As soon as Autumn hits, I have apple crumble on my mind! These Apple Crumble Cupcakes are inspired by one of my favourite cold weather desserts. I would totally eat them on a summer's day too, but they are really perfect for the cooler months. The cupcake sponge is made with brown sugar and cinnamon, they're filled with spiced stewed apples, topped with sweet cinnamon buttercream, more delicious stewed apples, and filling a crunchy crumble topping! Trust me, the extra elements of the filling and crumble topping are SO worth it because these cupcakes taste incredible once everything comes together!
Ingredient Tips & Equipment Information
- Make sure all your ingredients (particularly the butter and eggs) are at room temperature before you start baking.
- I used unsalted butter for the buttercream and the crumble topping, for the cupcakes I used a baking spread.
- Mixed spice is a British spice blend containing Cinnamon, Coriander Seed, Nutmeg, Clove, Pimento, Ginger. If you can't get hold of it, use a Pumpkin Spice mix instead.
- I really recommend using light brown soft sugar if you can, as it gives the cupcakes and the stewed apples a lovely caramel flavour. But if you can't get hold of it, you can use golden caster sugar or regular caster sugar (superfine sugar) instead.
- I use a cupcake corer to make the hole in the centre of the cupcakes, you can also use the large circular end of a piping nozzle, or use a knife.
- Although I provide cup measurements, I highly recommend weighing your ingredients out using digital kitchen scales*. It is the most accurate way to measure ingredients and will ensure the best results. Digital scales are very low cost and can be purchased for around £12 ($16.50) .
- For teaspoon (tsp) and tablespoon (tbsp) measurements, please use measuring spoons* and not the type of spoons you eat with. Again this will ensure accuracy and provide the best results.
For the full recipe with measurements, head to the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to make Apple Crumble Cupcakes
Make the stewed apples and crumble topping first so that they can cool down. For the stewed apples, heat the apple, light brown sugar, cornflour, cinnamon and mixed spice in a pan on a low heat until soft. For the crumble topping, mix the ingredients together and spread out on a baking tray, bake until golden.
For the cupcake sponge, mix together light brown sugar, butter and eggs, then add spices and self raising flour. Divide the batter into cupcake cases and bake them until golden.
Using a cupcake corer or a knife, make a hole in each cupcake and fill them with some of the stewed apple. Top the cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream, then add more stewed apples, and finally sprinkle over the crumble topping.
What kind of apples should you use?
I have used Jazz and Pink Lady apples to make these cupcakes, but any sweet eating apples will work.
How long do the cupcakes last for and can they be frozen?
The cupcakes will last for 2-3 days in an airtight container in a cool place. You can freeze both the cupcakes and the buttercream. To freeze them separately, wrap the cupcakes well in cling film or put them in an airtight container. The buttercream can be frozen in a sealed tub. To freeze them decorated, freeze the cupcakes on a plate until frozen solid, then carefully wrap in cling film. Remove the clingfilm when you take the cupcakes out of the freezer to defrost, as if they defrost with it still on it could damage the buttercream. You can also freeze the stewed apple in an airtight container. The crumble topping can be kept in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 days, and it can also be frozen on it's own.
Can you make the cupcakes with plain/all purpose flour?
Self raising flour, which is very commonly used in the UK where I am based, already contains a raising agent and a little salt too. Therefore if you want to swap it for plain or all purpose flour, you will need to add some additional baking powder and also a little salt if you like. Some people like to add salt to cake recipes and some don't, so I'll leave that up to you as it won't affect the bake. The general advice is to add 2 teaspoons baking powder (a measuring teaspoon, not the kind you stir your coffee with) per every 200g plain or all purpose flour. So for this recipe you'd need to add 1 + ¾ teaspoons baking powder. Please note, I have not tested this recipe using plain or all purpose flour.
Can the cupcakes be made gluten or dairy free?
Yes! For gluten free you can replace the self raising flour with a gluten free self raising flour blend. If you only have a gluten free plain flour blend, you will need to add baking powder. The general advice is to add 2 tsp baking powder per 200g flour, so for this recipe you'd need to add 1 + ¾ teaspoons baking powder. You may also like to add ¼ tsp Xantham Gum for better texture. For a dairy free version, use a dairy free baking spread for the cupcakes, the buttercream and the crumble topping.
More tips for making the Apple Crumble Cupcakes:
- The crumble is lovely and crunchy, but it will eventually go soft after being in contact with the moist buttercream and stewed apple. So sprinkle it on right before serving, or as close to serving as possible.
- I used an Ateco 829 nozzle to pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes, but you can use any nozzle you prefer or spread it on with a spoon.
If you have any questions about this recipe, or if something went wrong and you need help, please use the comment form below and I will get back to you. You can also get in touch with me on my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I'd love to hear from you!
Recommended equipment & ingredients*
- Cupcake tin
- Mixing bowls
- Cooling rack
- Kitchen scales
- Piping bags
- Electric hand mixer
- Ateco 829 piping nozzle
- Apple cutter
- Cupcake corer
*I earn a small amount of money if you buy the products after clicking on the links. You will not be charged anything extra for this. Thank you for supporting The Baking Explorer!
More apple recipes...
Apple Crumble Cupcakes
For the apple filling
- 2 Apples medium sized, regular eating apples
- 30 g Light brown soft sugar
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Mixed spice
- 1 tsp Cornflour (cornstarch)
For the crumble topping
- 10 g Butter unsalted
- 8 g Light brown soft sugar
- 17 g Plain flour
- ⅛ tsp Cinnamon
For the cupcakes
- 175 g Butter or baking spread
- 175 g Light brown soft sugar
- 3 Eggs large
- 175 g Self raising flour
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Mixed spice
For the buttercream
- 175 g Butter softened, unsalted
- 350 g Icing sugar
- 1 ½ tsp Cinnamon
- 2-3 tbsp Milk
- To make the apple filling, peel and core the apples, then chop into small chunks. Add to a pan on a low heat along with the light brown sugar, cornflour, cinnamon and mixed spice. Stir everything together
- Cover with a pan lid, and cook the apple for 10-15 minutes until soft
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely
- To make the crumble, pre-heat your oven to 180C Fan/200C/375F/Gas Mark 5, and line a baking tray with baking paper
- Put the plain flour, light brown soft sugar and cinnamon into a bowl and stir together
- Add the butter and use your fingers to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles breadcrumbs. You can also use a fork to do this
- Spread it out onto a lined baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until it is golden and feels firmer to the touch (it will firm up more as it cools)
- For the cupcakes, pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and line a cupcake tin with cupcake cases
- To make the sponge, mix together the butter and sugar, ideally using an electric mixer, until smooth
- Add the eggs and whisk well
- Then gently whisk in the self raising flour, cinnamon and mixed spice
- Divide the mixture between the 12 cupcake cases
- Bake them for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cupcakes comes out clean. Leave to cool completely
- Use a cupcake corer or a knife to make a hole in the middle of each cupcake
- Fill the holes with the apple filling
- Make the buttercream by mixing together the butter, cinnamon, icing sugar and milk, and mix until smooth. For best results use an electric whisk. If the buttercream is too stiff you can add a little more milk
- Pipe the buttercream onto each cupcake using a piping bag fitted with your chosen nozzle (I used an Ateco 829 nozzle). Or spread on with a spoon
- Add the rest of the apple filling to the top of each of the cupcakes
- Sprinkle the crumble over the top - or wait and do this later if not serving immediately as it will go softer from being in contact with the buttercream after a little while
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place, eat leftovers within 3 days