Apple cider is a perfect fall drink so it's only logical that it also makes the perfect fall dessert! These homemade Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting are so easy to make and are the epitome of what fall should taste like! So grab your favorite cider (or even your favorite hard cider!) and whip up these fabulous fall treats!
This simple spiced cupcake recipe is the perfect easy treat to spice up any fall celebrations. Looking for more apple dessert ideas? You'll love these Apple Cider Marshmallows and these Homemade Apple Pop Tarts!
Why this Recipe Works
The spices of the cider balance so beautifully with the sweetness of the cupcake. Adding the cinnamon and brown sugar to the spiced apple cider frosting gives it an extra bit of fall flavor making this the best fall cupcake!
Ingredients and Notes
Apple Cider - Apple cider is the key flavor in this cupcake. The cider also serves as the liquid in both the cupcake and the frosting. In the cupcake, this gives the batter a consistency that leads to moist and delicious cupcakes. In the frosting, this replaces where you would often see milk in a buttercream, giving your buttercream frosting the perfect consistency.
Apple Sauce - Apple sauce can often be used in baking as a fat, replacing butter and oil. This apple cider cupcake recipe still calls for butter, but the applesauce adds both flavor and moisture to the batter, resulting in the best moist apple cupcakes!
Melted Butter - Melted butter will lead to a slightly denser cake than using cold or room temperature butter, but using melted butter gives you the extra flexibility to brown the butter which adds an extra depth of flavor to these already incredible apple cider cupcakes.
Apple Cider - I highly recommend using hard cider in place of apple cider in this tasty cupcake recipe. Sparkling cider will also work great. Whatever cider you choose to use, its flavor will be the star.
Brown Sugar - Brown sugar is added simply for flavor and can be skipped for a simpler apple cider frosting.
Cinnamon - The cinnamon is also added solely for flavor. Have fun with it and change up the spices however you like to highlight a variety of fall flavors.
How to Make this Recipe
Step 1: In a small mixing bowl, combine the cider and melted butter.
Step 2: Stir in the sugar. The mixture may be lumpy, but it will all come together, I promise!
Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, combine the applesauce, eggs, and vanilla, then slowly add the cider mixture.
Step 4: Add the flour and baking soda, and mix until combined.
Step 5: Pour into a lined muffin tin and bake at 350° F for 18-22 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely.
Step 6: Combine all the frosting ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
Step 7: Pipe or spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes and enjoy!
Step 8: For a little extra fun, drizzle caramel sauce overtop of the frosted cupcakes.
I generally use a soup spoon to spoon my batter into the liners to try to avoid spillage, but an ice cream scoop is a popular method as well because it's generally the right size for the cupcake liners!
Cupcake batter will rise while baking, so most recipes fill the liners about halfway to two-thirds of the way up to avoid the batter overflowing in the oven. Many recipes will either tell you how much to fill the liners, or when you divide the batter evenly among the number of cupcakes the recipe makes, each liner will only be filled part way.
No, cupcake liners are used in place of greasing your pan.
Yes! Before adding the flour, you have a lot of flexibility to mix, and in fact, the more you beat air into your butter, the lighter and fluffier your cupcakes will be. But once flour has been added to a cake batter, the goal is to mix the mixture as little as possible. Overmixing the batter can result in a dense, gummy cake.
Tips & Tricks
Trick #1: If you don't have paper liners, cut out squares of parchment paper about double the size (in each of length and width) of the circle of the muffin pan and press into the cup.
Trick #2: If you don't have piping tips and piping bags, put frosting in a zip-top bag and cut off a small corner to pipe frosting onto cupcakes.
Tip #3: Ensure the cupcakes are fully cooled before adding frosting or the frosting will melt.
- Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week.
- If making the cupcakes in advance, store them unfrosted and make the frosting closer to when serving.
Did you try this recipe? Leave a review below, and tag @flourdeliz on Instagram!
Apple Cider Cupcakes
- small mixing bowl
- large mixing bowl
- 12 cup muffin tin
- 1 stick butter melted
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cup flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 stick butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons apple cider
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners or grease pan.
- Combine cider and butter. Stir in sugar. The mixture may look clumpy.
- In a large bowl combine applesauce, eggs, and vanilla.
- Slowly add the cider mixture. Add flour and baking soda and mix until combined.
- Pour into liners and bake 18-22 minutes.
- Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the pan and move to wire racks to cool completely.
- Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. If the icing is too thick, add more cider. If the icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar.
- Pipe or spread icing on cupcakes once the cupcakes are fully cooled.
This recipe was originally posted on November 26, 2016, but was republished with new photos, additional information about the recipe, step-by-step instructions, FAQs, and tips and tricks in October of 2022.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know what you think!