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Apple Cupcakes

This is an apple cupcakes recipe that is easy and yields moist cupcakes with a touch of warm spices. Perfect for the fall season. It is paired with a lighter whipped cream cream cheese frosting. Topped with baked apple skins shaped into roses.

Every year around this time of year I get to go nuts and do whatever I want because I get to bake for the woman I love most, my mother. She doesn’t typically eat cake, so she doesn’t normally have any flavor requests, which means I can bake whatever I want. That usually means I’m baking a spice cake of some kind because I’m quite fond of those. My favorite being carrot cake. Over the years I have played with carrot cake to the point, where I’ve gotten it exactly the way I want it; spices, amounts of carrots, nuts…everything. This apple cake is a leap from that carrot cake. You can basically, substitute the carrots for the apples and you’ll have my carrot cake.

Below are my notes and the recipe.


  • The apples – I like using tart apples for these. When I first converted this recipe to apples, I used granny smith, which worked great. This year I went into the grocery store and discovered a fairly new hybrid called Minneiska or SweeTango, which is a hybrid of a Honeycrisp and Zestar varieties. It has quite the tartness and crisp to it. Love it! But I don’t think you can go wrong with any variety of apple.
  • To make my carrot cake, you can substitute 3 cups of shredded carrots for the chopped apples.
  • If you end up leaving your peeled and chopped apples out for a while, you can soak it in water with lemon juice. This will prevent it from oxidizing too quickly. I did this for mine as I manage recording, prepping and everything else.
  • You can bake you apple skin while your cupcakes cool and you are making the frosting.
  • The frosting that I use is basically my whipped cream frosting with reduce heavy whipping cream so it’s more cream cheesy. I also reduce the vanilla and add lemon juice to brighten it up.
  • For the apple skins, you want to bake those to the point where it dries out the skins, but they are still pliable because you want to be able to roll them into the roses without them crumbling.


Apple Cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 16-18 minutes
Yields 24 cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup lightly packed brown sugar
¾ cup granulated white sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (2 3.9oz cups)
½ cup canola oil
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and chopped apples (about 4 large apples)
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup raisins or dried cranberries

  • Preheat oven to 350F and line two muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  • Peel and roughly chop your apples. Save the peel for later.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar, granulated sugar, applesauce, oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Make sure the mixture is well combined. Slowly add the flour mixture. Whisk until combined. Then fold in the apples, nuts and dried fruit.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into lined muffin pan. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Apple Skin Roses

In a mini-muffin pan, arrange the apple skins as you would a rose with each skin being a petal. Bake at 300F for about 25-30 minutes. The skins should be dried, but still pliable. Don’t over bake them. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Then roll the apple skins to form a tight rose. Set aside to top cakes.

Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting

Follow my instructions for my whipped cream frosting adjusting the amount of heavy whipping cream and adding lemon juice. I’ve added this frosting as a variation in my whipped cream frosting post.

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