When you want that classic apple cider baked goods flavor but don't want to drive to the apple orchard, make our amazing apple cider cupcakes! Perfect for late summer and early fall when apples are in season, these gorgeous cupcakes are sure to please.
Beautiful texture, fall colors and flavors make this the perfect choice for all of your events, parties, and special occasions from August to Octover. Apple flavored cupcakes are laced with cinnamon and topped with a decadent cream cheese frosting. A beautiful star anise seed decorates the top for a perfect finishing touch to make everyone ooo and ah.
Ingredients for Apple Cider Cupcakes
Cake Batter Ingredients
- Butter - You can use a non-dairy substitute if you wish.
- Light Brown Sugar - Dark brown sugar will also work and will deepen the flavor slightly.
- Eggs - Large eggs are used for this recipe.
- Apple Cider - Do not use apple juice. Apple cider has a different flavor profile and consistency.
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder - This leavening should be replaced every six months if you do not bake often.
- Ground Cinnamon - Make sure you have fresh cinnamon and it hasn't been sitting in your cabinet for a year waiting for Fall to come around again.
- Salt - This works to intensify the flavor and also impacts the chemistry for a perfect texture.
- Cream Cheese - This fluffy frosting works best with the regular version of a brand name variety. Low fat will make the frosting a little more dense. Make sure to soften it to room temperature.
- Butter - The butter should also be room temperature, so be sure to set out both the butter and the cream cheese for a couple of hours.
- Vanilla Extract - Use your favorite store-bought or homemade vanilla extract.
- Powdered Sugar - Use confectioner's sugar for a smooth finish to your frosting.
- Star Anise Seeds - These are optional for decoration as shown in the images.
How to Make Apple Cider Cupcakes
Start by preheating your oven so that your cupcakes bake evenly in the time prescribed. Line your cupcake pans with paper or foil liners.
Next, cream the butter and brown sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs.
Gradually add in apple cider while mixing on low speed. Finally add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until just combined. Do not overbeat.
Fill the pans and bake your cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
To mix the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy in a large mixing bowl. Then add the powdered sugar and beat until everything is fully incorporated. Add more powdered sugar if needed. To frost the apple cider cupcakes, use a disposable piping bag and large star tip to frost each cupcake with a swirl.
Tips for Best Results
These cupcakes are extremely moist and fluffy but if you like some additional texture you can add 1⁄2 cup of finely chopped apples or walnuts to the batter.
Drizzle caramel over the frosting for caramel apple cider cupcakes.
You can use store-bought cream cheese frosting to save time.
Do not over mix the cupcake batter. Be sure to follow our instructions to prevent chewy, tough, or dense cupcakes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Store in an airtight container on the counter for 3-4 days. You can also refrigerate the cupcakes, but it will cause the frosting to soften. Keeping the cupcakes at room temperature allows the outside layer of the frosting to stay crystalized.
Yes. You can place them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you can freeze them unfrosted and frost them fresh when you thaw them that works even better and they will keep frozen for 6 months.
A toothpick inserted in the center will come out either clean or with slightly moist crumbs. They will not be gooey or extra moist.
More Cupcake Recipes
- Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
- Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
- Pumpkin Cupcakes
- White Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Swiss Buttercream
- Chocolate Cupcakes with Maple Pecan Buttercream
Apple Cider Cupcakes
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 4 tablespoons butter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
- Add the butter and brown sugar to a large mixing bowl. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs and beat until well combined.
- Gradually add in the apple cider while mixing on low speed.
- Add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed until just combined.
- Place in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one of the center cupcakes comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
- Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth.
- Gradually add in 2 cups of powdered sugar while beating on low speed until smooth. Add up to 1 cup of additional powdered sugar to get the desired pipeable consistency.
- Add the frosting to a disposable piping bag fitted with the Wilton 1M piping tip and pipe swirls of frosting on the top of each cooled cupcake.
• These cupcakes are extremely moist and fluffy but if you like some additional texture you can add 1⁄2 cup of finely chopped apples or walnuts to the batter.
• Drizzle caramel over the frosting for caramel apple cider cupcakes
• Do not use apple juice for this recipe, it will have a completely
• You can use store-bought cream cheese frosting to save time.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)