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Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Caramel Apple Cupcakes are my fun and delicious take on apples growing on a tree, complete with a stem, leaves, and (in a perfect world) a thick caramel coating.

A vertical closeup photo of a bunch of Caramel Apple Cupcakes dripping with a thick caramel sauce and chopped pecans.

I originally shared this recipe in 2013. I’ve recently updated this post with additional information, including a recipe card complete with nutritional information, but the recipe itself has remained unchanged.

**Please Note – The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Caramel Apple Cupcakes is available at the end of this post. OR you can hit the “jump to recipe” button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.

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A vertical closeup of caramel topped Caramel Apple Cupcakes with stems, leaves, and chopped pecans.

The ingredient list:

**Note – The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned

  • all-purpose flour
  • brown sugar
  • granulated sugar
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground nutmeg
  • butter, melted
  • eggs
  • milk
  • Granny Smith apples
  • chopped, toasted, pecans
  • prepared caramel sauce (store-bought or homemade)

Kitchen tools and equipment needed:

How this recipe came to be:

With autumn now upon us, when you walk into any grocery store you spot caramel apples.

Here in the Midwest, they call them Affy Tapples and they’ve been a fall staple for as long as I can remember!

It was in seeing those apples again this fall that I was inspired to come up with my own version of the Affy Tapple…only in cupcake form.

Why this recipe works:

  1. It’s got terrific apple flavor.
  2. The cupcakes are nice and moist.
  3. They’re decorative as well as delicious.
  4. They’re easy to make.
  5. Even a novice baker will be successful making these caramel apple cupcakes.
  6. They’re a fun and unique way to serve cupcakes.

How many cupcakes does this recipe make?

This recipe makes 20 standard-size cupcakes.

How long will these taffy apple cupcakes take to make from start to finish?

Just shy of 1 hour.

Approximately 20 minutes to prepare, and 30 minutes to bake.

A closeup horizontal photo of Caramel Apple Cupcakes topped with chopped pecans all lined up on a wooden board.

Can store-bought caramel sauce be used for this recipe?

Yep! That’s what I used in 2013.

However, homemade is always preferred.

So, if you have the time, why not make it from scratch?

Looking for the best homemade caramel sauce recipes?

Great!

I’ve got you covered with the following:

Can these cupcakes be frozen after baking?

Sure thing.

However, I’d suggest freezing them before adding the caramel sauce. Then once thawed, add the caramel sauce and the decorative details (if desired).

How to freeze cupcakes:

Store the plain cupcakes in a single layer in air-tight containers for up to 2 months.

Thaw the cupcakes at room temperature and then decorate with the caramel sauce, chopped pecans, and twigs and leaves (if using) shortly before serving.

What type of stems and leaves are shown on these cupcakes?

I used weigela stems from out of our backyard.

Look around your yard and I’m sure you’ll find stems and leaves you can use as well.

Just make sure to wrap the stems well with plastic wrap before inserting them into the cupcakes.

*Note – remember to remove the stems before eating the cupcakes.

What can be used in place of garden stems and leaves?

Feel free to use popsicle sticks, or even plastic greenery from the craft store will work wonderfully well.

Get creative!

You can even cut and glue construction paper leaves to the popsicle sticks if needed.

Can these cupcakes be served without the decorative garnish?

Of course!!

They’ll be just as delicious without the decorative stems and leaves. You have my word on it!

The step-by-step photo instructions for making caramel apple cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Prepare the muffin pans with a healthy dose of cooking spray and set them aside (no muffin liners required).
  • In a dry skillet, toast the pecans over low heat until you just start to smell them, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool while you prepare the batter.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add melted butter, eggs, and milk.
  • Blend on medium speed until all the ingredients are blended and incorporated, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in most of the toasted pecans (reserve some for topping) and all the peeled, diced apples.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins making sure that they’re at least 3/4’s of the way full.
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick interested in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool the cupcakes in the pan for about 15 minutes and then remove the cupcakes from the pan and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • In the meantime, scout out some twigs with leaves out in nature. *Note – I used weigela twigs that I cut from some bushes in my backyard. I also removed the bottom leaves from the twigs making sure just to leave the top few leaves in order to mimic a long apple stem with leaves. I did do some research to find out if these bushes were poisonous (they’re not), but as a precaution, I made sure to wrap the bottom of each stem with plastic wrap. MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS STEP WITH WHATEVER STEMS YOU USE
  • Once the cupcakes have cooled and you’ve found and prepared your stems, place the jars of caramel sauce in a low microwave oven to soften the sauce and make it spoonable (this will only take a few seconds).
  • Now you’re ready to spoon the caramel sauce liberally over each cupcake, making sure to let the sauce drip down the sides of the cupcakes.
  • Top each cupcake with the additional toasted pecans you’ve reserved and insert a prepared stem (plastic side down) into each cupcake.

