These Caramel Apple Cupcakes are the perfect treats for Autumn, and a twist on the beloved caramel apples. The sticky homemade Dulce de Leche filling gives them an extra special touch.
So did you make Dulce de leche over the weekend?? If you did, you are in for a treat today. If not, you’re still in for a treat, just grab a jar of premade dulce de leche and proceed! After making two full jars, I immediately thought “caramel apple cupcake!”, and this and that and others. Cupcakes, cookies and pies are occupying my mind 24/7. I think I might start developing cavities in my thoughts…
These are apple cupcakes with dulce de leche filling and dulce de leche cream cheese frosting! I used apple butter in the cupcakes batter, which makes them super-duper-uber moist. I just got apple butter from the jar, but you wanna get all fancy, make your own apple butter! 😉
I tried to use my 230 tip to fill the cupcakes like I usually do, but this didn’t work because dulce de leche is too dense. For this filling, you gotta use a pastry bag (or Ziploc bag) without the tip, just cut a hole at the end of the bag for the filling to come out.
I used 1/2 cup of dulce de leche in my frosting, and it was sweet enough for me, but Ryan thought it should be sweeter. So if you like your frosting on the sweeter side, add up to another 1/4 cup of dulce de leche or powder sugar to taste. Or you can drizzle extra dulce de leche over the cupcakes when you are ready to serve.
Even though it is still summer, baking these caramel apple cupcakes filled the house with fall-scent… I can’t wait, one more month ‘til my favorite baking season! Enjoy these early fall treats, they will be the start of a sweet sweet week!
More Delicious Recipes with Apple!
Caramel Apple Cupcakes Recipe
Caramel Apple Cupcakes
For the cake:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup apple butter – room temperature
- 1/2 cup buttermilk – room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg – room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the frosting:
- 8 oz cream cheese – room temperature
- 4 oz unsalted butter – room temperature
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup dulce de leche
- 1/2 cup dulce de leche for filling the cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a regular size cupcake pan with cupcake liner.
- Sift the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Put all the wet ingredients, apple butter, buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla extract in a medium mixing bowl and beat to combine.
- Slowly pour the flour mixture into the liquid while mixing at slow speed. Mix only until combine, use a spatula to scrape any flour on the side of the bowl and mix up anything at the bottom of the bowl.
- Divide batter equally among 12 cups.
- Bake at for 17 minutes until an inserted toothpick in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Remove cupcakes from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
- For the frosting, cream the cream cheese and butter together until fluffy.
- Add dulce de le che and mix until combined. Start with 1/2 cup of dulce de leche and add more to taste. If the dulce de leche is too thick, warm it up so it can flow easily, then mix it with the cream cheese and butter. Refrigerate the frosting.
- To assemble the cupcakes, use a paring knife to cut a hole about 1/2” diameter and about 3/4” deep in each cupcake. Save the small pieces.
- Add the dulce de leche for the filling to a pastry bag (or a Ziploc bag), snip the end (or corner) of the bag. Fill the holes of the cupcakes with about 1/2 teaspoon of dulce de leche.
- Place the little piece of cupcake you cut out earlier back into the hole on top of the filling. It will stick out, but the frosting will cover it.
- Add the cold frosting to another pastry bag fitted with the star tip, top cupcakes with frosting.
The apple butter I used already has spices in it, cinnamon and cloves. So if you use non-spiced applesauce, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to your cupcake batter, and/or other spices as you please.