Apple Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream

by Melissa on October 11, 2010

We love to go apple picking every fall, usually more than once. I definitely have my favorite recipes to make with all of the apples we pick, such as this fresh apple cake, apple crisp and applesauce, but I always want to try something new as well. I was thinking about apple cupcakes when a google search led me to this recipe from Martha Stewart. I hadn’t decided on a frosting, but then I saw that she had them topped with a brown sugar buttercream. Sounds good to me!

These cupcakes are moist and you can definitely taste the apples. But if you are looking for a nice, pretty domed cupcake, these are not for you. For me it was not an issue, since they just get covered with a pretty swirl of buttercream, but I just wanted to put that out there. The buttercream is very good, but also very rich!  A little bit goes a long way on these cupcakes.

One more note, don’t forget to enter my giveaway here! It includes several items for baking, including some fun cupcake liners!

Apple Cupcakes

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups coarsely shredded apples, such as Macintosh (about 1 3/4 pounds)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; mix in apples. Add flour mixture; mix, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until just combined.

Divide batter among lined cups, filling halfway; bake until tops are springy to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove cupcakes from tins; transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
Makes 2 dozen cupcakes.


Brown Sugar Buttercream
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

Put egg whites and sugar into the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees).

Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue beating until mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.

Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter, several tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. (If the frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Reduce speed to low; mix to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth
Makes ~ 2 cups.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather I. October 11, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I’m on a major apple kick right now, so these are perfect for me to try out! You can’t go wrong with Martha :)


Melissa October 12, 2010 at 6:59 am

I hope you do try them! And you are so right about Martha!


Kerstin October 11, 2010 at 11:30 pm

That frosting sounds amazing – would you mind sharing which tip you used? They are so cute too!


Melissa October 12, 2010 at 6:55 am

Thanks Kerstin! I used the Wilton large round tip, 1A.


Jolene ( October 11, 2010 at 11:39 pm

That cupcake recipe sounds absolutely mouthwatering! I am glad I came across your blog!


Melissa October 12, 2010 at 6:56 am

I am glad too! The cupcakes are delicious. :)


Hot Polka Dot's Mom October 12, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Hi Melissa!
I saw your vote tweet for my daughter Lindsey so came for a visit not only to say “thank you”, but to take a peek at your blogsite. Your apple cupcakes look delish. Brown sugar buttercream is new to me and sounds mouthwateringly good. Yum!


Melissa October 12, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Awww what a nice mom you are!!! You are welcome and thank you for stopping by! :)


Stephanie October 13, 2010 at 11:31 pm

These look & sound phenomonal!! Love the new blog! It’s so cute!


Melissa October 14, 2010 at 5:06 am

Thank you!


Nourhan @ Miss Anthropist's Kitchen December 8, 2010 at 10:59 am

I’ve actually never had apple cupcakes before! These look delish!


arceus September 28, 2011 at 8:10 am

Nice apple cupcakes! sound like a delicious and sweet cupcakes…Thanks for your delicious info! | 😛


Carlie September 30, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Tried these cupcakes out. The cupcakes themselves are delicious. The frosting, however, tastes like pure unsalted butter. Needs a little salt or different icing.


Harieth October 18, 2011 at 6:56 am

i love it, another recipe for my cupcake collection! yay!


Jenn May 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Just made this recipe. Cupcake was delicious but icing tasted like pure butter. I made a new batch and added 2 tablespoons more of brown sugar and only use 1 stick of butter instead of 1 1/2. Also once it’s all mix if still tastes like a stick of butter add powder sugar a tbsp at a time until it tastes good.


Christine October 13, 2012 at 7:01 pm

OMG!!! I just made these-and they’re by far the most amazing treat!!! I used normal salted butter for the frosting, and I now feel like I will keep this ‘whipped cream’ for my coffee!! Thank you for sharing!


Tanya December 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Just made these and the cupcakes are amazing! Very disappointed in the frosting, as it turned out somewhat runny, tasted like butter and did not seem to have enough to frost all the cupcakes. I followed the advice of a couple other reviewers and added powdered sugar. The frosting turned out nice and fluffy with the added sugar and no butter taste. I would definitely revise the ingredients for the frosting and add the sugar.


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