These Apple Cider Cupcakes are light, fluffy and topped with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. One of my favorite fall cupcake ideas!
Easy Fall Cupcakes
Who’s ready for all things fall?!🙋🏽
With the end of August comes cooler mornings, warm coffee instead of iced, cinnamon flavored everything, and all things pumpkin and apple. I’m one of those people that loves all things fall. I’ve been looking forward to pumpkin everything since the beginning of this month!
One of the main reasons I love fall so much is for apple picking! There’s a fruit farm down the street where I get all farm fresh picked apples and fruit all fall long. They make a killer apple cider and apple cider slushy that I sip on while a pick my Honeycrisps.
Honeycrisp is my all time favorite apple. What’s your favorite favorite apple?!
We’re coming up on the grand opening of apple picking this week/weekend and I wanted to create these apple cider cupcakes to celebrate! These apple cider cupcakes are sweet from the apple cider and brown sugar and spiced from the cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg.
When you take a bite into these apple cider cupcakes you will be instantly transported to the middle of fall! I shared them with my friends and family who came to my house to celebrate my birthday this week. They all fell in love them just as much as I did!
What’s Needed for Apple Cider Cupcakes?
To make these easy fall cupcakes, you start with all of the usual cupcake ingredients:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Vanilla extract
- Apple cider
- Cream cheese
- Confectioners’ sugar
How to Make Apple Cider Cupcakes from Scratch
The tang from the apple cider is the perfect complement to the sweetness in this recipe. Together they balance really well and create an apple cupcake that isn’t too sweet, but just sweet enough!
- You start by mixing all of the dry ingredients together.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar and granulated sugar with the melted butter.
- Once all of the ingredients are combined, I like to fill my cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way full. That way they puff up just enough to reach the top of the cupcake liner. If you fill them too full you could end up with cupcake spilling over the edges. Though still delicious, overfilling could leave you with no-so-pretty cupcakes.
- Throw them in the oven and just wait until your house is filled with all the cinnamon scents. It’s a built-in candle! No need to head to Bath and Body Works this fall. Okay, who am I kidding, I’ll do both.
- Once the apple cinnamon cupcakes have cooled completely, make the cinnamon cream cheese frosting and pipe it on top!
How Do You Know if Cupcakes Are Done?
When you pull the apple cupcakes out of the oven, you should be able to insert a toothpick into the center and it come out clean. Once they’re done, let them cool completely so you can add some yummy frosting.
How to Make Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting
I’m a frosting lover so any frosting would be delicious atop these apple cider cupcakes. But after testing a buttercream and cream cheese frosting, I had to go with cream cheese frosting. It reminds me of my pumpkin cookies and the cream cheese goes well with all things fall and cinnamon.
My trick to making the perfect cream cheese frosting is the right temperature of your cream cheese and butter and whipping the two together for just enough time.
I like to bring my butter and cream cheese to room temperature, which means leaving it sitting out on the counter for 2-3 hours. When you press your finger into the butter it should leave a small dent, but not be too melty.
Beat the cream cheese and butter together for at least 2 minutes until creamy. Once you add the sugar, you’ll want to beat it for another full 3 minutes at least. This is what takes all the clumps out of the frosting and you end up with a light and fluffy frosting to pipe onto these apple cupcakes.
What’s the Difference Between Apple Cider and Apple Juice?
Apple juice and apple cider are both fruit beverages made from apples, but there is a difference between the two. Fresh cider is raw apple juice that has not undergone a filtration process to remove coarse particles of pulp or sediment.
Can You Use Apple Juice in Place of Apple Cider?
To accommodate for the extra sugar in apple juice, reduce the sugar in your recipe, add something acidic, such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, or use unsweetened apple juice.
How to Store Apple Cider Cupcakes
Because the frosting contains cream cheese, you’ll need to store these fall cupcakes in the fridge. Store in an airtight container so they don’t dry out. They’ll last up to 5 days!
Tips for Making Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes
- Note that the apple cider we use is non-alcoholic, unflavored cider. In some parts of the world, this is called mulled cider (except you want to buy apple cider that’s just apples and no spices!).
- You MUST let the apple cupcakes cool completely before frosting them, otherwise the frosting will melt right off.
- I recommend using full-fat cream cheese for the sturdiest, creamiest frosting. You want the kind of cream cheese sold in a brick.
More Easy Apple Desserts:
- Apple Cake with Caramel Frosting
- Apple Brown Betty
- Easy Apple Dumplings with Sprite
- Apple Pie Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce
- Mini Dutch Apple Cheesecakes
- Apple Cheesecake Bars
- Apple Pie Bombs al la Mode
- Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls
- Apple Pie Pull-Apart Bread
- Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce
- Best Apple Crisp
- Apple Pie Fried Ice Cream
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Apple Cider Cupcakes
Apple Cider Cupcakes:
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , melted and slightly cooled (1 stick)
- 2/3 cup brown sugar , packed
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup apple cider *
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 ounces full-fat cream cheese , room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , room temperature (1 stick)
- 3 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Make the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
- To make the cupcakes, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a large bowl.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until combined, about 1 minute.
- Whisk in the eggs one at a time until smooth then whisk in the vanilla and apple cider.
- Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently until combined. Scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full with batter.
- Bake for 21–23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
Make the frosting:
- In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add 3 confectioners' sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt and beat again on high speed for at least 3 minutes.
- Place the frosting in a piping bag and pipe on top of cooled cupcakes.
- Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- *Apple cider: Note that the apple cider we use is non-alcoholic, unflavored cider. In some parts of the world, this is called mulled cider (except you want to buy apple cider that's just apples and no spices!).
- Baked cupcakes without frosting can be frozen for up to 3 months.