My Apple Pie cupcake recipe is so easy to make that you might just skip making Apple Pie this Thanksgiving! The Apple Pie cupcake features a brown sugar cupcake base that is enhanced with spices you love, topped with apple pie filling and decorated to perfection with a super easy and whipped mascarpone frosting! The ultimate, easy, from scratch cupcake to try for Thanksgiving or any time over the Fall!
5 reasons you should make this Apple Pie cupcake recipe
- It is extremely easy – No fancy ingredients are needed, the comes together really easily, a totally doable from scratch cupcake recipe. Both the mixing process of the cupcake batter as well as the baking process is very simple even if you are a beginner in the kitchen. Making this Apple Pie cupcake definitely much easier than making Apple Pie, less risky if you do not bake too often.
- It is super quick – Compared Apple Pie where you have to chill the dough etc., these Apple Pie cupcakes can be made much quicker, the perfect choice if you want something quick and impressive for Thanksgiving dinner
- It is super delicious – Imagine the most moist cupcake you ever tasted with a dust of Fall spices. They are filled with delicious Apple Pie filling and there is even a super creamy, not too sweet whipped mascarpone on top to balance the spices...Dreamy! You will love it
- No special equipment is needed – All you need is a cupcake tin that you probably already have at home and you are good to go to make this lovely Thanksgiving cupcake recipe
- It is super versatile – This Apple Pie cupcake recipe can be made using different spices eg. cinnamon, ginger, cardamon as well as the Apple pie filling can be flavoured in tons of different ways. You can even replace some of the flour with walnut flour or almond flour to give the cupcakes a slightly different spin. Feel free to experiment
My Top 5 Baking Tips for home bakers
- Read the recipe carefully including my tips and recommendations on how to avoid and fix typical issues during baking the Apple Pie cupcake recipe
- Avoid using substitutes and changing the recipe unless you are aware of how to fully reformulate the recipe in order to keep the balance in texture as well as flavour. Reducing sugar, replacing egg, using ingredients not on the right temperature etc. will all have an impact on your baking
- For consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is provided as an indicative figure only and might be used for less complex and large batch recipes however it is not an appropriate method for more delicate, complex pastries
- Did you know that most home ovens can significantly under or oven run? Also, oven temperature hugely drops when opening the oven door therefore it is recommended to always pre-heat the oven above the required baking temperature.
- Temperature is so important when it comes to baking and accurate oven temperature is key, can make or break any recipe. Make sure you invest into an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer to avoid under baked, burnt, sad looking desserts
Some important notes regarding the INGREDIENTS of this Apple Pie Cupcake recipe
For the cupcake
- Butter: Use always unsalted as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using 82% fat content butter in all my recipes. In this Apple Pie cupcake recipe butter needs to be at room temperature which technically means soft enough to be able to cream but not too soft or runny so avoid last minute microwaving
- Sugar: I am using a mix of granulated and brown sugar to enhance the flavours of fall. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here
- Egg: Room temperature as always
- Flour: All purpose flour or pastry flour makes the best cupcakes when you bake them from scratch. They are so called “soft flour” which are low on protein resulting in delicate, tender texture. It is always a good idea to sift your flour as it tends to form lumps. If you want to be a Pro when it comes to deciding what type of flour to use in your baking, please read my article in here
- Salt: An essential ingredient in most of the dessert recipes. Balances flavour and enhances other ingredients
- Baking powder: Has two functions: increase the volume and lighten the texture
- Milk: Room temperature whole milk is the best
- White vinegar+baking soda: The SECRET ingredients to make cupcakes that are super moist and tender
For the whipped mascarpone frosting
- Mascarpone: Very rich Italian cream cheese, exceptionally smooth and easily to spread or whip. The flavor is milky and slightly sweet. Use at room temperature.
