Filled with apple cider flavor, applesauce, spices and a little brown sugar, these Apple Cider Cupcakes are extra moist and the perfect sweet treat for Fall. Made a little healthier than your average cupcake, these cupcakes are whole grain, gluten-free, and made with less sugar. Topped with a homemade Spiced Buttercream Frosting, these cupcakes are still plenty sweet and decadent enough for all to enjoy!
Before I get to making these Apple Cider Cupcakes, I have a confession to make.
I don’t really like frosting.
Or, at least, I’m at a solid “Okay some frosting is good. As long as there isn’t TOO much.” So I don’t make cupcakes that are decked out in frosting. Because it’s way too sweet and takes away from the cupcake itself, to me.
On the other hand, my husband is a die-hard frosting lover. He happily takes my scraped off leftover frosting! 🙂
So while I’ve tried to make cupcakes with healthier frosting, it’s sort of been outlawed at our house. Healthier frosting isn’t “real frosting” I’ve been told.
So while these Apple Cider Cupcakes are healthier than the average cupcake, this frosting is your typical buttercream frosting. And, that’s what I’d recommend too. The only other healthier frosting I’ve ever liked is cashew “cream cheese” frosting (which is delicious, and would work great for these too!).
If you’re looking for a healthier Fall treat, and are okay with some traditional buttercream frosting, then these Apple Cider Cupcakes are IT!
They’re loaded with apple cider, applesauce, spices, and a little brown sugar. Fluffy, moist and springy. And topped with a spiced buttercream frosting. After all, apple cider is Fall in a cup, and these are Fall in a cupcake!
Let’s talk cupcake details now!
First, let’s talk about making these Apple Cider Cupcakes, then we’ll talk ingredients.
To begin, to a small mixing bowl add your oat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. Stir till well combined.
To a large mixing bowl, add your butter and brown sugar and cream them together with a hand blender. Add your applesauce, apple cider, and vanilla, and blend again till all is well combined. Lastly, add your eggs and briefly mix them in.
Now, combine your dry and wet ingredients and stir them together till you have a cupcake batter. NOW, preheat your oven to 350.
This gives your oat flour a chance to soak up all the goodness of the wet ingredients while your oven is preheating. *If you’re not using oat flour, feel free to preheat your oven first and the batter does not need to rest.
Once it’s ready, fill your cupcake liners in a muffin pan about 3/4 way full with batter and bake for about 18-22 minutes, or till the tops are springy to touch and a toothpick comes out clean.
TIP: If you buy cheaper cupcake liners, be sure to spray them with non-stick spray! I’ve had liners stick to cupcakes if they aren’t the best quality. Now, I try to do it every time I make cupcakes just in case.
Wait till your cupcakes have cooled entirely to top them with the Spiced Buttercream Frosting. Pipe or spread it on however you’d like!
Let’s chat about some of the ingredients for these cupcakes too.
First, the oat flour. You don’t have to use oat flour if you don’t want to! You can also use all purpose gluten-free flour or regular flour. Both will work great.
For the applesauce, you can use sweetened or unsweetened. Either one will work.
For the apple cider, I recommend you use your favorite one! I’ve used a very sugary store bought one, and a sugar-free apple cider. Both have worked very well in this recipe.
To make these cupcakes dairy-free, be sure to use coconut oil or a dairy-free butter alternative.
And don’t forget the spiced buttercream frosting! Or, check out my cashew “cream cheese” frosting for a healthier alternative. Oh and definitely sprinkle your cupcakes with some fall-colored sprinkles too 🙂 Or add a little cinnamon sugar sprinkle on top like I did.
By the way, do you love frosting?! Am I the only crazy person who isn’t a huge fan of frosting!? Let me know, below!
And if you make these cupcakes, let me know how they turned out! I love hearing feedback from all of you.
- 1 1/3 cup oat flour (certified gluten-free) or gluten-free all purpose flour (or regular flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- pinch of cloves
- 1/4 cup butter, melted (coconut oil or dairy-free butter alternative)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp applesauce (sweetened or unsweetened)
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1-2 tbsp water, milk or more apple cider
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2 cups powdered sugar
In a small mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients: oat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves and stir them together.
In a large mixing bowl, cream your butter and brown sugar together with a mixer. Add your applesauce, apple cider, and vanilla and mix again till all is well combined. Add your eggs and briefly mix them in.
Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and stir together till you have one smooth cupcake batter.
Preheat your oven to 350 (if using oat flour, this gives the flour a chance to soak up the dry ingredients). Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and spray them with non-stick spray.
Once your oven is heated, fill your cupcake liners about 3/4 way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or till the tops are springy to touch and a toothpick comes out clean.
In a large mixing bowl, combine your butter, 1 tbsp of apple cider, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and blend together well, with a hand mixer.
Add 1 cup of powdered sugar to your bowl and mix well, with a hand mixer. Add another cup of powdered sugar to your bowl and blend together again. Beat for a minute or two, or till the frosting is nice and fluffy. *If your frosting is too thick add another tablespoon of apple cider, till it reaches the consistency you would like.
After your cupcakes have cooled, frost them (and maybe add sprinkles or cinnamon sugar on top too!). Devour!
Stored in an airtight container on the counter, cupcakes last about 1-2 days. Stored in an airtight container in the fridge they last about a week.