Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting are creamy, sweet and surprisingly easy! Homemade cupcakes don’t get much better than these!

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting - creamy, sweet and surprisingly easy!

I’ve been in an apple pie mood lately. Apple pie biscuits and now these apple pie cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. I have yet to bake an apple pie this season because I think that the perfect apple pie includes a few Mcintosh apples. I never knew that when I moved to Florida that it would be so difficult to find McIntosh apples. Every few days I head to a different grocery store searching for my favorite apple but have yet to find them this season. I love buying local and seasonal produce, but the New England girl in me is craving some McIntosh apples. I am hoping they make an appearance here in Florida soon.

These cupcakes originally came together on a whim. I needed to bake cupcakes for a party, but rather than just make chocolate and vanilla, I wanted something seasonal too. With apples in my kitchen and the remaining supplies in my pantry, I knew these cupcakes were exactly what I needed to make. Sometimes the best recipes come together last minute. After making a few batches and feeding them to my taste testers, these cupcakes were deemed a winner. They were a huge hit at the party and even Brad, my most critical cupcake tester rated these the best cupcakes that I have ever made.

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting - creamy, sweet and surprisingly easy!

Surprisingly, these cupcakes are actually relatively easy to make. I started with one of my favorite snickerdoodle cake recipes, added some additional seasonal spices and created a sweet, creamy and irresistible cupcake. The frosting is a simple vanilla buttercream. Why complicate things when the flavor combination is so decadent? And the apple topping comes together in a few minutes.

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting - creamy, sweet and surprisingly easy! Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting - creamy, sweet and surprisingly easy! Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting - creamy, sweet and surprisingly easy!

Yields 20 to 24 cupcakes

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Save Recipe


  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • For the apple topping:
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped apples
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup water plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • For the frosting:
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • For the cinnamon-sugar topping:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Sift together flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about ¾-full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let cool in the pan about 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the apple topping. To make the apple topping, heat the butter in a medium-large skillet. Stir in the apples, sugar and cinnamon. Heat until the fruit begins to release its juices. Add ¾ cup of water to the pan and bring the mixture to a low simmer. Cook until the apples are just fork tender but not mushy. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of water with the cornstarch, and whisk lightly until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the apples and cook 1-2 minutes more, until the mixture has thickened. Let cool thoroughly before topping the cupcakes.
  6. To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Turn the mixer down to low speed and gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated. Add in the vanilla and salt and mix until incorporated. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat for an additional 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  7. Whisk together the 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 3 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  8. Pipe frosting around the edge of each cupcake, leaving a well for the topping. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar topping. Divide apple topping evenly among cupcakes. Enjoy!

Source: cupcakes adapted from Martha Stewart, frosting and topping from Spoonful of Flavor

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting - creamy, sweet and surprisingly easy!

Try a few more apple recipes from my friends:

Caramel Apple Trifles from Life Love and Sugar
Cinnamon Waffles with Apple Topping from Recipe Runner
Apple Cinnamon Streusel Pull-Apart Bread from Girl Versus Dough


  1. Melanie @ Carmel Moments

    Fall dessert can’t get any better than this! Oh wow! Pinned and wanting one now. 🙂

    Have a beautiful weekend Ashley!

  2. Mira

    What a wonderful combination of fall flavors Ashley! These are beautiful, I love them! I’ve tried Mcintosh apples, too bad they are not available everywhere . Pinning!

  3. marcie

    Ashley, these are gorgeous! Love all those apples. 🙂

  4. Kelly

    These cupcakes are so so pretty, Ashley! I love apple pie anything and in cupcake form even better 🙂 Aaw, hope you can find some McIntosh apples soon, wish I could beam some over to you!

  5. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Totally agreed that sometimes the best recipes come together at the last minute!! These cupcakes are GORGEOUS!!! Snickerdoodle cake, with vanilla buttercream and the apple topping?!!! LOVE love love and pinned!! Happy Halloween, Ashley!

  6. heather @french press

    I am SO glad you reminded me I have been wanting to make apple pie biscuits 🙂 but these cupcakes look amazing too 🙂 Happy Halloween

  7. Julie @ This Gal Cooks

    Oh I have been waiting for you to post these ever since I saw the pic on Facebook. These look great, Ashley! Such a fun recipe. 🙂

  8. Caitlin @ teaspoon

    These are adorable! I figured you must have done some shortcut with canned apples or something… but no, all homemade and fresh…love it!

