The Best Caramel Apple Cupcakes

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Caramel Apple Cupcakes combine a moist apple-flavored cupcake with the creamy homemade frosting you love. Filled with caramel and topped with a sweet and tart slice of a real caramel apple, they are not only delicious but beautiful to make and share!

While the kids are enjoying their caramel apple cupcakes, the adults can have this delicious Apple Cider Margarita as their dessert!
Caramel apple cupcakes in a row on a white wooden surface

The Best Caramel Apple Cupcakes Recipe

These caramel apple cupcakes take all the best flavors of traditional caramel apples and combine them with a moist delicious cupcake. They look fantastic and taste even better.  I love the fun green color of the cupcakes, and the crunchy sweet real apple on top makes it a fun cupcake to eat.
Your kids will beg you to make these cupcakes all the time, and for good reason. They are delicious!

An overhead picture of the top of caramel apple cupcakes topped with apple slices

Do I Have to Add a Real Apple to the Top?

If you wanted to skip the apple on top of the cupcakes, you certainly can. The caramel apple on top is that added burst of flavor and takes the presentation of the cupcakes over the top.  You can easily add apple slices dipped in caramel, or just a drizzle of caramel on the icing if preferred.

Apple cupcakes with caramel apple on top sitting on a wooden surface with black plaid cloth in background

Can I Mix Apple Pieces Into the Batter?

If you wanted to add fresh apple pieces into the batter you can fold them in right before the cake batter is ready to go into the pan. Fold them in gently.

When adding apples to the cupcakes, make sure you are using baking apples. You want a tart apple that is great for baking. That means that it will get soft while it bakes but will not get too soft that it turns into mush as it bakes. I like to use granny smith for most of my apple desserts.

A stack of three caramel apple cupcakes on a white wooden surface with jar of caramel on side

How to make Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Ingredients you will need:

  • White cake mix
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Heavy cream
  • Green food coloring gel
  • Apple Extract

Ingredients for Frosting

  • Butter
  • Crisco
  • Vanilla
  • Powdered sugar
  • Heavy cream
  • Green apples
  • Marzetti’s Caramel Apple Dip

How to Make Caramel Apple Cupcakes

For this cupcake, you will have a base of a cake mix.  To this mix, you will be adding eggs, butter, heavy cream, apple extract, and of course, the green food coloring.

Fill your cupcake liners and pop these into the oven to bake until cooked through and beginning to brown around the edges and top.

Next, you will make your frosting and the caramel apple slices for the top of the cupcakes.

How to Make the Caramel Apple Slices

Begin with a nice Granny Smith apple.  Wash and dry these before you begin cutting them to be dipped in caramel.
Apple slices for caramel apple cupcakes on a baking sheet ready to be dipped
To make these cupcakes unique, I cut the tops off of several apples, leaving the stem intact.  This dipped into some caramel dip make a unique and beautiful cupcake presentation.
If making a full batch of cupcakes, you may prefer to core the apples and cut into slices to dip and place on top of your cupcake frosting.
Dipping apples into caramel dip for cupcakes
Once you have dipped the apple pieces, you will lay them on a lined baking sheet and pop them into the freezer until time to add to the top of the frosting.

How to make Homemade Buttercream Frosting

For a homemade buttercream frosting, you will beat together the butter, shortening, and vanilla until creamy and smooth.  Next, you will stir in the cream and powdered sugar until you have the consistency you prefer.
Put the frosting in the refrigerator for at least an hour before frosting the cupcakes.
Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, you will add your frosting to a pastry bag with a star tip.  Next, you will start on the outer edge of the cupcakes and create a swirl of icing leaving the center well open for pouring extra caramel sauce.
Filling the cupcakes with caramel dip for caramel apple cupcakes
Once the caramel dip has been poured into the well inside the frosting, you can drizzle more caramel on top and then add your frozen caramel apple slices.
Up close picture of cupcake with icing and caramel apple on top
These are best refrigerated to keep the caramel solid.  So, make sure to put them in a deep airtight container for the refrigerator if you won’t be eating them right away.
Caramel apple cupcakes on a wooden table ready to be served
Caramel apple cupcakes in a row on a white wooden surface
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The Best Caramel Apple Cupcakes Recipe

Caramel Apple Cupcakes combine a moist apple flavored cupcake with the creamy homemade frosting you love. Filled with caramel and topped with a sweet and tart slice of a real caramel apple, they are not only delicious, but beautiful to make and share!
Servings: 24
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes


  • 1 White cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter melted
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon green food coloring gel more if you'd like a brighter green
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Extract


  • 1 stick butter - softened not melted
  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 4 - 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 24 Green apples
  • 1 carton Marzetti's Caramel Apple Dip


  • In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, mix the white cake mix, eggs, melted butter, and heavy cream until well blended. Add the Apple Extract, and the green food coloring gel, and blend until well mixed, and the desired color of green. Line 2 - 12 count, or 1 - 24 count muffin tin with cupcake liners, and ladle the cupcake batter into the liners, filling them 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 - 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool.
  • Wash the Apples, and dry with paper towels. Cut the tops off the Apples, and dip them in the Marzetti's caramel Apple dip, and place them on parchment lined cookie sheets, and place them in the freezer to set.
  • In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, mix the softened butter and Crisco until smooth and creamy. Add the Vanilla and mix well. Add half of the powdered sugar, and half of the heavy cream, and mix until well blended. Add the rest of the powdered sugar a little at a time, alternating with the remaining cream until all ingredients have been added Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl, and blend again until smooth and creamy. Place the mixing bowl in the refrigerator for one hour to chill the Frosting.
  • When the frosting is chilled, and the cupcakes are completely cool, place the frosting in a pastry bag with the large star tip, and starting on the outer edge, pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes swirling up to a point. Remove the Apple tops from the freezer, and place an Apple top on the top of the frosting. Drizzle a little caramel over the cupcake, and down onto the frosting and cupcake. Serve and Enjoy!

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NOTE: Marzetti's caramel apple dip is usually found in the Produce section close to the Apples. If you cannot find this brand of caramel apple dip, simply use another brand of caramel topping, but, make sure it's thick and not runny, because it won't stick to the apples if it's runny. ALSO: Don't throw away the apples you cut the tops off of. You can either slice them up and place them in a Ziploc bag, and refrigerate them to be dipped in caramel dip for a snack, or you can save them to make a pie, or Apple Crisp, or to be eaten with cheese. You can slice and freeze them if you need to use them at a later time, and if you're in a hurry, you can pull them from the freezer ready to use. I freeze mine tossed in sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon for a pie. If you don't have time to make pie crust, simply use already made from the dairy case, and when you add the fresh apples, it's semi homemade, and so delicious! You can also serve the baked pie with caramel dip and ice cream for a really great dessert!


Serving: 24g | Calories: 377.61kcal | Carbohydrates: 62.65g | Protein: 1.76g | Fat: 14.1g | Saturated Fat: 7.03g | Cholesterol: 45.29mg | Sodium: 216.51mg | Potassium: 25.28mg | Fiber: 0.24g | Sugar: 53.13g | Vitamin A: 311.18IU | Calcium: 56.35mg | Iron: 0.54mg


Caramel Apple Cupcakes

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