Caramel Apple Muffins are tender, moist muffins that start with a box of fresh apple pie mix and end with a homemade caramel buttercream. It’s the perfect fall dessert!
Okay, it’s that time of year. We need to have the fall debate about which is better apples or pumpkins. We’re firmly an apple team (although I do love a good pumpkin pie sauce).
All the apple stuff in this delicious recipe for Caramelized Apple Cupcakes with Caramelized Apple Sauce, or the Cinnamon Sugar Baked Apples and Spiced Apple Pie top our list of fall desserts.
These simple cupcakes start with a yellow box of cake mix and with a few extra ingredients and an amazing homemade caramel buttercream frosting, they capture that caramel apple flavor I associate with happy fall memories.
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Ingredients you will need
We have divided the ingredients into two lists: for the frosting and for the cupcakes.
This is what you will need for the icing:
- sugars – You will need powdered sugar to give it body and brown sugar for the caramelized apple flavor.
- Unsalted butter – Let the butter rest at room temperature until it softens.
- caramel sauce – We like Smucker’s Caramel Sauce, but you can use your favorite brand.
For the cupcakes:
- Granny Smith Apples – If you make any changes to the apple, be sure to use an equally tart apple similar to a Granny Smith.
- Prepared for yellow cake – You will also need some of the ingredients listed on the box such as eggs, water and oil or butter.
For the frosting follow these instructions:
Step 1: Mix the powdered sugar and butter. This creates the base of the enamel.
Step 2: Add the caramel sauce. Make sure to mix the caramel sauce well with the frosting. Continue beating the frosting for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
Step 3: Frost and decorate the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes are cool, use a piping bag and skewers or a knife to frost them. Once covered in frosting, sprinkle with some caramel sauce and place a small apple slice on each one for additional decoration.
For the cupcakes, follow these steps:
Step 1: Preheat the oven according to the instructions on the box.
Step 2: prepare the dough. To make this, mix all the ingredients listed in the instructions on the back of the box in a large bowl.
Step 3: Add the apple. Add the grated apples and mix until incorporated.
Step 4: Pour into baking pans and bake. Place cups in a cake pan, then fill until about ¾ full. Place cupcakes in oven and bake for 12-17 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. When they are cooked, take them out of the oven and let them cool completely before unmolding them.
Does the type of apple matter?
Yes! Yes! YES! Apples have different levels of sweetness and moisture, which can affect the flavor and texture of the muffins. Granny Smith apples are almost always used in baking because they have the right combination of sweetness, tartness, and moisture.
In other words, they won’t make the cupcakes too sweet. And their low moisture won’t interfere with rising dough, so they’ll be light, fluffy, and delicious.
What kind of caramel should I use for buttercream?
When making the glaze you will want to use a liquid caramel sauce. This will make it easier to incorporate it into the frosting.
We used Smucker’s Caramel Sundae Sauce, but Ghirardelli’s Premium Caramel Sauce or any other sauce that runs easily out of the container will work just fine too.
For a smooth frosting, make it ahead of time.
The brown sugar in the frosting can give it a slightly grainy texture. This doesn’t affect the flavor, so you can use it right away, but you get the best results if you make it a day in advance.
If you wish, you can do it up to 3 days in advance. It can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature as long as it is used within a week of preparation.
When you’re ready for the frosting, use a mixer with a whisk to whip up the frosting, then add it to your piping bag. It should be stiff enough to create beautiful designs with most icing tips.
How to do it in advance
If you want to make these cupcakes for a party or to take to a friend’s house, you can bake them up to 2 days in advance. To keep them fresh and flavorful, store them in an airtight container until it’s time to icing.
Once frosted, cupcakes will last up to 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Whether you plan to bring them to a party or just serve them to your family, we highly recommend this cupcake container. It’s easy to transport and you can add extra layers if you plan on making large batches of cupcakes.
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caramelized apple muffin
- 2 cups grated Granny Smith apples
- 1 box of Yellow Cake Mix and the ingredients listed on the package
- 2.5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons caramel sauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven following the instructions for making the cake.
Mix ingredients for cake, mix according to package using all ingredients listed on back of box.
Add 2 cups of grated apples to the mixture and incorporate it into the dough.
Prepare a cupcake pan by placing a cupcake pan in each cup.
Fill each cupcake tin roughly with the cake batter. Each one should be about 3/4 full.
Place pan in oven to bake for 12-17 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
When the cupcakes are cooked, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely.
While the cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting. Put the powdered sugar, brown sugar, and butter mixture in the bowl of your stand mixer and mix until well blended.
Add the caramel sauce to the frosting and mix well. Continue beating on full speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Pipe the icing into a piping bag and frost each cupcake. If you like, add a drizzle of caramel sauce on top.
Serve and enjoy your food!
The brown sugar in the frosting can give it a slightly grainy texture. This doesn’t affect the flavor, so you can use it right away, but you get the best results if you make it a day in advance. If you wish, you can do it up to 3 days in advance. It can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature as long as it is used within a week of preparation.
Serving Size: 1 cupcake, Calories: 262kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 205mg, Potassium: 36mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 30g, Vitamin A: 294IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 63mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutritional Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API that recognizes ingredient names and quantities and performs calculations based on serving sizes. Results may vary.
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