These apple cider cupcakes are made with a thick apple cider reduction and the perfect blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. They're topped with delicious cream cheese frosting and drizzled with apple cider reduction.
Why You'll Love these Apple Cider Cupcakes
Packed full of apple cider flavor- The star ingredient in these cupcakes is the thick apple cider reduction. It adds the best flavor without adding too much liquid to the batter.
Super moist- These cupcakes are super moist and have the best texture. The key to making these cupcakes extra moist is buttermilk.
Warm fall flavors- These cupcakes have the perfect blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice that pair excellently with apple cider, giving these cupcakes the best fall flavor.
Cream cheese frosting- In my opinion cream cheese frosting is the best of all frostings and it pairs absolutely perfectly with these apple cider cupcakes.
Ingredients for Apple Cider Cupcakes
- Apple cider- it will be reduced into a thick syrup to give these cupcakes the best fall flavor
- All purpose flour- gives these cupcakes the most tender crumb
- Sugar- brown sugar and granulated sugar are used in the cupcakes, and powdered sugar is used in the frosting
- Butter- make sure it's softened, used in the frosting and cupcakes
- Eggs- make sure they are room temperature
- Buttermilk- helps keep the cupcakes moist, make sure it's room temperature
- Baking soda and powder- helps the cupcakes to rise
- Ground spice blend- cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice give these cupcakes a warm, fall flavor
- Vanilla- I recommend vanilla bean paste for the best flavor
- Salt- brings out all the flavors
- Cream cheese- will be used to make delicious cream cheese frosting
Step by Step Instructions
STEP ONE: Start by adding 3 cups of apple cider to a sauce pan over medium low heat. Bring it to a simmer and stir occasionally until it has reduced down to ½ cup. It will take some time, around 20 minutes. Let the cider reduction cool before using it in the cupcake batter. (¼ cup will be used in the cupcake batter and ¼ will be used to drizzle on top).
STEP TWO: Cream softened butter, brown sugar and white sugar together.
STEP THREE: Mix in egg and vanilla, then buttermilk and the reduced apple cider.
STEP FOUR: Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice into a medium bowl.
STEP FIVE: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine.
STEP SIX: Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and fill each liner ¾ of the way full. Bake the cupcakes for 19-21 minutes.
STEP SEVEN: While the cupcakes cool make the frosting. Add softened butter to a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until pale in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in cold cream cheese and mix until combine. Then sift in powdered sugar a little at a time and combine. Lastly mix in vanilla. Transfer your frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a decorative tip.
STEP EIGHT: When the cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe a generous amount of cream cheese frosting onto each one. Lastly drizzle reduced apple cider over the tops of the cupcakes.
Serve right away. Store left overs in an air tight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Find complete measurements from recipe below.
How long will these cupcakes stay fresh for? They'll stay fresh for up to three days in an air tight container.
Can these cupcakes be made gluten free? I don't specialize in gluten free baking, so these were only tested with regular flour. I'm not sure if they'd come out the same.
Do I really have to reduce the apple cider? Yes, this adds the best, most concentrated apple cider favor to the cupcakes. If you were to use just a ¼ cup of apple cider in the cupcake batter 1) it wouldn't have a prominent cider flavor, and 2) because it is more watery than the reduction, the cupcakes would not bake properly.
Make sure all your wet ingredients are room temperature. You'll have the best textured cupcakes when the ingredients are room temperature instead of cold. Cold wet ingredients can make any kind of cake/cupcakes turn out "gummy".
For the cream cheese frosting, make sure your butter is softened, but your cream cheese is cold. This will give you the best consistency of cream cheese frosting. It will hold it's form better without getting "soupy" on you, which can easily happen with cream cheese frosting.
If you're planning on making my other apple cider desserts this fall I recommend just reducing a bunch of apple cider all at once and keeping the reduced syrup in the fridge for when you want to make something! It'll really come in handy! A good ratio for reduction is 3 cups reduced down to ½ cup, 6 cups down to 1 cup, 9 cups reduced to 1 ½ cups etc.
Also, please leave me a review if you make these cupcakes! It would be so, so helpful and allow me to more easily keep creating delicious recipes for you all!
Other Recipes to Try:
Apple Cider Cupcakes
For the Apple Cider Reduction
- 3 cups apple cider reduced to ½ cup (¼ cup for the cupcake batter and ¼ cup for the drizzle)
For the Cupcakes
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup packed, light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup of apple cider reduction from above
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoon all purpose flour spooned and leveled
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- ¾ cup softened, unsalted butter
- 6 oz cream cheese cold
- 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
For the Apple Cider Reductions:
- Start by adding 3 cups of apple cider to a sauce pan over medium low heat. Bring it to a simmer and stir occasionally until it has reduced down to ½ cup. It will take some time, around 20 minutes. Let the cider reduction cool before using it in the cupcakes. (¼ cup will be used in the cupcake batter and ¼ will be used to drizzle on top).
For the Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with liners and set aside.
- To a large bowl add the softened, unsalted butter, granulated white sugar and light brown sugar. Cream together with an electric mixer.
- Then add in the egg and vanilla and mix for about 1 minute, until pale in color and smooth.
- Next add in the buttermilk and ¼ cup of the apple cider reduction and combine.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in a medium small bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine.
- Fill each liner ¾ of the way full. Bake the cupcakes for 17-19 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the centers. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Add the softened, unsalted butter to a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until pale in color and fluffy, about five minutes.
- Add in the cold cream cheese and mix until combined.
- Then sift in the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it is all combined.
- Lastly, add in the vanilla.
Assembling the Cupcakes
- Transfer your frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a decorative tip.
- When the cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe a generous amount of cream cheese frosting onto each one.
- Lastly, take the remaining ¼ cup of the apple cider reduction and drizzle it over the tops of the cupcakes. Serve right away.