Apple Cider Cupcakes

apple cider cupcakesApples are cultivated throughout the world, from the United States to Italy to India. There are literally thousands of different cultivars of apples, ranging in color, flavor, texture, and usage. For the same kind of fruit, it’s pretty amazing to think about how different each apple can taste from the next, from a tart Granny Smith to a sweet Honey Crisp. I’m a fan of the Rome, Gala, and Golden Delicious varieties, but I always prefer to bake with a blend of sweet and tart apples in pies.

To me, apple cider is like apple juice’s tangy sibling, and I’ve seen it in a variety of recipes lately, mostly for doughnuts. I came across this cupcake recipe on Pinterest, though the original was paired with a caramel buttercream. I’ve frosted these cupcakes with my traditional caramel frosting, but I have to admit: I think a simple glaze icing, or even just a sprinkling of sifted powdered sugar, would have been a better choice. The cupcakes themselves are light and spongy, and while the caramel flavor in the frosting pairs well with the spicy apple flavor in the cupcakes, it’s a bit denser than necessary. Next time, I’ll likely opt for a different frosting, if I frost them at all.


  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup apple cider


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line one 12-count cupcake tin with paper liners.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the bowl frequently.

Add flour mixture and cider alternatively, in thirds, beating until just combined after each addition and ending with the flour.

Scoop batter into prepared tin, filling cups about 3/4 full.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting or serve plain. These cupcakes are tasty enough on their own!





2 thoughts on “Apple Cider Cupcakes

  1. These look delicious! I will be making these during cider season…and soon! We love apples and cider at our house. Lately, we have been getting apples in our farm share. They are Liberty apples. Ugly looking things on the outside, but a nice sweet crisp inside. I’ve already made pie, applesauce, and apple pancakes. Yum!

    oh and could these be called apple cider muffins? to make them seem healthier? what is the difference??? is it po-tay-to po-tah-to?

    1. hmm, i don’t think i’ve ever had a liberty apple! i’ll have to stay on the lookout for them, as i prefer a sweeter apple to the tart ones.

      so, the muffin/cupcake question is an interesting one. technically, cupcakes are just small cakes, while muffins are small quick breads. the main difference is the fat; cakes usually use butter or margarine, while quick breads usually use oil, and there’s usually a lot more butter in a cake than there is oil in a muffin. emulsion is also an important difference; with a cake, your ingredients should be evenly incorporated and your batter should be lump-free, whereas with a muffin lumps are okay.

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