Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

HELLO and welcome to November. Where has the year gone? And WHERE HAVE I BEEN?!! Oh gosh, guys. I'm sorry I've been so far removed! Work has been extremely busy and I've hardly been cooking at ALL lately. I miss the kitchen--and you guys.
I did make time to bake these cupcakes for a bake sale at work last week, then revised and improved them over the weekend. They aren't healthy (sorry), so I made sure to take them to friends and share with plenty of people.
These represent the quintessential taste of fall in cupcake form: luscious caramel; deep rich, spice cake; sweet apples to add depth and moisture, all topped off with a gorgeous, smooth, cinnamon-speckled cream cheese frosting...ahhh! I can't say enough good things about this cupcake (and neither could the people who ate them!)
I started with a base of spice cake mix (mostly because I was feeling too cheap to buy all of the sweet spices separately), and then added other delicious ingredients until I found it just perfect. This is a dense, moist, flavor-loaded cupcake, guys. It's also absolutely fabulous and worth every calorie! This is definitely a keeper for fall.
  • 1 box Spice Cake mix (and the ingredients to make it)
  • 2 cups grated sweet or tart apple (I used one huge Honeycrisp apple!)
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce (I used store-bought)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cinnamon chips (like chocolate chips, but they're cinnamon!)
  • 1 package instant pudding mix (I used vanilla)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Frosting Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces (1 block) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon milk or heavy cream
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar (more or less, to taste; I used about two cups).
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 385; line muffin tins with 18-24 cupcake liners (your yield depends on how much you fill each muffin well). Set aside. Prepare cake mix as directed on box, then gently add pudding mix, vanilla, grated apple, caramel sauce, and cinnamon chips, being careful not to over-mix.

Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full, and bake at 385 for exactly five minutes before immediately reducing temperature to 350 for remainder of baking time (about 13-15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean). Place on cooling rack or parchment paper; allow to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting: beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and salt, followed by powdered sugar. Beat until smooth. (If you prefer sweeter frosting, add more powdered sugar). Finally, add milk or cream and cinnamon; beat until smooth. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.


  1. These look so YUMMY! I want to add them to my Pintrest board but no Pin button. :-( Can you add one??? I'll bookmark it for now...Can't wait to make these!!!

    1. Debi--thank you so much! They really are delicious. And there is a Pin button on every picture, but it's hidden. Just hover over the photos and you should see the Pin button appear in the top left corner of whichever picture you choose :)

    2. Ah-ha! Sneaky...I got it now! Thanks!!

    3. You are most welcome, Debi! It's my pleasure. I hope you enjoy them :)

  2. These are the BEST EVER!!! I can't wait to make them for my grandbabies for Thanksgiving morning!!! Yes WITH all the sugary goodness!!

    1. Hooray! I hope they love them as much as you did! :)