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Apple Cider Caramel Cupcake closeup

Apple Cider Caramel Cupcakes

Emma Duckworth
Fruity, sweet and salty combine to bring you the perfect Autumnal cupcake. The cupcake sponge has the warm, inviting hit of apple cider with the bonus of a more grated apple that sweetens the sponge perfectly. Filled with salted caramel sauce, the cupcake is then topped with a luxurious swirl of caramel swiss meringue buttercream, an extra drizzle of caramel and finished off with an apple crisp. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Total Time 58 mins
Method Cupcakes
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 479 kcal


Apple cider cupcakes

  • 215 g plain flour (all-purpose flour) -
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 18 g granulated sugar
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • 110 g butter - room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs - room temperature
  • 120 ml apple cider
  • 60 g grated apple
  • 120 g salted caramel sauce. Recipe found here.

Caramel swiss meringue buttercream

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 300 g granulated sugar
  • 440 g unsalted butter - room temperature, cubed
  • 120 g salted caramel
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Pinch salt

To decorate

  • Drizzle caramel
  • Apple Crisps - see notes below


Apple cider cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F.) Line 12 cupcake moulds with liners.
  • In a large bowl, mix your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Once creamed, add vanilla and then Add eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl and mixing completely between each addition.
  • Alternate adding the mixed dry ingredients and the apple cider to the butter and sugar, stirring on low, making sure you’re only stirring them until they’re just absorbed. ⅓ of the dry ingredients, then ½ the apple cider, then ½ the remaining dry mix, then the rest of the apple cider, followed by the rest of the dry mix and the grated apple. Do not over mix. Give it one last stir and make sure there are no dry ingredients sitting on the bottom of the bowl
  • Fill cupcake cases ¾ of the way full. Bake for 16-18 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake! Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
  • Once cooled, scoop out some sponge from the centre of the cupcake and spoon caramel sauce in until level with the top of the cupcake. Set aside until ready to pipe buttercream.

Caramel swiss meringue buttercream

  • Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.
  • Place bowl over a pot of boiling water, ensuring the bowl does not touch the water and whisk the egg whites and sugar continuously until the temperature reaches 70°C (160°F). Sugar granules should feel totally dissolved when the mixture is rubbed between finger and thumb.
  • Remove from the bowl from the heat, carefully wipe the bottom with a cloth, and place it on the stand mixer.  With the whisk attachment fitted, beat on medium to high until the egg white mixture is completely cool and the bowl is cool to touch. This can take 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove the whisk attachment and replace it with the paddle attachment. At medium speed, start adding the butter one tablespoon at a time, only adding the next when the butter is fully incorporated. Once completely added, then continue to beat for another 3-5 minutes until the mixture is whipped and thick. Note: if it's lumpy, then continue to whip until smooth. Add vanilla bean paste and salted caramel, and whip until fully combined.

To decorate

  • Using a piping bag fitted with a star tip, swirl buttercream onto the cupcakes. Next, drizzle caramel sauce over the buttercream, then place an apple crisp as decoration. Optional: sprinkle with flaked sea salt.


Tips for the buttercream    
1. Ensure the metal bowl is grease and water-free. Must be clean and totally dry before whisking egg whites.
2.    Ensure there are no yolks in the egg whites.
3.    Use a candy thermometer to ensure the correct temperature os reached for the egg whites
4.    Once whipping egg whites with the stand mix, the mixture AND the metal bowl has to be at room temperature. Zero heat in the bowl before adding the butter.
5.    Once the butter is added, if it looks like soup, place the bowl in the fridge for ten minutes and then begin whipping.
Tips for Apple Crisps
Use a mandolin to slice 1 apple, then lay all the slices on a baking tray and baked for 1 hour in a 140C/275F oven, turning over once until dried. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully.


Calories: 479kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 5gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 181mgPotassium: 93mgFiber: 1gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 974IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Apple cupcakes
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