My favorite family tradition is going apple picking around our wedding anniversary. Chris and I have been going every year since we were newlyweds. The first time we brought Celeste at 9 months old she ate apples the entire time. Now she’s three and nothing has changed. She loves our tradition and I support her getting our money’s worth because apple picking isn’t cheap!
We’ve checked out all the orchards in Bucks County over the years and we’ve also tried ALL the recipes.
We end up with about ten pounds of apples every year and I have a rolodex of apple recipes I rotate through. Some of the honorable mentions include the fall classics like apple crisp, apple sauce, and apple butter. I also have a delicious pork loin recipe with apples and shallots. But one recipe reigns supreme in our house, my caramel apple cupcakes. They aren’t healthy whatsoever but they are absolutely delicious.
They taste sinfully good considering how easy they are to make. The simpler the recipe the better since I prefer the art of cooking over the science of baking.
Before Celeste, I would make homemade frosting and caramel for this recipe. Now, since she is my helper in the kitchen we keep it even easier by buying frosting and caramel drizzle. I’ve never been big on frosting anyways. It always tastes too sweet and the star of the show should be the cake, right? (That is my justification and I’m sticking to it.)
Grab 3-4 apples and let’s get started! This year, I used Honeycrisp but I’ve also used Pink Lady and Mcintosh, too.
YIELD: 12 Cupcakes
PREHEAT: 350 Degrees
TIME: 42-45 Minutes (20 Min Prep, 22-25 Min Bake)
- 1 1/4 c. flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp butter (room temp)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/3 c. buttermilk
- 3-4 apples: peeled and shredded (I use a cheese grater)
- Homemade OR store-bought frosting 🙂
- Caramel drizzle
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your muffin tin with cupcake wrappers.
- In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and ginger. Set aside.
- In your standing mixer, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter until fluffy.
- Add in the egg and vanilla until combined.
- Slowly pour in the dry flour mixture until combined.
- Slowly pour the buttermilk in batches until the batter is fully mixed.
- Turn off the mixer and fold in the shredded apples. (I give them a squeeze with my hands to drain out additional juices.)
- Fill the muffin tin with the batter about 3/4 full. Bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes. Test with a toothpick to ensure that the cupcakes are fully baked and the toothpick comes out dry.
- This is the hardest step!!! Let them cool.
- Add frosting and a caramel drizzle. Enjoy!