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assortment of cupcakes with green apple frosting and black background

Caramel Apple Cider Cupcakes

Sweet buttercream sits atop tender, soft cake with a creamy, gooey caramel center.  Drizzled with caramel and sprinkled with crushed walnuts to mirror your favorite childhood caramel apple.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple cider cupcakes, apple cupcakes, caramel apple cupcakes, fall cupcakes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 to 14 cupcakes
Calories 672kcal
Author Lauren


Apple Cider Cupcakes

  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • cup brown sugar lightly packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • teaspoon ground clove
  • ¾ cup fresh apple cider

Green Apple Buttercream

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter softened but still cool
  • 3 ½ cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon leaf green and ⅛ teaspoon Kelly green dye gel
  • Optional: ¼ cup glazed chopped walnuts

Small Batch Salted Caramel

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick unsalted butter cut into tablespoons
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


Apple Cider Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a cupcake tin with liners and set aside.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.  Whisk until combined and set aside.
  • Cream together butter and sugar in a mixing bowl on medium speed.  Add eggs and vanilla, mix on medium speed for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  • Working in 3 batches alternate adding dry ingredients and apple cider, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
  • Mix on medium speed until incorporated, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Using a large cookie scoop or spoon, fill the cupcake liners ⅔ of the way full.  Bake for 20-22 minutes.

Green Apple Buttercream

  • Beat unsalted butter, on medium high speed for 2 minutes until pale yellow and fluffy.
  • Add half the confectioners sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated.  Add remaining confectioners sugar and vanilla, mix on low and slowly increase speed to medium, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  • On low speed, add apple cider and cinnamon.  Incorporate on medium speed.
  • Add cake dye colors in batches, mixing well before adding more cake dye gel until your desired color is achieved.

Salted Caramel:

  • In a heavy bottom sauce pan combine sugar, corn syrup and water.  Stir over medium-high heat until the sugar melts into a grainy sauce and there are no more lumps – the sugar does not need to be completely melted.  Cook without stirring 8 to 10 minutes until caramel turns amber color and remove from heat.
  • Slowly pour in heavy cream while stirring – mixture will steam and bubble.  Return to heat and cook until the mixture reaches 238°F on a candy thermometer.
  • Transfer caramel to a heat proof bowl and stir in salt.  Let cool for 10 minutes.  Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until it melts completely before adding the next butter.  Allow to completely cool before using.


  • Using a cupcake corer tool, or large star piping tip, core the center of the cupcakes.  Fill with salted caramel.  Let settle, adding additional caramel if needed.
  • Transfer buttercream to a large piping bag fitting with a large open star tip.  Pipe three swirls on top of each cupcake.
  • Pipe a small circle of salted caramel on top of the buttercream and let drip over the sides.  Sprinkle with chopped walnuts


  • There will be enough buttercream to frost the cupcakes as seen in the pictures.  If you plan to use less on each cupcake, cut the buttercream recipe in half.
  • Apple cider in buttercream is unpasteurized, store overnight in a refrigerator.
  • Caramel melts or ready made caramel can be substituted if you do not want to make your own caramel.  These should be available in your grocery store baking aisle.


Calories: 672kcal | Carbohydrates: 98g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 342mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 84g | Vitamin A: 1041IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg