frosting, homemade caramel drizzle and a sea salt sprinkle

Ingredients: 

Cupcake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup white sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup apple juice concentrate
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, softened

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, apple juice concentrate, milk and butter. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the top of the cupcake bounces back when you touch it.

Frosting

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:
Mix together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until completely smooth. Allow to cool for about 25-30 minutes. Combine butter and salt and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated. Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel. Beat frosting on medium-high speed until airy and thoroughly mixed. Cover and refrigerate about 45 minutes before using.

Caramel

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Bring brown sugar, butter, and milk to a boil and cook until thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; add vanilla extract.

My Notes:

  • Let the caramel cool before putting it on the cupcakes, otherwise it will melt your frosting and make a big mess
  • Other garnish ideas can include apple slices or caramel candies
  • Caramel can burn very quickly, so be careful not to keep in on the heat for too long