Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro
24 cupcakes

Apple and caramel are pretty simple ingredients, but when combined they are a delectable treat. Top off these cupcakes with toasted pecans to create a traditional fall favorite. We love to add the tiny crab apples as a garnish for extra-special occasions.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, stirring until blended. Stir in apple. Place paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely.

Step 2

To prepare frosting, melt butter in a 3-qt. heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in evaporated milk, baking soda, and corn syrup; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and let cool completely (about 1 hour). Transfer to a bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar to caramel mixture, beating at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Beat at high speed 2 minutes or until creamy. Use immediately. Makes 3 cups.

Step 3

Frost each cupcake with Old-Fashioned Caramel Frosting. Top each with toasted pecans and, if desired, 1 fresh crab apple.

Chef's Notes

Most of the time at Dreamcakes we toast pecans and other nuts before using them because toasting really brings out the flavor. You can toast them in a skillet over medium-high heat, tossing them until you begin to detect their aroma, or bake them at 350 degrees about 4 to 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally.

Southern Living Big Book of Cupcakes; Dreamcakes Bakery

Ratings & Reviews

These were absolutely delicious

March 27, 2016
but did anyone else have any trouble with the cupcakes flattening out? I made them with white AP Flour not whole wheat..should I have added baking powder maybe? And as far as the buttercream, mine came out perfect because I made regular buttercream first and then combine the caramel into it. And I also did not put all the apples in.

SweetBaker34's Review

June 08, 2013

Justin5's Review

January 16, 2013
These are soooooooooo gooooooood. :)

Kathleenintulsa's Review

September 23, 2012
I served this to my daughter's field hockey team and they LOVED them (and apparently told their moms since I have been asked to share this recipe). Delicious!! I made exactly to the recipe minus the toasted pecans and crabapples on top.

angie1999's Review

October 31, 2011
I chopped 4 apples and ended up putting about 3 into the cupcakes. I think all four would have made a cupcake with apples and 1 molecule of cake in between the apple pieces. Also, the dough was very dry until the apples were added, so do not worry! My icing came out like a glaze, even with 4 cups of sugar. I think it was either because my caramel was still a little warm OR I didn't boil it long enough. It was still delicous and MADE A TON! I would halve the recipe next time. I made 12 normal sized cupcakes and 24 mini ones and I only used 1/2 to a 1/3 of the icing.

BethTrumbull's Review

October 22, 2011
I added less powdered sugar to the icing to make it more of a glaze. The cupcakes are fabulous without the icing even!