Caramel Applesauce Cupcakes

“That cupcake was better than any cupcake I’ve ever paid money for!”

That’s a quote from my sister Mandy, after trying one of my Caramel Applesauce Cupcakes. A glowing endorsement of course, but let me tell you a few things about Mandy. She doesn’t like: spice cake, apple cider, applesauce, or any kind of cooked apple. So I’m thinking if she loved these cupcakes that much (which have a spice cake base that’s made extra moist by using applesauce and apple cider, plus they’re topped with a homemade Apple Cider Buttercream) then anyone will!

I made these up the other week to donate for a neighborhood Fall Festival cake walk. I was really trying to think of a seasonal cupcake. Well once the idea for these occurred to me, that was it! I thought they’d be awesome, and as much as I try not to toot my own horn… I’m afraid I’m about to start some tootin’! They really are insanely good. There’s no other way to put it. I’ve made a few notes in the recipe, but the shortened version is: these are insanely moist cupcakes, so don’t bake them too many days before you’re serving them… they just get more and more juicy as time passes!

Please top them with my recipe for Apple Cider Buttercream! It’s the perfect topper for any fall flavored cake, but since these are apple-y already it’s just a match made in heaven.

Caramel Applesauce Cupcakes Recipe

Allergy Egg
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable


  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • caramel cubes
  • Apple Cider Buttercream (see link to recipe above)


Step 1
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees (or according to your cake mix's specific directions), and line a couple cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners.

Here's the line-up for these awesome little cakes.
Step 2
Every recipe I've ever looked at for replacing oil with applesauce in baking calls for all natural unsweetened applesauce. Well, all I had was strawberry flavored single serving Mott's... and boy was it perfect! I say use whatever kind of applesauce you like or have on hand.

It was very convenient that my little single serving cup just happen to be 1/3 cup!
Step 3
Go by your box mix's instructions, and replace whatever amount of oil it calls for with applesauce.

Next I measure out the apple cider and water in the same measuring cup.
Step 4
Now dump the cake mix, apple cider, water, applesauce, and eggs into your mixer.
Step 5
Blend together the length of time it calls for on the cake mix box, and watch a fragrant, creamy batter develop.
Step 6
Now set up your assembly line with the cupcake pans, your batter, a spoon, and the caramels.
Step 7
Divvy out the batter evenly amongst the cupcake liners. According to my box's instructions this should make 24 cupcakes.
Step 8
As you can see, I ended up with 22. Once they came out of the oven though I thought they looked perfect so I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Gently press one caramel into the center of each cup of batter. I'm not sure if it will be for you... but this was extremely satisfying for me! I need to find a job somewhere smooshing caramels into cake batter.
Step 9
Bake in your preheated oven, and here's what they looked like 17 minutes later. It's like magic... where did the caramel go?
Step 10
Well a couple of notes on that:

1) Obviously they sank to the bottom. On the first and second day, we had about a 20% chance of the caramel sticking to the liner when the cupcake got unwrapped. None of us really minded, but I just wanted you to be aware to be careful unwrapping. Once we discovered that it could happen, we started peeling more carefully and had very few "sticks" after that.

Step 11
2) These are insanely moist cupcakes. Because of that, the caramel on the inside will be getting softer as the days go by. So, the cupcake I had the day I made them contained a still very chewy and firm candy on the inside. Whereas the cupcake I ate three days later had an almost liquified caramel sauce at the bottom. It was a bit more messy, but I kinda liked it even better! Anyway, keep that in mind and plan accordingly as to when you'd want to bake these for your event or party.

I topped these with my Apple Cider Buttercream.
Step 12
It's the perfect match for the moist apple spice cake! I also topped each one with a quarter of a caramel to give people a sneak peek as to what they'd find inside.
Step 13
I also found these candy apple flavored candy corns, which I think would be a cute topping as well.
Step 14
However you end up topping them, just make sure you keep an eye on your husband and four year old... because they will begin to mysteriously disappear!
4 replies
  1. Mandy Trapp
    Mandy Trapp says:

    I made these today, and they are so good! I used a can of cream cheese icing and added apple juice and powdered sugar instead of making icing from scratch, and it was really good too. But the icing you made was better!

    • kerrycolin
      kerrycolin says:

      I’m glad they turned out well for you! Fixing up store bought frosting is a great idea if I ever need to make them quicker. Thanks for the tip, and for the compliment!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *