Apple Pie Cupcakes

By Meghan McGarry

Everyone's favorite pie gets transformed into the treat of the season with apple pie cupcakes. Cinnamon-infused cupcakes topped with spiced buttercream, caramelized apples and pie crust leaves are as delicious to look at as they are to eat!

  • Yield: 15 cupcakes

All you need for this recipe and more...


For the Cupcakes:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons whole milk

For the Caramelized Apples: 

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped 
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice 
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • Pinch of nutmeg 1 teaspoon cornstarch 
  • 1/2 cup cold water 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Pie Crust Leaves:

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (from a 2-pack box) or leftover pie dough scraps 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

For the Buttercream:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened 
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar 
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream 
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon (optional)


For the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line nonstick muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time followed by vanilla, scraping down the bowl as needed. Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the milk in three additions, starting and ending with the dries. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake cupcakes for 20-22 minutes.

For the Caramelized Apples:

  1. Heat a nonstick 10-inch skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Toss chopped apples with lemon juice, then add to skillet and toss to coat. Add sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and cook for 5-6 minutes, until apples start to get tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch and cold water. Add mixture to the apples and boil for about 4 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. When apples have cooled, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble cupcakes.
  3. For the Pie Crust Leaves:Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a nonstick Bakeware 11-Inch x 17-Inch Baking Pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, prepare egg wash by whisking egg with 1 teaspoon of cold water. In a separate bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar together.
  5. Unroll pie dough and using a mini leaf cookie cutter, or small cutter of your choice, cut out leaves and place on parchment-lined pan. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake leaves for 6-8 minutes, until golden. Set aside to cool.

For the Cinnamon Buttercream:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and light brown sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until fully incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add cinnamon and salt and continue to mix.
  2. Add vanilla, heavy cream and bourbon, and beat for an additional 3-5 minutes, until smooth and fluffy. Fit a piping bag with large star tip and fill with buttercream. Pipe a ring of buttercream around the cupcakes and fill with caramelized apples. Garnish with pie crust leaves.