- Heavy cream: Also known as whipping cream, has a fat content between 36% and 40% , the one I am using is 36%. Use it very cold and do not substitute with vegetable based “whipping cream”. While whipping cream you have to start on low speed then gradually increase. Very easy to over whip so stop beating when frosting reaches a pipeable consistency
- Icing sugar: Icing sugar is the first choice when it comes to whipping up frosting. Question I often get is whether the quantity is a typo. NO, it´s not! You do not actually need a lot of sugar when making cupcake frosting! It stays beautifully fluffy without tons on sugar, the secret is the technique of whipping, not the amount of sugar
For the apple pie filling
- Apple: Almost any apple can work that is available in your country, peel apples and cut into small pieces
- Lemon juice: Balances flavour, freshly squeeze the juice of half a lemon
- Brown sugar: Granulated sugar can work too however brown sugar gives beautiful molasses flavour to the filling
- Cinnamon: I am using cinnamon in this apple pie filling, there are a couple of other spices that can work too: cardamon, nutmeg, vanilla bean, tonka bean, gloves, etc.
My top 5 tips regarding the TECHNIQUE of making this Apple Pie Cupcake recipe
1. How to make Fall spiced cupcakes
First, you will have to make some easy Fall spice cupcakes that will be turned into delicious Apple Pie cupcakes! This is a super simple recipe that makes 6 wonderful tall bakery style cupcakes. The recipe can be doubled or halved easily.
There are 2 important considerations to bear in mind while making the cupcakes:
1. Do not overmix the cupcake batter: This is such an easy cupcake recipe, it literally comes together in a few minutes. However you have to pay attention to the ingredients. Room temperature ingredients encourages proper emulsification of the cupcake batter therefore make sure that butter, egg, milk are all on room temperature. Key thing is not to overmix the cupcake butter. Once you cream butter and sugar with an Electric hand mixer , I suggest to switch to Hand whisk. Add in the egg then mix for a few seconds then add in dry (flour+baking powder+salt) and wet (milk) ingredients in 4 steps: wet, dry, wet, dry, that keeps the mixture well blended. Make sure you finish with dry ingredients. Do not overmix!
2. Do not overfill your cupcake tin: For this Fall spice cupcake recipe I recommend to fill your cupcake tin until ¾. The recipe is designed to make 6 tall cupcakes. Cupcake cases are coming in different sizes in terms of their height, try to buy the taller ones. If you overfill your cupcake tin it will result in “mushroom style” cupcakes! On the other hand, if you don´t fill it enough, they will rise but will stay tiny. If want to bake 12 cupcakes please double the recipe
2. How to make cupcakes moist? I have 7 baking tips for moist cupcakes:
1. Do not change the Ingredients
I suggest not to change the recipe ingredients unless you are an expert and know how to fully reformulate it. If you decide to leave out egg or choose to go for dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free etc. , I can almost guarantee that it will result in imbalance in the ingredients making the cupcakes either too dry or too crumbly or too wet or too oily etc. in their texture. It is absolutely possible to make moist “free-from” cupcakes but that requires a totally new recipe instead of skipping certain ingredients
2. Use the Secret ingredient
I call it the secret ingredient, it is not really secret though since I share this tip in all my cupcake recipes. Once cupcake batter comes together – before baking – mix a small amount of (½ teaspoon) white vinegar with a small amount of (½ teaspoon) baking soda. The mixture will foam a bit then quickly fold it into the cupcake butter – I promise this will make cupcakes airy and much lighter than cupcakes you are used to and they stay super moist and tender even after days if they ever last that long.
3. Learn the Technique
You very much have to be careful with not over beating your cupcake butter. It might be tempting to pour everything into a stand mixer but please make sure to use a Hand whisk from the point when butter and sugar is already creamed. Beating the cupcake batter too hard can result in too much gluten development and we don´t want that.
4. Be precise while measuring your ingredients
For consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is inaccurate and not an appropriate way to measure ingredients. Just a little bit too much dry ingredients (eg.flour) or too little wet ingredients (eg. milk) can easily ruin your cupcakes and make them dry.
