Caramel Appletini Cupcakes

May 8, 2008 at 3:45 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 47 Comments
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Remember my cupcake catastrophe 2 months ago…?

Second times the charm right?

I decided to bake these particular cupcakes again with a couple different adjustments for an alcoholic-inspired May holiday known to me and my friends as Cinco de Drinko. Now I don’t usually drink very much (I get that red-faced-asian-thing. Its very UN-sexy!) but when I do indulge I always ask the bartender to hit me with my favorite girly drink – Caramel Apple Martini! So here’s my attempt at my favorite drink… cupcake style!

Side note: It took me a couple days to post the recipe b/c I wasn’t the only party-goer to get the brilliant idea for crunkcakes. Two other friends brought margarita cupcakes! Who knew you could get a hangover from a cupcake? LOL.


Dang! it really bugs me that the frosting is leaning but T says it makes them look drunk so its all good. LOL
(Recipe adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop | photos from me!)

Makes about 12 cupcakes


For apple cupcake
2-3 apples, granny smith* (I used 3 apples)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
green food coloring to desired color

* You can probably substitute with equivalent amt of applesauce but I have not tried it yet

For caramel apple frosting
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
4-5 tablespoons milk
3-4 teaspoons apple vodka, to taste (I used 4 tsp Smirnoff)
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

For caramel drizzle
1/2 cup evaporated milk (I substituted with heavy cream)
4oz individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped (I used about 16 Wether’s chewy caramels)

green decorating sugar


To make cupcake
Preheat oven 350F.

Rinse and core the apples. Place them on an ovenproof pan or baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes until soft. Remove the apples from the oven, let cool slightly, then remove peel and mush the apple with the back of a fork. Measure out 1 cup of apple mush and set aside to cool.

Click image to enlarge

[NOTES: If you don’t have granny apples on hand, you could probably substitute 1 cup of applesauce. I might have to try that next time.]

Combine flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl and whisk to combine. Crack the eggs into a separate, medium sized bowl and beat. Add the oil, apple juice, vanilla, and cooled apple mush and mix to combine.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients until all ingredients come together.

Scoop into cupcake liners. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

[NOTES: I think I baked mine too long b/c it came out browner than I wanted. I’d probably go 17-20 minutes next time I make it.]

To make frosting
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and 4 tablespoons milk; cook 1 minute or until sugar melts. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Combine butter mixture and apple vodka in a large bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add last tbsp milk, 1 TEAspoon at a time, beating until spreading consistency. (You might not use all of the last tbsp.)

To make caramel drizzle
Combine evaporated milk and caramels in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring frequently until caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth. Let cool for a few minutes before putting it in a piping bag (or ziplock bag with a small snip cut off in the corner) and slowly drizzle over cupcake.

[NOTES: I used my plastic squeezy “ketchup” bottle to drizzle the caramel b/c its much easier and if there’s leftovers I can save it!]

To assemble cupcakes
Use a spatula to frost a layer on the cupcake. Pat green decorating sugar around bottom rim of frosting. Fill piping bag with frosting and use a 1M star tip to pipe onto cupcake. Garnish with caramel drizzle.

Click image to enlarge

[NOTES: I think a bright red cherry on top would be uber cute but I got lazy and didn’t make it to the store to grab some. Definitely next time though…]


Husband rating: N/A

Wifey rating: A
The apple cupcake is so good with hints of cinnamon and spices. The frosting is very sweet and you can taste the kick from the vodka. I like the crunch from the decorating sugar too. All in all I think it resembled the drink I was going for.

Other rating: A
It really depends on if you like caramel. Friends that love caramel (like me) really raved about this cupcake while other friends took a couple bites and said it was too sweet. But there were no more by the end of the night. That should tell you something right?! :)



  1. Those sound awesome!!

  2. Wow those are beautiful and delicious sounding!

  3. DOREENRE, thanky! They taste pretty awesome too ;)

    MARY, thanky. Isn’t the green so purdy? I love how it looks! If I had just a little pop of red from a cherry on top, it would have been perfect!

  4. Ohhh my god, I think I am in love. Seriously. Like, as soon as I have time and an occasion, I am going to make these cupcakes without changing a single thing in the recipe, and then serve them in martini glasses. Soooooo much love. Incredible. Love. aaaahhh.

  5. Very cute! I love the close up of the final cupcake. I would be tempted to try one.

  6. […] can see more pictures and complete instructions here. Posted by CB, on Friday, May 9, 2008 No Comments, Comment or […]

  7. The glittery sugar gets me every time, they’re so cute! You have such a talent for creating gorgeous food woman.

  8. These are adorable! I am so glad that they turned out better for you this time around. And I think your red face is HAWT when you drink. LOL ;)

  9. so purdy! I love the color combo and presentation. :)

  10. ALLISON, aaawww thank you for your enthusiasm! You totally have to try and let me know what you think! :)

    GRETCHEN, thankyou! It’ll be 2 for 2 if you make these ones b/c you made my honey pecan cookies too! LOL

    LT, oh seriously. I love glitter. haha. Not sure about talent when I see some of these insane cupcake-ers that create all this awesomeness with fondant you know? But I am more in the philosophy of eat-ability and I wouldn’t wanna eat some of those cupcake scenes b/c they are “too” pretty. LOL.

