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Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Dreamy cinnamon and apple stuffed cupcakes with a Caramel Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and a sugary cinnamon apple on top! These Caramel Apple Cupcakes are the perfect dessert to make fall!
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Servings 20
Author Jessica (swankyrecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons caramel extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups Granny Smith finely diced apples
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

For the Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons caramel extract
  • 4 cups powdered confectioner's sugar
  • pinch salt

Apple Topping

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 extra large apples

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners; set aside.
    In a bowl fit with a mixer, beat sugar and butter until creamed, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time. Increase speed to medium and continue to beat about 3 minutes, whipping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
    Beat in vanilla extract, caramel extract, salt, baking soda, baking powder, apple pie spice, and cinnamon. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to beat about 1 minute.
    Slowly beat in heavy cream. Beat in flour, a little at a time. Beat in sour cream until incorporated. Scrape down sides of the bowl, beat for a few more seconds.
    Mix 1/4 cup all-purpose flour with finely diced apple then beat apple mixture into cupcake mixture.
    Spoon batter about 1/2 full. Bake in oven for about 22 minutes or until the center of the cupcake comes out clean with a toothpick. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
    TO MAKE THE FROSTING
    Beat softened butter, vegetable shortening, cinnamon, and confectioner's sugar for 3-5 minutes. Beat in 1/4 softened cream cheese at a time. Beat in vanilla and caramel extract and a pinch of salt. Beat for an additional 3 minutes. Fill a cupcake liner bag with frosting.
    Refrigerate frosting for about 30 minutes. Use a cupcake tip (such as a Russian Cake Tip) to frost cupcakes. Top with cinnamon sugar apple, below.
    TO MAKE THE CINNAMON SUGAR APPLE TOPPING
    Use the small side of a melon baller to make apple circles.  Coat in cinnamon sugar then place on top of frosted cupcakes.