Caramel Apple Pie Cupcakes


Today is the start of the US Open in the heart of the Big Apple. And as with the other Grand Slams, I’ve concocted a special cupcake to celebrate the spirit and energy of this iconic tournament. Such an American tournament calls for an equally patriotic cupcake, and nothing says “America” more than apple pie and Cracker Jacks. These two classic American flavors combine to create a spectacularly scrumptious caramel apple pie cupcake.

 

Fresh caramel apple pie cupcakes.

 

For those not so interested in tennis, these cupcakes are also perfect for celebrating the start of autumn. Apple season is drawing near, so bake up a few of those crisp, tart apples with some cinnamon for instant apple pie heaven. And nothing goes better with apples than sweet, gooey caramel. This caramel frosting is so addictive that you may have to make a second batch to keep in the fridge for a midnight snack. Pair it with the fresh-baked apple pie cupcakes and you’ve got a sweet treat that will warm you up on a crisp fall day.

 

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Caramel Apple Pie Cupcakes

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

Apple Pie Cupcakes

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup salted butter melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated apples Granny Smith and/or Gala

Caramel Frosting

  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 4 oz block cream cheese cold
  • 1/2 cup thick caramel sauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar
  • Cracker Jacks for decoration

Instructions

Apple Pie Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two standard muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, milk, sour cream, and vanilla extract.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in small batches until well combined.
  5. Mix the grated apples into the cupcake batter.
  6. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the full with batter and tap pan lightly on counter to distribute evenly.
  7. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing and placing them on racks to cool.

Caramel Frosting

  1. Beat the salted and unsalted butter until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add the cream cheese, caramel sauce, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
  3. Slowly add the confectioner's sugar while beating at a low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  4. Once all the confectioner's sugar has been added, beat the frosting on high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until very light and fluffy.
  5. Spread or pipe the caramel frosting onto the cooled apple pie cupcakes. Top with a few pieces of Cracker Jacks.

Recipe Notes

High-Altitude Instructions:
1. Increase oven temperature to 365°F.
2. At 3,500 feet, add an extra 1 tablespoon of flour. For each additional 1,500 feet, add one more tablespoon.
3. Decrease the granulated sugar by 1 tablespoon and the brown sugar by 1/2 tablespoon.
4. In a small bowl, beat an additional egg. Add 1 tablespoon of the egg mixture at 3,000 feet. For each additional 1,000 feet, add another 1 1/2 teaspoons.
5. At 3,000-5,000 feet, adjust baking powder to 1 1/2 teaspoons and baking soda to a little less than 1/2 teaspoon. For higher altitudes, reduce the measurements further.
6. Baking time may decrease to 16-18 minutes.
For more info on high-altitude baking, visit King Arthur Flour's website.

Cracker Jacks, a jar of caramel sauce, and a basket of apples.

Grating Granny Smith apples.

A tray of freshly baked apple cupcakes.

Frosting the apple cupcakes with caramel frosting.

Fresh caramel apple pie cucpakes.

Fresh caramel apple pie cupcakes.

Fresh caramel apple pie cupcakes.

Fresh caramel apple pie cupcakes.

Fresh caramel apple pie cupcakes.

 

Check out my other Grand Slam cupcakes:

 

What are some of your favorite classic American flavors? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.


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