With the arrival of fall comes many wonderful things – cooler temperatures, enabling us to break out the jeans, scarves and, hello, BOOTS!!; pumpkin spice lattes (make your own syrup!), beautiful colours, fairs, pumpkins…and of course, apples.

My hubby surprised me a few weeks ago by taking our boys apple picking while I was laid off my ankle. I already had in mind what I wanted to do with them – one being applesauce (watch for that recipe to come!) and pies of course, as well as Caramel Apple Cupcakes.

Now, my children do NOT like candy or caramel apples. I’ve tried to get them to eat them numerous times (hmm, am I crazy wanting my kids to eat that stuff?), but they always take one bite, then refuse the rest.

So, when I came across the idea of caramel apple cupcakes, I thought I would give it a try! They look pretty cool and aren’t overly sweet – if you’re afraid of too much sweetness, you can skip the cream cheese filling. And what’s even better? The kids LOVE them!

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Apple cupcake recipe from cupcakeblog.com

2-3 apples, any kind, preferably a more tart, firm apple like granny smith, empire or cortland.

2 cups flour (all purpose)

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground 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

Rinse and core apples. Bake in an ovenproof pan for 40 minutes until soft. Once cooled, remove peel and smash with a fork to make apple mush.

Combine flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together.

Crack eggs into a separate bowl and whisk. Add oil, apple juice, vanilla and 1 cup of cooled apple mush. Mix to combine.

Combine wet and dry ingredients, mixing only until combined.

Scoop into cupcake liners, about 3/4 full (you want them to have a good dome for your apple shape!). Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes. Make sure to rotate the pans after 10 minutes. (I didn’t fill mine enough, hence the slightly small size :o/)

Cream Cheese Filling

4 ounces cream cheese

1/8 cup butter (room temp)

2 cups icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat butter vigorously. Add cream cheese and beat. Add icing sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Cut out a cone shape from each cupcake top.

Place 1-2 teaspoons of filling in the cupcake, then replace the lid.

Caramel Topping

I opted for an easier caramel topping method. Purchase a jar of icecream caramel topping, or dulce du leche. Warm in the microwave on low (careful not to burn!). Dip or spoon the caramel over top of your cupcakes. Insert popsicle stick and VOILA! A caramel apple cupcake :0)