Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
12 servings (serving size: 1 cupcake)

Top tender apple cupcakes with a sweet and crunchy topping of brown sugar and almonds, then drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze.  The amaretto adds an even more distinct almond flavor to the cupcakes, but if you don't have it, you can use almond extract instead.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Place muffin cup liners in 12 muffin cups; coat with cooking spray.

Step 3

Weigh or lightly spoon 75 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 75 ounces flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine granulated sugar, cream cheese, and 1/4 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add amaretto, vanilla, and egg to sugar mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Combine sour cream and 1/4 cup milk in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until well blended. Combine apple and 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl; toss well.

Step 4

Add flour mixture and sour cream mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until blended. Fold in apple mixture. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

Step 5

To prepare the streusel, combine 2 tablespoons flour, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal; stir in almonds. Sprinkle streusel evenly over cupcakes. Bake at 350° for 27 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack, and remove the cupcakes from pan.

Step 6

To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and 4 teaspoons milk in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over cupcakes.

Chef's Notes

If you don't want to use the amaretto, replace it with 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.

Ratings & Reviews

Good not great

March 17, 2015
I used Amaretto in the cupcake and almond extract drops in the icing.  The flavor was still very subtle.  The cake part was light and fluffy and my 4 year old nephews devoured them.  Not sure I'd make them again because I have better cupcake recipes but I'm glad I tried them.

3107Pocosmom's Review

September 26, 2014
I made these yesterday for the first time and I have to say I'm disappointed. I made them exactly as directed, but in my opinion, they lack flavor. I can't taste the apple or the amaretto. Maybe almond extract would have been a better choice, but I doubt I'll make them again.

Tinkerbell0914's Review

July 22, 2013

jhallor's Review

May 22, 2013
Made these for a 80th birthday celebration for a friend at the gym. I was very impressed to be bringing something "light" and yet so delicious! They were a hit with everyone and I love the fact that they weren't overly sweet. Tender & moist. I agree, definitely worth all the bowls and I will certainly make again.

PatriciaH6911's Review

March 05, 2013
Excellent anytime cupcake!! I have made this recipe several times, both gluten free by substituting the flour and the "regular" version. I did not have amaretto on hand, so I substituted the almond extract. The cupcakes are very moist, freeze well and don't last long when I bring them to work.

chrysalide53's Review

February 06, 2013

cmay137's Review

October 19, 2012
These cupcake were very greasy...the butter from the streusel leaked to the outside of the cupcake papers and pooled in the bottom of the pan. They also had no flavor. Maybe they would be better with almond extract instead of amaretto.

kns215's Review

October 17, 2012
Amazing! Initially I was so worried because the batter was quite thick (I had to literally scoop the batter into the pan, and push it around to spread), but I am so glad I didn't 'alter' it. I didn't have amaretto on hand, so I used 1/2t of almond extract and about 3T of orange juice. I also used a little more than 3/4C of finely chopped granny smith apple, but I think I could use a little more next time, maybe up to 1C. These are on the sweet side, so I actually am glad that I didn't make the glaze. If I do, maybe I will lessen the sugar in the actual batter. I just had one for my breakfast snack with coffee, and mmmm..moist and creamy! I had to bake a little more than 27 min. I will definitely make it again!

Semiresponsive's Review

October 14, 2012
These are absolutely excellent and worth the numerous bowls it takes to make them. I did halve the icing recipe and found I needed to thin it a little in order to make it something I could drizzle rather than spread (something I wanted to do just for the sake of presentation). I thinned with Amaretto rather than more milk and the effect was very nice. The crumb on the cupcake is perfect - they're light and airy. The streusel is a nice touch. Definitely keeping this one in my arsenal!

LamDaly's Review

January 30, 2012
I made these cupcakes for my neighborhood book club and everyone loved them. I did add more Amaretto than what was called for in the batter and the glaze.