  9. Zainab

    I can’t get over how stunning these are!!!

  10. Renee @ Two in the Kitchen

    These cupcakes are lovely! I love the apple filling in the middle! I still can’t get enough apple in my life!!

  11. Debue Grace

    I want to try this one! Thanks for this recipe 🙂

  12. Ashley

    Ashley these sound outrageously good! And they are so dang pretty with that topping! I wish I had one for dessert tonight!

  13. Medeja

    These cupcakes look so good! I love that topping, frosting..actually everything!

  14. Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron

    Okay these are seriously the prettiest decorated cupcakes I’ve ever seen, like wow!!! And love your pictures Ashley. These are such a fun dessert! Pinned 🙂

  15. Annie @Maebells

    These are beautiful! I am such a sucker for buttercream! 🙂

  16. Danae @ Recipe Runner

    These are cupcakes I dream about! I love apple pie anything and then you went and turned it into gorgeous cupcakes. I absolutely love these!

  17. Joanne

    I have been focusing a LOT on pumpkin lately, and the apple has been falling to the wayside! I need these cupcakes in my life. STAT.

  18. Lisa @ Cooking with Curls

    Wow, those are absolutely gorgeous Ashley!! I can just imagine how wonderful they taste. 🙂

  19. Christin@SpicySouthernKitchen

    These cupcakes look so good Ashley! The pictures are gorgeous. Those dark cupcake liners really make the cupcakes pop!

  20. Justine@CookingandBeer

    Okay, so seriously, these are one of the most adorable cupcakes I have ever seen! That little bundle of apples on top!? Love it! Pinning!

  21. Lisa

    Oh wow, these look delicious! Great flavour combination

  22. Pingback: Baked Apple Pie Egg Rolls | Spoonful of FlavorSpoonful of Flavor

  23. Pingback: Baked Apple Pie Egg Rolls - Recipe Runner

  24. Pingback: Wine and Dine Around the Web - Week 1 - Sips of Wine

  25. Manali @ CookWithManali

    Simply beautiful! 🙂 Pinning right away! love the way you decorated the cupcakes!

  26. Pingback: Thanksgiving Dessert Cupcake Round Up - American Heritage Cooking

  27. Pingback: Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

  28. Pingback: Pistachio Green Tea Cupcakes with Matcha Cream Cheese Frosting - Spoonful of Flavor

  29. Pingback: Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting - creamy, sweet and surprisingly easy! - Pinterest Cupcake

  30. Pingback: The Crafted Kitchen: 10 Delicious Cupcake Recipes - The Crafted Life

  31. Shannon

    Thank you so much for the delicious recipe! These were so easy to make and were a fluffy and comforting treat. I will keep this recipe around!

    • Ashley

      Hi, Shannon! I am so glad to hear that you loved them. Thanks for sharing on your blog!

  32. Allison

    Hi Ashley, I just came across this recipe and am in love! It will definitely be the next treat I make. I was just wondering what tip you used for the icing? The presentation is beautiful, can’t wait to try it!

    • Ashley

      Hi, Allison! I don’t remember exactly what tip I used but I think it was a large open star tip. Enjoy!

  33. Allison

    Hi again, I made these cupcakes yesterday and they turned out absolutely amazing!! Great reviews from everyone. People loved the fact that the apple topping was homemade, too. The whole recipe was very simple to follow and everything worked out according to plan. Thanks so much for the great instructions and wonderful recipe!

    • Ashley

      Hi, Allison! I am so glad to hear that you love them. They are one of my favorite cupcakes!

  34. Pingback: Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting - Creamy, sweet and surprisingly easy! - Pinterest Cupcake

  35. Pingback: Maple Apple Pie Pull Apart Bread - Beyond Frosting

  36. Pingback: Caramel Apple Pie Sundae - Spoonful of Flavor

  37. Mrs Major Hoff

    Oh my gosh, your pictures make me want to eat everything in sight! I can’t believe I’ve never found your blog before! I found you via the Simple Pantry’s Link up party and found a ton of stuff to pin! Thanks! Have a great week!

  38. travia

    Can this recipe be used for a regular cake or bundt cake?

    • Ashley

      Hi Travia! I did not test this recipe for regular cake or bundt cake. Please let me know if you try it though.

  39. Pingback: 20 + Must Make Cupcakes for Fall - House of Yumm

  40. Sammy

    They look fabulous, taste fabulous, and they ARE fabulous!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *