Here is a holiday treat that is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression that is simple to make. Chef Tom shows us how to take a box cake mix and make it your own with his Caramel Apple Cupcakes. He completes it with a rich frosting and apple pie filling. You will have to taste them just to believe how delicious they are.
Caramel Apple Cupcakes
Rated 4.3 stars by 6 users
Caramel Apple Cupcakes With Decadent Caramel Buttercream Looking for a holiday dessert that's sure to impress? Are you looking for ways to improve a box cake mix to make your prep time easier? You can get both here! Chef Tom shows how to make Caramel Apple Cupcakes. With a rich frosting and apple pie filling, you won't believe how good these cupcakes are! This is a back pocket type of recipe, so make sure you save the link somewhere. We'll also leave a link to the Salted Caramel Sauce below.
- 1 box spice cake mix
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 lb Granny Smith apples
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp Noble Saltworks Whiskey Barrel Smoked Salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 tsp Jacobsen Salt Co. Kosher Sea Salt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, diced
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup Salted Caramel Sauce
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp Jacobsen Salt Co. Kosher Sea Salt
Salted Caramel Sauce:
- Preheat your Yoder Smokers YS640s Pellet Grill to 375ºF set up for indirect grilling (diffuser plate installed).
- To make the cupcakes, whisk together the spice cake mix, melted butter, eggs and whole milk. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake papers. Pour about three tablespoons of the batter into each of the cups. Transfer to the second shelf of the grill and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
- To make the apple filling, melt the butter in a Lodge 12” Cast Iron Skillet over medium heat. Add the apples, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, smoked salt and vanilla extract. Cook until the apples begin to soften, but are not mushy. Combine the cornstarch, bourbon and lemon juice. Stir to dissolve. Pour the slurry into the apple pie filling. Cook until thickened. Remove from heat. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool.
To make the caramel buttercream, place the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip over high speed until the butter has increased in volume and lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Add half of the powdered sugar to the bowl. Whisk over low speed until incorporated. Add the second half and repeat. Add the caramel sauce, vanilla, salt and heavy cream. Whisk until incorporated, then transfer to a piping bag with a star tip.
- To make the caramel buttercream, place the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip over high speed until the butter has increased in volume and lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Add half of the powdered sugar to the bowl. Whisk over low speed until incorporated. Add the second half and repeat. Add the caramel sauce, vanilla, salt and heavy cream. Whisk until incorporated, then transfer to a piping bag with a star tip.
- Core out the center of each cupcake (I used a pineapple corer). Place one heaping tablespoon of filling in the center. Pipe frosting on top of the cupcakes. Drizzle with caramel sauce.
Other Recipes You Might Enjoy:
Recipe Highlights and Insights:
Caramel apples have a rich and tasty history spanning more than a century. The exact origin of this sweet treat remains a mystery, with various tales contributing to it’s creation. One popular narrative credits the invention of caramel apples to Dan Walker. Walker was an employee of Kraft Foods during the 1950s. According to the story, Walker experimented with surplus Halloween caramels which led him to the delightful discovery that melting them and dipping apples produced a scrumptious treat.
However, there are earlier references toto similar treats. Some sources suggest caramel apple’s roots go back to the late 19th century or early 20th century. One version of the story suggests that a Kraft Foods employee named Kraft himself created the caramel apple in the 1940s, while another attributes the idea to a Kraft salesman.
Regardless of the precis origin, caramel apples gained popularity in the United States as a must have autumn treat and have become a tradition at fall festivals, carnivals and other fall celebrations.
Over the years, people have gotten creative with caramel apple toppings, adding chopped nuts, chocolate drizzles, sprinkles and more. Even the flavor itself has allowed people to be creative and infuse it in other desserts, candies and cocktails. The activity of making caramel apples also become a popular among families of all ages.
Despite the different stories surrounding the invention of caramel apples, one thing is certain, caramel apples are a sweet treat that is cherished during the months of autumn.
- Serving Size
- 1 cupcake
- per serving
- 17 grams
- Saturated Fat
- 10 grams
- 80 milligrams
- 150 milligrams
- 40 grams
- 0 grams
- 31 grams
- 2 grams