Spiced Apple Cupcakes

I figured it’s about time that I actually post a cake recipe – you know, since my blog is called Cake, Batter, and Bowl and all… I couldn’t resist the cute word play on Shake, Rattle, and Roll when I was brainstorming names with my Dad over Christmas last year, but in reality the title wasn’t totally appropriate because prior to starting this blog my favorite cake to make was from a box of Pillsbury’s Funfetti mix! I had made my mom’s famous chocolate cake from scratch a couple of times, but didn’t really get into other recipes until I kept running across cakes on the blogosphere that I was inspired to make. Even though I kept gaining more and more experience, for the longest time I was still too intimidated to experiment on my own. However, this all changed when I was encouraged to come up with an original cake recipe (details about that in a future post). I actually had fun dreaming up flavor combinations when I got into it and found it wasn’t quite as challenging as I had envisioned. No cakes fell in the oven or were inedible because they were too dry. I even managed to nail the frosting consistencies and improved my piping skills. These cupcakes were one of the first ideas that popped into my head.

I decided they needed to be stuffed with shredded apples and spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and cloves. Then I topped the cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting with a hint of lemon and toasted pecans. My very favorite part of this recipe is the caramel drizzle. Caramel is actually pretty easy to make at home, since you don’t even need a candy thermometer. I used apple juice as the base instead of water and it turned out so well! This recipe is broken down by each component so it doesn’t get too confusing, and you really only need a couple tablespoons of the caramel for the cupcakes, so you’ll have lots left over for other treats!

p.s.  The winners of my Hotel Chocolat giveaway were Danielle and Biz – congrats!

Spiced Apple Cupcakes
Printable Recipe


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large Gala apple, cored, peeled, and shredded (should have 1 1/2 cups of shredded apples)

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Caramel Drizzle:
1/4 cup unsweetened 100% apple juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped


Prepare the Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Mix together flour, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, baking powder, and salt and sift the mixture into a large bowl. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer in a large bowl until creamed. Add in eggs and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Slowly mix in sifted flour mixture until smooth. Mix in shredded apples. Line a standard 12-cup cupcake pan with cupcake liners and evenly spoon cupcake batter into the liners, filling cups 3/4 full. Bake cupcakes at 350˚F for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean and the tops are light golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack. Cool for 20 minutes or until cupcakes are room temperature.

Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting: Place powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and lemon juice in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.

Prepare the Caramel Drizzle: Meanwhile, prepare caramel drizzle. Place apple juice and sugar in a medium saucepan, stir well, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, or until mixture is a caramel color. Monitor closely so the sugar does not burn! Remove pan from the heat and pour in slowly stir in cream and vanilla. The mixture will boil up. Return pan to the heat and boil an additional 2 to 5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow caramel to cool to room temperature.

Cupcake Assembly: Place cream cheese frosting in a decorating bag with a 1M decorating tip. Frost cupcakes evenly. Top cupcakes evenly with chopped pecans. Drizzle caramel sauce over the top of each cupcake, using a new decorating bag with a 4 tip. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Nutrition: 379 calories, 15.7g fat, 1.2g fiber, 3.8g protein per cupcake
Cost: $0.67 per cupcake

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53 Responses to Spiced Apple Cupcakes

  1. caramel drizzle AND cream cheese frosting… wow oh wow

  2. How do you pipe the frosting so well. That’s one of my major ‘fear’ areas – frostings, pipings, icings…any chance of private clases. Plus I LOVE apple cakes. I have one in the oven as we speak!

  3. Lauren says:

    Kerstin, these cupcakes are stunning! I wish I could sink my teeth into one right now.

  4. Karine says:

    Great combo of flavors in your cupakes!

    I have yet to try to make caramel at home. One day… one day…

  5. CaSaundra says:

    Wow–looks amazing! I have never had an apple cupcake surprisingly.
    & I love the way you came up with your blog name, vert fun!

  6. peachkins says:

    you got me on the caramel drizzle alone!

  7. [...] Spiced Apple Cupcakes | Cake, Batter, and Bowl http://bit.ly/8rncYa [...]

  8. Joanne says:

    I was afraid to bake for a long time as well, and then, like you, I started to come across too many cakes to resist! Now I try to bake something new every week.

    It’s an addiction, what can I say?

    Great idea for cupcakes! Apple and caramel go SO well together. And you can never go wrong with cream cheese frosting.

  9. Meghan says:

    These look and sound so delicious!!! Yay for your first (of hopefully many) cake recipes :) I love all of these spices you used in the cupcakes, and cream cheese frosting is always a good thing. I can’t believe I’ve never made my own caramel – you are inspiring me!

  10. Jen says:

    What a great looking cupcake!

  11. girlichef says:

    Well, I am loving the flavors in here…cardamom…yum! And definitely the caramel drizzle! Great recipe :)

  12. Biz says:

    Wow – so happy I won! They will make a nice addition to my Christmas treat table!

    Thanks Kerstin!

  13. Erica says:

    These seriously look like perfection! Just a beautiful creation

  14. Reeni says:

    I love these! Such delicious components all on their own. They must be absolutely divine!