Additional apple dessert recipes you’ll enjoy:

*Apple Pie Wedges (shown below and featured in the video)

You’re going to love how easy and delicious these apple pie wedges are to make…and eat. With store-bought or homemade pie crust, apple pie wedges are utterly delicious!!

Apple Pie Wedges lined up on a blue scalloped plate

*Apple Crumble Crostata (not shown)

This Rustic Apple Crumble Crostata combines two of my family’s favorite apple desserts: an apple pie and apple crumble. It’s casual and rustic and yet it has a lot of flair.

*Dutch Apple Cheesecake (shown below)

A Dutch Apple Cheesecake is creamy and rich with a cinnamon sugar Dutch apple topping, and a sugar cone crumble crust! *Swoon*

A whole Dutch Apple Cheesecake on a glass cake stand.

*Fireball Apple Crisp (not shown)

When you’re looking to ramp up your apple crisp game, look no further than this recipe for Fireball Apple Crisp. It’s soon to become your flaming desire! 😉

*Caramel Apple Cupcakes (shown below) THIS IS THE PLACE!!

A two image vertical collage along with a cute title text overlay graphic for Caramel Apple Cupcakes.

Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today’s Caramel Apple Cupcakes (aka Taffy Apple Cupcakes).

If you’ve made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I’d appreciate it if you’d take a moment to leave it a star rating in the recipe card, along with a comment if you’re so inclined. Thank you. 🙂

A wooden tray filled with Caramel Apple Cupcakes along with a stems, leaves, and chopped pecans.

CARAMEL APPLE CUPCAKES

Renee – Kudos Kitchen
Caramel Apple Cupcakes are my fun and delicious take on apples growing on a tree, complete with a stem, leaves, and (in a perfect world) a thick caramel coating.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert, dessert-cupcakes
Servings 20 servings
Calories 211 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter melted
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans toasted (reserve some for topping)
  • Twigs with leaves*
  • plastic wrap to wrap around the base of the twigs
  • 2 jars prepared caramel sauce or 1½ cups homemade caramel sauce

Instructions
 

  • -Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • -Prepare the muffin pans with a healthy dose of cooking spray and set them aside (no muffin liners required).
  • -In a dry skillet, toast the pecans over low heat until you just start to smell them, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool while you prepare the batter.
  • -In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • -Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add melted butter, eggs, and milk.
  • -Blend on medium speed until all the ingredients are blended and incorporated, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • -Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in most of the toasted pecans (reserve some for topping) and all the peeled, diced apples.
  • -Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins making sure that they’re at least 3/4’s of the way full.
  • -Bake for approximately 20 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick interested in the center comes out clean.
  • -Cool the cupcakes in the pan for about 15 minutes and then remove the cupcakes from the pan and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • -In the meantime, scout out some twigs with leaves out in nature. *Note – I used weigela twigs that I cut from some bushes in my backyard. I also removed the bottom leaves from the twigs making sure just to leave the top few leaves in order to mimic a long apple stem with leaves. I did do some research to find out if these bushes were poisonous (they’re not), but as a precaution, I made sure to wrap the bottom of each stem with plastic wrap. **MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS STEP WITH WHATEVER STEMS YOU USE**
  • -Once the cupcakes have cooled and you’ve found and prepared your stems, place the jars of caramel sauce in a low microwave oven to soften the sauce and make it spoonable (this will only take a few seconds).
  • -Now you’re ready to spoon the caramel sauce liberally over each cupcake, making sure to let the sauce drip down the sides of the cupcakes.
  • -Top each cupcake with the additional toasted pecans you’ve reserved and insert a prepared stem (plastic side down) into each cupcake.
  • -You now have a delicious tray of caramel apple cupcakes that will be a terrific centerpiece for any buffet and a wonderful conversation starter!!!

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 211kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 4gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 162mgPotassium: 173mgFiber: 2gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 60IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 65mgIron: 1mg
Keyword affle tappy cupcakes, caramel apple cupcakes, taffy apple cupcakes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Thank you so much for visiting me here today in my Kudos Kitchen!

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed today’s Caramel Apple Cupcake recipe as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you!

A lineup of Caramel Apple Cupcakes on a wooden board with dripping caramel, and chopped pecans.

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Recipe Rating




Jill Baird

Sunday 15th of August 2021

These are so adorable and delicious too! What a fun Falltime treat!

Renée

Friday 27th of August 2021

Thanks, Jill!!

Gina

Sunday 15th of August 2021

The cutest treat just perfect for making with my niece and nephew!

Renée

Friday 27th of August 2021

I'm sure they'll enjoy spending the time in the kitchen baking with you, Gina. Enjoy!!

Hanna

Saturday 7th of August 2021

These could not be any cuter! What a fun apple recipe!

Renée

Saturday 7th of August 2021

Thanks, Hanna!

Gina

Saturday 7th of August 2021

These are just the CUTEST fall treat and so delicious!

Renée

Saturday 7th of August 2021

Thank you!

Rebecca {foodie with family}

Friday 12th of September 2014

All you had to say was caramel apple cupcakes! YUM!