5. Pay attention to temperature
Make sure all your ingredients are on room temperate while making these Apple Pie cupcakes. If your butter is too hard, your milk or egg is too cold, they won´t emulsify properly with the rest of the ingredients resulting in unappealing texture on your cupcakes. When it comes to temperature, oven temp is also super important as baking these cupcakes on too high temp or for too long can results in dry texture. Make sure you invest into an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer to be able to measure your oven temp correctly. If cupcakes were browning, bake them on a lower position or decrease over temp slightly next time
6. Might apply soaking syrup
Soaking syrup is a common trick people use to make their cakes moist, you can use the same method for cupcakes. It is not mandatory and I don´t use it in this Apple Pie cupcake recipe, but you can always brush the top of the cupcakes or even drizzle them wit syrup that fits with the flavour eg. lemon syrup when making lemon cupcakes etc.
7. Store the cupcakes correctly
Once cupcakes are well baked and beautifully frosted, the appropriate storage is definitely something you have to bear in mind to avoid dry cupcakes. Instead of leaving them on a plate, store cupcakes in a container with a tight-fitting lid – in the fridge.
3. How to make whipped mascarpone cupcake frosting to decorate the Apple Pie cupcakes
Whipped mascarpone frosting is super simple, it consist of heavy cream, mascarpone and a small amount of icing sugar whipped until fluffy, pipeable consistency. It is creamy, milky, a super stable frosting and way more delicious and less sweet than butter cream!
Using the right ingredients on the right temperature is extremely important while making whipped cream cupcake frosting.
1. mascarpone has to be cold, use the full fat version (41%+) 2. heave creamy needs to be very cold (pop it into the freezer for a few minutes before using it) and again, full fat version so anywhere between 36-40% 3. icing sugar has to be sifted to avoid lumps 4. do not over whip the mixture
Basically you will have to whip the mixture with an electric hand mixer for a minute or two until it reaches a creamy, fluffy consistency then stop. It won´t get more stiff after this point, in fact if you over beat it, it will get only runnier then it will break. I don´t use my standmixer to whip this frosting since it is really easy to over whip it.
Once you are happy with the consistency of your frosting, move frosting into a piping bag fitted with your favourite nozzle tip, the one I am using is Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip to decorate these lovely Apple Pie cupcakes
4. How to make Apple pie filling
Making apple pie filling could not be easier, it literally comes together in less than 10 minutes!
Peel and cut apples into small pieces. In a saucepan mix apple pieces with brown sugar, freshly squeezed lemon juice and your chosen spice(s) and cook the mixture over medium heat until for about 5 minutes until apple pieces slightly cooked and some water evaporates from the mixture. Do over cook the mixture. Cool to room temperature before filling the cupcakes.
5. How to assemble the Apple Pie Cupcakes
I recommend to make the cupcakes first then while they are in the oven, prepare the Apple Pie filling. Once cupcakes and also the Apple Pie filling is on room temp, prepare the whipped mascarpone frosting as per instructions.
- Make a small hole on each of the cupcakes and fill them with the Apple Pie filling. Make sure that neither cupcake nor the filling is warm at this point, they should be room temp
- Prepare the whipped mascarpone frosting as per instructions and pipe on top of each cupcake, I am using Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip
- Decorate the cupcakes with some further Apple pie filling in the middle of the frosting
- Store the cupcakes in fridge in container with lid on
Voila, your Apple Pie cupcakes are done, they are best served immediately but stay fresh also in the fridge in air tight container for 1-2 days.