  15. Misty says:

    Wow! You have some amazing recipes. I stumbled on your page while checking out Closet Cooking’s blog and I’m so glad I found u :) These cupcakes are beautiful! I will be back to visit again often!

  16. Mona says:

    That. look. incredible.
    I wish I could pull the cupcake out of my computer and eat it!

    Congrats on creating your own cake recipe! Thats so cool :)

  17. Jessica says:

    First of all, Stunning Picture! And also after reading that you made up this delicious sounding concoction all by yourself, I would love to be able to listen into your thoughts for a day! I bet I would get a weeks worth of delicious recipes or ideas in a couple hours! :-)
    Can’t wait to try these!

  18. Monica H says:

    ooh apple caramel- that sounds awesome! Your cupcake is so pretty.

  19. Bob says:

    Wow, that looks amazing. I love apple spice cake, having caramel and cream cheese frosting just puts it over the top.

  20. grace says:

    i think i’ve made it perfectly clear where i stand when it comes to apple cakes and anything smothered with cream cheese frosting. these would disappear in the blink of an eye in my presence. :)

  21. Elina says:

    Looks like the perfect holiday treat! One day I hope to be able to create my own recipes too (I can think up flavors, just don’t know the right proportions of things).

  22. Danielle says:

    I’m still in shock that I actually won! Thanks again. And these cupcakes look divine! Could I trade you a piece of chocolate for one of the cupcakes? Ha, ha.

  23. Nicole says:

    Those cupcakes look wonderful, Kerstin! I’m not surprised that you came up with such an amazing flavor combination. I think you’re going to give Sweet Cupcakes a run for their money….

  24. Liesl says:

    These look fantastic! Great flavor combination! I bet they tated as good as they look!

  25. Juliana says:

    Yummie, your apple cupcake looks fantastic…love the way you decorated…great picture as well :-)

  26. Shannon says:

    these sound delicious!! i heart caramel :)

  27. Sues says:

    These look fantastic!! I love anything apple and caramel :)

  28. Blond Duck says:

    All I can do is drool.

  29. Spiced apple cupcakes sound amazing! I love the caramel drizzle!

  30. Debbie says:

    Those cupcakes are just packed with all kinds of goodness! They look soooo delicious!

  31. elly says:

    Everything about these looks SO delicious, from the cupcake stuffed with apples to the cream cheese frosting (the best!) and the caramel drizzle. Mmmm.

  32. Natashya says:

    Mmm, apples, cream cheese frosting, caramel… these are all favourites of mine. Looks totally wonderful.

  33. Laura says:

    They’re so pretty. Apple + caramel + cake? Yes please!

  34. Kristen says:

    Wow these look delicious and are SO pretty!!!

  35. Maria says:

    Fabulous cupcakes!

    Two Peas and Their Pod moved to WordPress, please update your readers, etc. Our address is: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com Come visit us and check out our new look! Thanks for following us!

  36. Emily says:

    I love the name of your blog! It’s so cute and clever. You’e so smart. :)

    These cupcakes look divine! I want one right now. Good piping skills!

  37. Wow this is sinful! Looks great though…love the nuts!

  38. The caramel drizzle is a perfect touch! The spices with the apple sound delicious too.

  39. Mary Ann says:

    These cupcakes look delicious- I love that they have cardamom in them. I love baking cakes, so I will have to try these!

  40. L'Chicken says:

    Apple sauce caramel, I LOVE that idea. Nice one!

  41. L'Chicken says:

    Oh, up there, on that #38 comment? I meant apple juice. Too much apple sauce in my life these days, Baby Bird is a fiend.

  42. Judy says:

    These are lovely, Kerstin, something I would like to make.

  43. ingrid says:

    You go Kerstin! They sounds great and look even bettter. I love your idea of using apple juice instead of water to make caramel. Could you taste the apple? I’m gonna try that.

  44. Kerstin says:

    Thanks so much everyone!

    Ingrid – It’s very subtle :)

  45. cheffresco says:

    Looks amazing! And I love your photo – Michael just made a light box and is experimenting :)

  46. [...] edible cookie dough was on my mind a lot lately? And when I said I was encouraged to come up with an original cake recipe? Yep, all related to the show! I’m so glad the cat is finally out of the bag because I can’t [...]

  47. Sprinkles says:

    This cake looks delicious! We have featured it in our Five fruity cupcake ideas post recently http://partycupcakeideas.com/five-fruity-cupcake-ideas/ with a link back. It makes me feel hungry!

  48. Thanks for the mention Sprinkles – I’m going to check it out!

  49. Karen says:

    I think this recipe sounds great. I just made a copy of it and will be trying it soon. Probably this weekend. I will let you know what my family thinks after they try them.

  50. tcmaryf says:

    Lovely cupcakes. Love apple ev thing especially with caramel, and the cardamon is brilliant. Thnx for this.

  51. EmCee says:

    I made these the other night and not only were they very easy to make, but they were delicious!
    Perfect fall recipe!

  52. EmCee – I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for taking the time to comment and let me know :)

  53. Sue says:

    Beautifully decorated cupcake! Never thought of using anything other than water to make caramel. Going to have to give it a try! These seem like the perfect fall dessert!

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