Apple Butter Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist homemade cinnamon apple butter cupcakes topped off with caramel cream cheese frosting. A fun seasonal dessert!

Moist apple butter cupcakes with caramel cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel

I love Fall, but I kind of have a love/hate relationship with September sometimes. It’s my favorite time of year. Okay, okay… it’s technically not Fall yet, but close enough. I think most people consider post-Labor Day to be Fall or rather, Labor Day weekend to be the end of Summer. Anyway… September… I’ve always loved it. Always. And, I always will. But these days it’s especially busy, not just because it’s back to school season. There is that though, which comes with the usual back to school nights and meetings. But we have birthdays, an anniversary, and multiple days of sports. It’s officially the busy season. A huge contrast from our days of Summer vacation. Oh to enjoy a few more of those days!

Book update… I’ve officially given up on “The Last Letter From Your Lover.” I struggled to get into this book. I honestly had high hopes since I loved “Me Before you.” I guess they can’t all be winners! Have you ready anything amazing lately?

I’m currently having an inner debate over whether or not to set our Keurig back up. I put it in the basement once the weather warmed up. I wanted my counter space back and it was taking up too much space. I don’t like items that take up a ton of space, especially when they’re not used daily AND when they don’t even always work. The only reason I’m even debating on setting it back up, at least temporarily, is to enjoy warm drinks on cold days when we have to be outside for extended times…plus, we still have k-cups to use and it feels like a waste to toss them instead of using them.

Moist apple butter cupcakes with caramel cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel

These cupcakes basically scream Fall and they’re definitely one of my favorite apple cupcakes so far. I can’t get enough apple recipes!

Classic Fall flavors… Apples. Cinnamon. Caramel. What’s not to love?!

Moist cupcakes, flavored with homemade cinnamon apple butter and topped off with sweet caramel cream cheese frosting!

This recipe makes a perfect seven cupcakes. But if you need more, simply increase the ingredients to your reach your desired number!

Be sure to add these apple butter cupcakes to your Fall baking plans! Everyone is guaranteed to love these fun seasonal cupcakes! A perfect treat for any celebration or just because!

Moist apple butter cupcakes with caramel cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Apple Butter Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist homemade cinnamon apple butter cupcakes topped off with caramel cream cheese frosting. A fun seasonal dessert!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cupcake
Servings: 7 cupcakes



  • 1/4 C unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1/4 C light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 C all purpose flour
  • 1/2 C cinnamon apple butter


  • 6 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 C unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tb caramel sauce room temperature
  • 4 C powdered sugar
  • Caramel squares for topping


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a cupcake pan with 7 paper liners. 
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla, scraping the bowl as needed. Mix in cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt, followed by flour. Mix until smooth and well combined. Finally, mix in apple butter, mixing until fully combined and no streaks remain. Use a large cookie scoop to divide the batter equally between 7 liners, roughly 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat cream cheese for 30 seconds before adding butter. Beat together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, followed by 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time until fully incorporated. Add 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce at a time, beating well between additions. Transfer frosting to a large piping bag fit with desired piping tip*. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Top off with caramel squares. 
  • Store in an airtight container or in the refrigerator. 


*Thick caramel sauce should be used, not caramel dessert syrup topping.
*A jumbo open star piping tip was used for this recipe.
An original recipe from Baked by Rachel

Items used in this recipe:

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Moist apple butter cupcakes with caramel cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel
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32 Responses to “Apple Butter Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. #
    Kelly | Maverick Baking — September 12, 2016 at 6:30 am

    You had me at Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting. These look soooooo good, bring on Autumn! As for reading, if you haven’t already seen or read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, I know I’m two years behind, you should because I’m obsessed with it right now!

    • #
      Rachel — September 13, 2016 at 7:11 am

      You know what’s funny, I read it but I’m in the minority and really didn’t enjoy it at all. I hope you have a better time with it!

  2. #
    Catherine — September 12, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Dear Rachel, these cupcakes are so decadent and beautiful! I didn’t even have breakfast yet, but I’m craving one right now with my coffee. xo, Catherine

    • #
      Rachel — September 13, 2016 at 7:11 am

      Thanks so much!