10 more Thanksgiving recipe ideas for you to try
Pumpkin Pie - This is the BEST Pumpkin Pie recipe for Thanksgiving, hands down. I know, calling it the “best” is quite a statement, however I must not shy away from the fact that this is really the BEST Pumpkin Pie I have ever tasted and honestly the ONLY foolproof tutorial you will ever need to make Pumpkin pie. Recipe in here
Pecan brownies - This Pecan brownies recipe is thick, fudge and gooey in the middle, crinkly and crispy on top with intense chocolate taste, crunchy pecans, and a pinch of cinnamon… you can´t go wrong with Pecan brownies for Thanksgiving! Recipe in here
Pumpkin Bundt cake - This pumpkin bund cake recipe features an airy and super moist Bundt cake loaded with pumpkin and your favourite fall spices. Topped with the most delicious butterscotch sauce with a lovely buttery, brown sugar flavour profile. Easy and quick candied pecans added for some extra crunchiness. Recipe in here
Pumpkin Oreo cheesecake - This is the creamiest ever no-bake pumpkin cheesecake recipe! I love everything about this no-bake pumpkin cheesecake; the texture, the flavour, the design and most importantly that it comes together in literally no time with ZERO effort! Recipe in here
Pumpkin cookie - This is seriously the best, most delicious, easiest pumpkin cookie recipe ever, packed with pumpkin spice and pumpkin puree! Thick bakery style cookie with fudgy center, the ultimate pumpkin cookie recipe for cookie and pumpkin lovers! Recipe in here
Apple Hand pie - There is only one thing better than Apple Pie and it is Apple Hand Pie! Easier to make than full size Apple pie and no need to share! Looking for the best Apply Pie recipe that is flaky, creamy and super easy to make? This is it! Recipe in here
Apple cake - This spiced apple cake recipe is probably the easiest, simplest and most delicious apple cake to try this fall with full of deep apple flavours. Super moist brown sugar cake loaded with spices, apple pieces and topped with a super simple ginger apple compote is the ultimate easy Thanksgiving Apple cake recipe! You will love it! Recipe in here
No bake Chocolate Hazelnut tart - This No bake Chocolate Hazelnut Tart is an easy, quick and lush dessert for chocolate and hazelnut lovers! As rich as it is, this tart is also balanced in sweetness without added sugar. Enjoy! Recipe in here
Poached Pear Pound cake - Loaded with heart warming Thanksgiving flavours, made of using only a few simple ingredients really easily and quickly. Cinnamon and orange zest infused poached pears in a simply yet super delicious loaf cake that is packed with vanilla and cardamon. Recipe in here
Carrot mousse cake - Moist and tender Carrot cake packed with spices and filled with delicious, airy cream cheese mousse is the ultimate Carrot mousse cake recipe you have to try! This light Carrot cake is a great idea any other time of the year, it is certainly a family favourite over Thanksgiving. Forget dense, overly sweet Carrot cakes, try this easy, super light version that you will definitely want a second slice! Recipe in here
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Apple Pie Cupcake
Apple pie filling
- 400 g Apple measured after peeled, cut into small pieces
- 100 g Brown sugar
- ½ Lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- 150 g Mascarpone
- 40 g Icing sugar
- 120 g Heavy cream very cold
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
- Heat oven to 175 C / 347°F
- With an Electric hand mixer beat room temperature butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy then beat the egg in. Do not overbeat
- Sift flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder together, this is the “dry ingredients”, while the room temp milk is your wet ingredient
- Start adding the dry and wet ingredients into the batter in the following 4 steps: wet, dry, wet, dry. With a Rubber spatula fold each time
- Mix vinegar and baking soda together in a small bowl, it will be super bubbly. Immediately fold the mixture into the cupcake batter. This is the secret ingredient to keep the cupcakes moist without the taste of vinegar of course!
- Spoon the mixture into Cupcake pan till approx. ¾. This batch makes 6 large cupcakes
- Bake for 25 min or until a skewer inserted comes out clean then let them cool on Cooling rack
Apple pie filling
- Peel and cut apples into small pieces
- In a saucepan mix apple pieces with sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon and cook for about 5 minutes. Let is come to room temp before using it
- Whip room temp mascarpone, very cold heavy cream and icing sugar with an Electric hand mixer. until smooth and fluffy, about one or two minutes. Once it has reached the right consistency, do not overbeat as it can become runny
- Once cupcakes cooled to room temperature, make a small hole on each of them and fill them apple pie filling (approx. one table spoon per cupcake)
- Pipe frosting on each cupcakes, I am using Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip
- Fill more apple pie filling in the middle of the frosting