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Apple Pie Cupcakes are a fun way to get two desserts in one: apple pie and cupcakes! The cupcakes are filled with apple pie filling and topped with buttercream frosting. You can make this recipe entirely from scratch or try some of my recommended shortcuts to make it easier.
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Homemade Apple Pie Cupcakes
I am all about the apple desserts all year long! Apple pie is my favorite dessert, after all, so I love turning it into other recipes. I’ve done French toast, pancakes, magic bars, and now these adorable homemade apple pie cupcakes!
I’ve seen versions of apple filling cupcakes from Food Network and Martha Stewart, and this is my easy version, complete with my signature pie crust chip. It’s such a fun idea and the best dessert if you love apple pie and cupcakes like me.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- This recipe includes my favorite vanilla cupcakes, buttercream frosting, and easy homemade apple pie filling. I also top them with a pie crust dipper to go with the pie theme – every pie needs a crust!
- The result is amazing – I love the presentation and flavor.
- I like to make apple filled cupcakes from scratch, but there are some handy-dandy shortcuts you can take if you want – I’m sharing all the details in the semi-homemade swap section in this post!
Ingredients in Apple Pie Cupcakes
- Vanilla Cupcakes: Make my homemade recipe (it’s my yellow cake recipe made into cupcakes) or use a box mix.
- Apples: Peeled and diced Granny Smith Apples – or use your favorite. We’re going to cook the filling to make a sort of apple pie filling – but you want them diced small.
- Granulated sugar: For the pie filling
- Cornstarch: To thicken the filling
- Ground cinnamon: A must in apple recipes!
- Vanilla Frosting: Use my best vanilla buttercream recipe or use a canned icing.
- Pie Crust Chips: These are a fun addition to bring home the “pie” theme!
How to Make Apple Pie Cupcakes from scratch
- Make your cupcakes – homemade or box mix.
- Make the filling: Place the water, sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a saucepan. Warm them over medium-low heat and whisk until the mixture starts to thicken. Add the apples and stir to coat them evenly in the sugar mixture. Lower the heat and cook them, stirring often, until they are tender. Take the pan off the heat and let the apple filling cool to room temperature.
- Make the frosting: Beat the butter in a large bowl until it’s smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla and keep mixing until the mixture is creamy. Add the whipping cream one tablespoon at a time while whipping at medium-high speed until the frosting is thickened enough to pipe.
- How to assemble the cupcakes: First, cut a round opening on top of the cupcake so you can spoon in the filling.
- Fill the hole with about one tablespoon of apple pie filling. Once you’ve filled all of the cupcakes, pipe frosting around the edge of each one, so it looks like the edge of a pie crust. Garnish each cupcake with a pie crust chip.
These cupcakes can be 100% homemade, or take a few (or more!) shortcuts to make them even easier. Either way, these apple filled cupcakes will be a hit.
- Cupcakes: you can start with my recipe, a boxed vanilla cupcake mix, or even get some plain cupcakes from the bakery section at the grocery store.
- Frosting: You can substitute a canned icing (although my homemade recipe is SUPER easy and way better tasting).
- Apple pie filling: My homemade filling is so good, but you can use canned apple pie filling instead. If you do, you will need to cut the apple pieces into smaller pieces, so they fit in the cupcakes.
- Pie crust chips: Instead of making my all-butter crust pie crust recipe to make chips, pick up a refrigerated pie crust instead.
I use a paring knife to cut a hole in each cupcake, so it’s easy to fill each one. You can also use a cupcake corer if you have one.
You can make cupcakes look like pies by cutting a well on the top of each one. Fill the wells with pie filling and then pipe frosting around the edge. This makes them look like little pies!
Store cupcakes loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and they’ll stay fresh.
Cupcakes, frosting, and pie filling can be frozen for up to 3 months (before being assembled).
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Apple Pie Cupcakes
- 2 ½ cups (310 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
- 3 cups (12 ounces/348 g) Granny Smith Apples, peeled and diced small
- 1 cup water
- ⅔ cup (134 g) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons (24 g) cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cups (452 g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 recipe Pie Crust Chips optional
Make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with liners.
- Whisk salt, baking powder, and flour in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer, cream sugar into melted butter until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then mix in vanilla extract.
- Add dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour, mixing gently between each addition. Mix until just combined. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before filling and frosting.
Make the Filling:
- Place water, sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in a small to medium saucepan. Place it over medium low heat and whisk until combined. Cook, stirring almost continuously, until the mixture just starts to thicken, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the apples and stir to coat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender and the mixture is thick, about 7-8 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool completely before using.
Make the frosting:
- Beat butter with an electric mixer until smooth, then slowly mix in powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until creamy, then add 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream at a time, beating at medium-high speed, adding more cream 1 tablespoon at a time, until you have desired piping consistency.
- Place frosting in a piping bag fit with large open star tip.
Assemble the cupcakes:
- Use a small knife to cut a circle out of the top and part of the inside of the cupcake.
- Fill the hole with approximately 1 tablespoon (20 g) apple pie filling.
- Pipe frosting around the edge of the cupcake to look like the edge of the pie crust. Top with a pie crust chip, if desired.
- Store cupcakes loosely covered in the refrigerator. Cupcakes, frosting and pie filling can be frozen for up to 3 months (before being assembled).
- Semi-Homemade Swap: Use box cake mix to make your cupcakes and/or canned frosting in place of the buttercream. You can also use a can of pie filling in place of the homemade version, but you’ll need to slice the apples smaller so they’ll fit nicely in the cupcake.
Be sure to try these recipes too:
Apple Pie Cupcakes are a homemade from scratch cupcake recipe with pie crust – apple filled cupcakes that look like pies with buttercream! These are so easy to make!
Last Updated on January 24, 2023