How to Make Apple Pie Cupcakes, a Must-Have for Fall


Laura Lee, Staff Writer

Back to school marks the end of summer, and as fall comes around the corner, baked goods are always the best ‘pick me ups’ amidst the chilly weather. Apple pie is one of my favorite fall foods, and these apple pie cupcakes are the perfect twist on the classic autumnal dessert. These delicious treats are sure to be a hit with your friends and family. Apples, cinnamon, and sugar— what more could you possibly desire?

The cupcake includes a base of snickerdoodle cake, vanilla buttercream frosting, cinnamon sugar, and an apple topping. While this may seem complex, this recipe is actually quite easy to follow. Just one hour in the kitchen will leave you with a batch beautiful cupcakes and a house filled with the scent of freshly baked apple pie.

These are a must-try. Whether you bring them to a party or eat them alone, they are sure to please, and perhaps they’ll bring about a sense of nostalgia. They always get me reminiscing of childhood days spent playing in the leaves and going apple picking.


For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cup cake flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cup milk

For the Apple Topping:

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped apples
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup water, 2 tbsp water (separate)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping:

  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven 350° F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside
  2. Mix together flours, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together with electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time. Then, add vanilla.
  4. Alternate combining dry ingredients and milk. Dry mixture should be added in thirds, and milk should be added in halves.
  5. Divide evenly among cupcake liners, filling ¾ full. Bake 20 minutes until golden brown, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Make sure to rotate pans halfway for an even bake.
  6. While the cupcakes are in the oven, work on the apple topping. Make sure apples are peeled and chopped into small cubes. Heat butter in a medium saucepan, and add in apples, cinnamon, and sugar. Heat until the liquid from the apples begins to release, and add the water. Bring to low simmer, and cook until apples are tender. In a separate bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons of water with the cornstarch, and add to saucepan. Stir for 1-2 minutes on medium heat until mixture thickens. Make sure apple topping is completely cool before adding to cupcakes.
  7. For the frosting, mix the butter and powdered sugar. Add in vanilla and salt. Beat until the frosting has stiff peaks; it should be light and fluffy.
  8. For cinnamon sugar topping, just mix together the cinnamon and sugar.
  9. To assemble, pipe frosting around the edge of the cupcake, creating a wall. Then, sprinkle frosting with the cinnamon sugar topping. Finally, distribute the apple topping among all the cupcakes.

Recipe Notes

  1. If cake flour isn’t available to you, you can use 3 cups of all purpose flour minus 3 tablespoons and replace with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch.
  2. Any kind of apple works for this recipe. I used Honeycrisp, but Granny Smith and McIntosh apples are also some of my favorites to use for baking.
  3. To frost these cupcakes, I used the Wilton M1 star tip, which you can find here.
  4. I found my cupcake liners at Home Goods, but I found some similar ones here, here, and here.

Recipe adapted from A Spoonful of Sugar

Link to Downloadable Recipe