  3. #
    Marye — September 12, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Oh wow, these cupcakes are gorgeous! I can’t wait to try them!

    • #
      Rachel — September 13, 2016 at 7:11 am

      Thank you!

  4. #
    Karen @ The Food Charlatan — September 12, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Love the apple butter in these! And cream cheese frosting is always a good choice :) It’s busy season over here too. September is crazy sometimes!

    • #
      Rachel — September 13, 2016 at 7:11 am

      Thanks so much, Karen!

  5. #
    Patricia @ Grab a Plate — September 12, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    These *do* scream fall! I love that you’ve used apple butter in them (need to try your recipe), and of course I just love your little garnish :) Lovely!

    • #
      Rachel — September 13, 2016 at 7:11 am

      Thanks, Patricia!

  6. #
    Nicole Taggart — September 13, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    these cupcakes looks so good. I love the frosting.
    And I need to check out your book recommendations!

    • #
      Rachel — September 14, 2016 at 7:29 am

      Thanks, Nicole!

  7. #
    Jessica {Six Clever Sisters} — September 15, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    This would have been perfect in our apple recipe roundup last week! The frosting sounds amazing!

    • #
      Rachel — September 16, 2016 at 7:17 am

      Thanks, Jessica! :)

  8. #
    Mamoona — September 18, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Oh my gosh! These look stunning. Fall is my favorite time of the year and I love cooking with pumpkins and apples. This recipe is a must try!

    • #
      Rachel — September 19, 2016 at 7:19 am

      Thanks so much!

  9. #
    Amy — April 20, 2017 at 10:31 am

    These cupcakes look amazing! Great job. They will be a hit with my family!

    • #
      Rachel — April 21, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks, Amy!

  10. #
    Danielle — July 16, 2017 at 1:11 am

    Hey Rachel, I also thought these looked delicious, and so we tried to make them! Twice in fact. Both times the result was molten lava sugar drip alllllll over my oven. >__<

    Theories are that maybe the flour and/or baking soda/powder ratios are off–particularly given the amount of apple butter in addition to the amount of eggs and sugar??

    Any thoughts? Thanks so much!

    • #
      Rachel — July 16, 2017 at 7:40 am

      The ingredients are correct as written. Make sure that your measurements are correct and that the apple butter is nice and thick. If the apple butter is soupy, like applesauce, that may be your problem. You should also check to make sure that your oven is running at the proper temperature. You can do this by inserting a stand alone oven thermometer inside of your oven.

  11. #
    Connie — July 29, 2017 at 10:50 am

    I couldn’t find cinnamon apple butter, would regular apple butter work?
    Maybe add a little more cinnamon?

    • #
      Rachel — July 31, 2017 at 8:18 am

      Absolutely. Just increase the cinnamon slightly.

  12. #
    sue — August 20, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    I have made the cupcakes, caramel and frosting. They are very good. I am anxious to try some of your other recipes. I find it curious that your cupcake recipes make only 7 or 8. That works great for me as they are easily doubled. How have you come by making small batches? thank you….

    • #
      Rachel — August 23, 2017 at 8:37 am

      So glad you’ve enjoyed them, Sue! :)

  13. #
    Tammy Harper — October 7, 2017 at 10:51 am

    I loved these cupcakes! I have just started baking again and these turned out perfect. I followed your recipe exactly. I took them to work and everyone wanted more. Txs!

    • #
      Rachel — October 9, 2017 at 9:27 am

      So glad you enjoyed them, Tammy!

  14. #
    sue — August 22, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    do you have an apple butter recipe? preferred brand of caramel please?

    thank you

  15. #
    sue — September 15, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    how far ahead can the frosting be made please? Thank you

    • #
      Rachel — September 16, 2019 at 7:18 am

      For best results, it should be prepared just prior to topping the cupcakes.

  16. #
    Elise — October 8, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    If I wanted to make this into a cake instead of cupcakes, how long would I bake it? Thank you!

    • #
      Rachel — October 9, 2020 at 5:43 am

      You’ll need to watch the time, as it will vary per oven and with different pan sizes. I do not have an exact time for you as I haven’t made this particular recipe into a cake.

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