Irresistible Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Apple cider cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are the ultimate fall treat! Bursting with cozy cinnamon spice flavor and topped with cream cheese frosting, these moist apple cider cupcakes are an easy way to celebrate autumn.

As soon as the leaves start changing color, I go absolutely crazy for everything apple cider. I’d gladly exchange my morning coffee for a steaming mug of it! 🍎 That’s why when fall rolls around, I just have to find ways to incorporate that cozy apple cider flavor into as many treats as possible.

These Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are the perfect autumn indulgence, truly capturing everything I love about my favorite fall drink. Bursting with warm cinnamon, bright apple flavor, and rich cream cheese frosting, they’re an incredible way to welcome the new season.

With just the right balance of spices and a sticky sweet apple topping, these cupcakes scream autumn in the best possible way. And don’t even get me started on the frosting – it takes these cupcakes over the top!

So if you’re craving fall flavors, give these Apple Cider Cupcakes a try. I promise you’ll fall head over heels for their cozy aroma, super moist apple cider cake, and addictive cream cheese frosting. Now grab your favorite sweater and let’s bake.

💓Why You’ll Love These Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Warm apple cider flavor in the cupcakes
  • Cinnamon spice and nutmeg for cozy fall taste
  • Sweet, soft apple topping adds moisture
  • Cinnamon cream cheese frosting takes them over the top
  • Easy to make with simple ingredients
  • Perfect treat for autumn gatherings and parties

🥣 Ingredients You’ll Need

🧁For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

🍎For the apple topping:

  • 2 Honeycrisp apples, diced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

🍥For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 1/4 cup room temperature unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces room temperature cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

🧑‍🍳 Equipment You’ll Need

  • 12-cup muffin tin
  • Paper liners
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Small saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Toothpick
  • Cooling rack
  • Stand mixer
  • Piping bag
  • Star piping tip

🧑‍🍳 Step By Step Instructions

For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. In another bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, apple cider, and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring just until no flour streaks remain.
  5. Scoop 2 tablespoons of batter into each lined muffin cup.
  6. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the diced apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, and butter for 3-5 minutes until the apples soften slightly.
  7. Top each cupcake with 1 tablespoon of the warm apple topping.
  8. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

🧁 Making the Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until completely smooth, about 2 minutes.
  2. Turn the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar, mixing until fully incorporated.
  3. Increase speed to medium and beat in the vanilla, salt, and cinnamon until fluffy, about 1 minute.
  4. Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe onto completely cooled cupcakes.

🥕 Fun Flavor Variations

  • Substitute pears or peaches for the apples.
  • Add 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts to the batter.
  • Use brown butter for extra richness.
  • Flavor the frosting with maple syrup or orange zest.
  • Top with candied pecans or ginger crisps.

📝 Tips for Success

  • Let the butter and cream cheese come to room temperature for the smoothest frosting.
  • Use fresh, in-season apples for maximum flavor in the topping.
  • To ensure a smooth frosting, use a fork to remove any clumps in the powdered sugar before adding it to the frosting mixture.
  • For a sweeter frosting, you can add up to 2 cups of powdered sugar total.

🍎 Storing Apple Cider Cupcakes

  • Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Frosted cupcakes should be refrigerated and consumed within 2 days for best texture and flavor.
  • To freeze baked unfrosted cupcakes, wrap each cupcake tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. They will keep for up to 2 months frozen. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before frosting.
  • Wrapped tightly, the cream cheese frosting should keep for 5-7 days refrigerated or 2 months frozen. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
  • Baked cupcakes may also be frozen up to 2 months in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then bring to room temperature before frosting.
  • For best flavor and texture, consume frosted cupcakes within 2 days of assembling.

FAQ About Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

What is the best type of apple to use for the topping?

For the most sweetness and bright apple flavor, I recommend Honeycrisp or Gala apples. Their texture also holds up well when cooked. Mealy apples like Red Delicious are best avoided.

Can you substitute apple cider vinegar for apple cider?

I don’t recommend using apple cider vinegar. It has a very sharp, acidic taste that would not pair well with the sweet cupcakes. Apple cider has a mellow sweetness and warmth that complements the cinnamon and apple spice flavors much better. Apple cider vinegar would lend an unpleasant sour taste that would overpower the other flavors. The sweetness of apple cider is needed to balance out the spices.

Should I refrigerate the frosted cupcakes?

Yes, it’s best to refrigerate any cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. The cooler temperature helps maintain the frosting’s stability and prevents it from becoming soft. Keep the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge up to 2 days for optimal texture and taste.

Can I freeze the baked unfrosted cupcakes?

Absolutely! Baked unfrosted cupcakes freeze very well for up to 2 months. Just be sure to wrap each cupcake tightly in plastic wrap before putting them in a freezer bag. Let them thaw overnight in the fridge before frosting.

How long do the cupcakes last after baking?

Unfrosted cupcakes will stay fresh at room temperature about 2-3 days in an airtight container. However, frosted cupcakes are best kept refrigerated and eaten within 2 days for the moistest texture and freshest flavor.

🍂 The Perfect Fall Treat

These apple cider cupcakes are absolute autumn perfection. The apple topping adds the most wonderful moist texture and amazing apple flavor to each bite. And that cream cheese frosting? Out of this world! It takes these cupcakes to a whole new level of fall deliciousness.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do every autumn. Let us know in the comments how they turned out for you!

READ NEXT:

Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Apple cider cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are the ultimate fall treat! Bursting with cozy cinnamon spice flavor and topped with cream cheese frosting, these moist apple cider cupcakes are an easy way to celebrate autumn.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings

Equipment

  • 12-cup muffin tin
  • Paper liners
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Small saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Toothpick
  • Cooling rack
  • Stand mixer
  • Piping bag
  • Star piping tip

Ingredients
  

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the apple topping:

  • 2 Honeycrisp apples diced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 1/4 cup room temperature unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces room temperature cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

For the cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • In another bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, apple cider, and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring just until no flour streaks remain.
  • Scoop 2 tablespoons of batter into each lined muffin cup.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the diced apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, and butter for 3-5 minutes until the apples soften slightly.
  • Top each cupcake with 1 tablespoon of the warm apple topping.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Making the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until completely smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Turn the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar, mixing until fully incorporated.
  • Increase speed to medium and beat in the vanilla, salt, and cinnamon until fluffy, about 1 minute.
  • Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe onto completely cooled cupcakes.

Notes

  • Let the butter and cream cheese come to room temperature for the smoothest frosting.
  • Use fresh, in-season apples for maximum flavor in the topping.
  • To ensure a smooth frosting, use a fork to remove any clumps in the powdered sugar before adding it to the frosting mixture.
  • For a sweeter frosting, you can add up to 2 cups of powdered sugar total.
Keyword apple cider, autumn, cream cheese, cupcakes, fall

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