These adorable apple pie cupcakes have a moist spice cake, whipped vanilla buttercream, tender spiced apples, and a pie crust garnish. They’re so flavorful and MIGHT just be even better than apple pie itself!
Apple Pie Cupcakes – The Components
These cupcakes have to contain all the delicious flavors of apple pie – tender apples, warm spices, buttery crust, and vanilla ice cream (if you’re eating pie the right way).
So to recreate these layers, these cupcakes are made up of:
- Spice Cake – The cupcake base is an incredibly moist spice cake that’s so easy to make. It mimics the warm and cozy spices found in apple pie.
- Whipped Vanilla Buttercream – Between the moist cupcakes and tender apples, this light buttercream helps bring in that buttery crust flavor but with a little added sweetness.
- Tender Apples – A pool of tender apples sit on top of these cupcakes. Made with fresh apples, butter, lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon, they’re so delicious and very easy to make.
- Pie Crust – This is an optional garnish, but a bit of real pie crust helps bring in the theme. It’s made with store bought pie dough to make this step very quick.
Spice Cake Cupcake Baking Tips
This spice cake cupcake batter is VERY easy to make, but here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure they turn out just right:
- Flour – I always suggest weighing the flour for accuracy. Otherwise, spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level it off for light and fluffy cups. This ensures the right amount of flour so that the cupcakes don’t turn out tough or dry.
- Dry Ingredients – The batter starts out by mixing together all of the dry ingredients, including the sugar. It’s important to thoroughly whisk everything together to ensure even distribution and to also break up any brown sugar lumps.
- Whisking – Once the wet ingredients are poured in, whisk just enough to combine the batter. Over whisking can lead to tough or sunken cupcakes.
- Baking – To test for doneness, refrain from pulling the cupcakes out of the oven. Instead, stick in a toothpick with the cupcakes still on the oven rack. Pulling the cupcakes from the oven can cause the cupcakes to sink the center.
Apple Pie Filling for Apple Cupcakes
To mimic apple pie filling, a pile of tender apples are scooped on top of these cupcakes. They’re soft and dripping in a cinnamon syrup that makes these cupcakes irresistible. Here’s how it’s made:
- Butter – A bit of butter is melted in a saucepan.
- Apples – Chopped apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice are added. Use an apple that’s firm but sweet, like Honey Crisp, and dice into fine bits.
- Cornstarch – Once the apples start to become tender, a mixture of cornstarch and water is added to help tighten everything up.
- Heating – After a few minutes, the mixture should thicken into a syrupy consistency. It will thicken even further as it cools.
How To Make Whipped Vanilla Buttercream
Using an American buttercream base, whipped vanilla buttercream just requires one extra step.
First, room temperature butter and vanilla are mixed together until they’re smooth and creamy.
Then goes in the powdered sugar and some milk. The milk is there to help thin out the frosting a bit because once the whipping cream is added, it create a lot of structure.
When the butter, vanilla, sugar, and milk are well combined, heavy cream is added and the mixer is cranked up the high speed. The buttercream whips for about 1-2 minutes or until fluffy.
It’s easy to over whip the frosting, so keep a close eye on it. It should look fluffy but still smooth. If you took it too far, scoop out about a cup of frosting and microwave it for 15-30 seconds or until softened and warm.
Mix the warm frosting into the bowl and it will smooth everything out.
Apple Pie Cupcakes FAQs
Sure! Substitute the all-purpose flour with a cup for cup all purpose gluten free baking flour. Also omit the pie crust garnish.
Yes, make sure it’s full fat. For future use, sour cream and Greek yogurt can almost always be substituted for one another.
Keep the cupcakes in an air tight container and store them in the refrigerator. They will keep for about 5 days.
These cupcakes are best the day-of. They can be served right away but they will also be fine if left at room temperature for a couple hours.
I would suggest baking the cupcakes themselves a day ahead and storing in the refrigerator. You can also make the apple filling and pie crust a day ahead, keeping the filling the fridge and the pie crust in a container at room temperature. It’s difficult to revive whipped buttercream, so I suggest making this the day of.
For more cupcake recipes, check out my:
- Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Gingerbread Cupcakes
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Butterbeer Cupcakes
- Apple Butter Spice Cake
- Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and comment below if you make these apple pie cupcakes. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print