Recipe: Apple Pie Cupcakes


Do you know what’s weird? This Apple Pie Cupcake recipe is one of my favourites. I came up with the recipe three or four years ago, and anyone who’s ever tried it loves it. And yet, somehow, I never posted the recipe here.

I figure it’s time to change that.


I’ll admit: some people may look at this recipe and think it’s quite a bit of work for a couple dozen cupcakes. Really, though, the only real work is peeling and chopping the apples. Everything after that is pretty much par for the course.

Speaking of the apples, I have just a little note for you. The recipe below calls for 3 to 4 apples. How many you use depends entirely on their size. I like to use Granny Smith’s because I like their sharp tang against the vanilla base. They’re a smaller apple, so I end up using four. If you’d prefer to use a different type of apple, just adjust the amount as necessary.


Regardless of how many or what type of apples you use, these cupcakes are totally worth the prep work. They taste just like apple pie, but with that oh-so-wonderfully -moist cupcake texture.

If you wanted to dress them up a little, a swirl of caramel on top of the frosting would do quite well. Honestly, though, I don’t think these cupcakes need any dressing up. They’re perfect all on their own.

Apple Pie Cupcakes

Ingredients: cupcakes

  • 3 to 4 apples (what type is your choice)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, separated
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg, separated
  • 3 cups white flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 large eggs (room temperature preferred, but not necessary)
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup whole milk, room temperature

Directions: cupcakes

  1. Peel and chop your apples into chunks (the size is determined by how many apple chunks you want in each cupcake; I make mine fairly small). Toss the apple in the brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp of nutmeg. Set aside. If needed, this step can be done the night before.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line your muffin pan(s) with paper liners. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, remaining cinnamon, and remaining nutmeg in a large bowl. In a second large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then all of the milk, then the remaining flour mixture.
  3. Fold in all but approximately 1 cup of the apple chunks.
  4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling each to about three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, or until the cupcake tops bounce back when lightly pressed, about 18 to 20 minutes.
  5. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack. Let them cool completely before frosting.

Ingredients: frosting

  • Leftover apple chunks (see step 3 above)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups icing sugar

Directions: frosting

  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until combined. Beat in the vanilla. Beat in the icing sugar in three additions until smooth.
  2. In a food processor, chop the apple until it’s minced. The longer you chop, the more liquid you’ll end up with; more liquid results in a stronger apple taste in the frosting, rather than chunks of apple throughout.
  3. Beat the minced apple into the cream cheese frosting. If needed, add more icing sugar until desired consistency is reached.

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