Its Fall!  I’m sorry if you are sad to see summer go, but I am happy to have the crisp cool weather, soccer games and football Sundays.  What else?  Apples and pumpkins of course!  As well as these Cream Cheese and Caramel Frosted Apple Cupcakes which are fall in cupcake form.

Before I talk too much about these addictive cupcakes, I want to share some exciting news….that my first column as a Guest Column for The Alternative Press went up today!  The Alternative Press is an online newspaper covering 50 towns in New Jersey with more coming.  Each town has their own version and the Homemade Cravings Column will be published in the Berkeley Heights section, my town before heading out here to the country!  The column will often be related to a post here on Homemade Cravings and I am hoping to make it a regular thing.  The column today is about these scrumptious cupcakes, so do me a favor and visit the new Homemade Cravings Column on The Alternative Press!  Now back to the cupcakes…

Did you ever have that Caramel Apple Dip with the Heath Bar bits?  Its sooooo good and completely addictive.  I first tried the dip back when my boys were little, a friend made it for an afternoon playgroup.  We were all immediately smitten and I started making it like crazy.  I made it as a dessert for the teacher appreciation luncheon and the teachers went completely nuts over it, emailing me for the recipe, stopping me in to office to say how great it was.  I love recipes like that, especially ones that are so simple and easy but equally impressive.

Eventually it fell out of my rotation and I hadn’t thought about it in a long time, but with apple season upon us it suddenly came back to me in a flash.  But what if the apple part was CAKE instead of apple slices?!  Genius, right?  Who needs apples when you can have apple CAKE?  Exactly, no one.

So off I went to create the dip in cake form.  I made it as a cake initially but it was a little bit heavy.  I reconsidered and decided cupcakes were the way to go.  I brought these to my daughter’s back to school potluck party and they were the first dessert gone. (FYI – Heath bits have almonds in them so I only used the mini chips in that version).  I used a pastry bag to frost the cupcakes and drizzle the caramel on.  You can also use a gallon size ziplock bag and cut out a corner – about a 1/4 of an inch for the cream cheese frosting and a tiny one for the caramel drizzle.  (With the cream cheese frosting make sure you keep these refrigerated.)


Cream Cheese and Caramel Frosted Apple Cupcakes

Cream Cheese and Caramel Frosted Apple Cupcakes


  • 1 Box Golden Butter Cake Mix
  • 1 Stick of Butter, Melted and Cooled
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider
  • 1/3 Cup Musselman’s Apple Butter
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 Stick Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Package Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 2-3 Cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Toppings
  • 1 Cup Caramel, microwaved for 30 seconds to soften
  • 1/2 C Mini Chocolate Chips
  • 1/3 C Heath Bits


  1. Heat oven to 350 and line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Combine the first 5 ingredients (through apple butter) and mix well with a hand mixer.
  3. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 of the way full. Bake 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Frosting
  5. In a standing mixer or with a hand mixer blend butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, blending after each one until you reach a thick frosting consistency. Add heavy cream and vanilla and blend. Add more cream if the frosting is too thick or powdered sugar if too thin. Chill before frosting.
  6. To Decorate
  7. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, drizzle with caramel and top with mini chips and Heath bits.

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