    MRSABYBABY, thanks love! and NO I am not HAWT with purple-red face. Its probably b/c you were drunk too so everyone looks hawt. Even the guidos… LOL.

    NINABETH, I love the colors too! I am trying to get better at food photography lately. I think its the next step in blogger progression… haha.

  11. Those look divine!!

  12. BUNNYB, thanky! btw do you have a blog?

  13. They look awesome! Its so funny you should post these since I am making some for mother’s day. I’ll have to try this recipe now;) I decorated my first cake last night! Come check it out;)

    Also do you know of a good banana cupcake/cake recipe?

    Stay Sweet;)

  14. LAURA, what crazy timing! GMTA! Definitely let me know what you think if you give my recipe a try! banana cupcake recipe? ooohhh… uh.. confession? I do not like bananas so I can’t help you there but my go-to cupcake recipe blog is always Cupcake Bakeshop and maybe Chockylit will have something tasty for you? ::off to read your blog::

  15. w00t for caramel!

    And the tilted frosting actually makes the cupcake look very jaunty, if that makes any sense!

  16. BOMBSHELL, rock on fellow caramel lover! jaunty=word of the day. ::looking for trusty dictionary::

  17. Wow! Those are some of the most beautiful cupcakes I have ever seen. They sound as fantastic as they look!

  18. COUNTRYGIRL, aawww thank you! Making me blush… :)

  19. ohhhh what a great idea! definitely on my to-do list! :)

  20. NATALIE, Thanks! If you try it, come back with a review, k? :)

  21. Cherry or no Cherry, I’m salivating over that swirly topping.

  22. GKBLOODSUGAR, haha. thanks! I am a swirl whore myself. Nice to “meet” you. :)

  23. Great job with this one…it looks divine!

  24. SWEET&SAUCY, thanks! It WAS pretty darn good ;)

  25. That is one of the prettiest (simple) cupcakes I have ever seen. And the flavor is especially intriguing to me.

  26. TOONTZ, aaaawww thank you so much. Let me know if you bake it! Love to hear what you think! :)

  27. You are just ROCKING with the cupcakes. I have never seen anything like this! Great job!

  28. HILLARY, haha thanks! I think they turned out pretty good from the idea in my head. Might have to try out other “drinks” too! Any requests? ;)

  29. […] For apple cupcake Adapted from I<3cuppycakes […]

  30. That’s my pingback up there. I tried it out with 1 cup of applesauce and it worked great. Also reduced the cooking time to avoid cracking/browning. Used a cinnamon frosting instead of the vodka version but will try it sometime.

  31. JESS, Thanks for letting me know that substituting 1 cup applesauce worked for you! Your pictures look yummy!

  32. […] Giraffe, Chocolate Gateau from Happy Home Baking, Kitchen Sink Cookies from How To Eat a Cupcake, Caramel Appletini Cupcakes from I Heart Cuppycakes, Fresh Date, Yam and Walnut Cake from Kitchen Unplugged, Apple Puffcake […]

  33. WOW! apple and caramel together? Sounds amazing and I am sure they taste fantastic!

    These cupcakes would sure be a hit at our house.

    great photos!

  34. LILIANA, Thanks! If you make them, let me know what you and family thought, k?

  35. OMG Made these for a freinds bbq yesterday…. I made some modifications.. Instead of apple juice I used apple vodka, then topped with a simple syrup glaze.. Also made with apple vodka… Made the frosting with baileys caramel instead of the vodka… Also put the baileys in the drizzle… Everyone raved about them.. Thank you for a wonderful cupcake!

  36. […] Appletini Cupcakes (from I Heart Cuppy Cakes) […]

  37. Where did you get those particular liners?

  38. Cant wait to make these! They look yummy!!! I have a question about the frosting. I noticed that the frosting with the green sprinkles was white. However, the frosting on top is brown. Is that just from the caramel sauce or was something else added? Thanks for clarifying!

  39. i have an entire menu of as u call them crunkcakes I call them Kuptinis! might have to try this one too!

  40. Can these be made a day ahead(minus the caramel) adn if so how would you store them? I am thinking of making for hubbys surprise bday(yes he loves his appletini’s, lol).

  41. Is this recipe for mini cupcakes or full size ones?

  42. What would u substitute for the vodka – No alcohol used in our home.

  43. Is it just me or is there a step missing from the frosting?

    To make frosting–
    Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and 4 tablespoons milk; cook 1 minute or until sugar melts. Remove from heat; cool slightly………… When do you add this mix to the steps below???

    Combine butter mixture and apple vodka in a large bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add last tbsp milk, 1 TEAspoon at a time, beating until spreading consistency. (You might not use all of the last tbsp.)

  44. Wondering what I could use instead of vodka so I can make these for work????

  45. Apple juice or cider (which will add that bit of bitter that alcohol has) should do the trick

  46. […] By […]

  47. you add it at the point where it says “combine butter mixture and apple vodka in a large bowl.”

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