After you’ve had caramel apples, it’s hard to separate the two classic ingredients and somehow, during this winter cold, the flavor combination and cinnamony aroma that wafts through the house keeps my family warm inside. I’ve made dozens of apple muffins through the years, but I realize now that it was all just practice to get to this definitive treat—caramel apple cupcakes.
Instead of chopping the apples, I grate them on my box grater. This method distributes them throughout the batter, making sure you get apple with every bite of caramel—no stick necessary! It also gives the cupcakes a wonderfully moist crumb.
Please come say “hi” over in my online community, Silvana’s Kitchen. I’d love to hear how you’re doing.
Thank you, as always, for reading and sharing!
For ingredient substitutions, please see the detailed chart at Gluten-Free 101.
Let’s get cooking,
P.S. Want to make your own dairy-free caramel? Here are two recipes from my fellow gluten-free bloggers:
Salted Caramel (drizzled on bourbon bacon brownies) from Brittany Angell of Real Sustenance.
Handcrafted Dairy/Casein-Free Chewy Caramels from Heidi Kelly of Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom.
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large apples—cored, peeled and shredded
1½ cups chewy caramel candies
1 tablespoon heavy cream or dairy-free creamer
- Preheat the oven to 350º and line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the oil and vanilla. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined; stir in the shredded apples. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan until about ¾ full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, 25 to 30 minutes; let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, in a small, microwavable bowl, combine the caramels and cream. Microwave for 1 minute at medium power, then stir; repeat in 30-second intervals until smooth. Let cool, then spread generously on the cupcakes.