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Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Cider Frosting

Author: Charlotte Rutledge

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Cider Frosting Recipe

If you have a sweet tooth and a love for autumn's favorite flavor duo, these cupcakes are for you. The light, tender, mildly sweet cakes, accented with apple and cinnamon, are the perfect base for the robustly sweet/tart, creamy frosting. Although they're optional, the jammy bits add a tasty punch of flavor.

While we advise using boiled cider in this recipe, you can substitute undiluted apple juice concentrate for similar (though not quite as flavorful) results.

At a glance

1 dozen cupcakes


Choose your measure:


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons King Arthur Cake Enhancer, optional for a moister cupcake
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons boiled cider*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup apple-cinnamon jammy bits, optional
  • *see tip below


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder, optional; for holding power
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons boiled cider*
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk, optional
  • *see tip below


  1. To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 375°F, and position a rack in the center of the oven. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with papers and spray the insides, or lightly grease the pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the butter, vegetable oil, and sugar together until the mixture lightens in color and texture, 60 to 90 seconds.
  3. Beat in the cake enhancer, salt, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and boiled cider.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
  5. Weigh the flour, or measure it by gently spooning it into a measuring cup and sweeping off the excess. Gently mix in the flour, alternating it with the milk.
  6. Fold in the jammy bits.
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan — a scone and muffin scoop works well here.
  8. Bake the cupcakes for 17 to 20 minutes, until they're very light brown and a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean.
  9. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and after 5 minutes, transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
  10. To make the frosting: Beat together the butter, meringue powder, salt, and boiled cider until fully combined.
  11. Gradually add the sugar, beating until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add the milk, if necessary, to make the frosting nicely spreadable.
  12. Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
  13. Store unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Store frosted cupcakes, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.