Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cranberry Buttercream

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The leaves are starting to change colors and fresh apples are abound, it is finally fall! Although it has been 80 degrees in Boston lately, I am still loving fall baking!Β 

Perfect for autumn, these simple Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cranberry Buttercream are a creative and fun dessert that everyone will enjoy! They feature easy, spiced apple cider cupcakes topped with a fresh, from scratch cranberry buttercream featuring homemade cranberry sauce . Fall flavors ring in this unique treat that will bring back nostalgic trips to the apple orchard. Click through and get baking today!

Since I love everything related to apples for fall, this week I whipped up my Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake for the Jewish holidays, and it was a hit!

In New England, apple picking is an essential fall tradition! Along with the crisp apples, the smell of apple cider donuts and taste of fresh apple cider makes the experience complete.

Perfect for autumn, these simple Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cranberry Buttercream are a creative and fun dessert that everyone will enjoy! They feature easy, spiced apple cider cupcakes topped with a fresh, from scratch cranberry buttercream featuring homemade cranberry sauce . Fall flavors ring in this unique treat that will bring back nostalgic trips to the apple orchard. Click through and get baking today!

I wanted to take all of these flavors and aromas and pack them into one cupcake. Thus, these Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cranberry Buttercream came to be.

Perfect for autumn, these simple Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cranberry Buttercream are a creative and fun dessert that everyone will enjoy! They feature easy, spiced apple cider cupcakes topped with a fresh, from scratch cranberry buttercream featuring homemade cranberry sauce . Fall flavors ring in this unique treat that will bring back nostalgic trips to the apple orchard. Click through and get baking today!

Around this time last year, I first made apple cider cupcakes. Since then I knew I had to make them again!

When I made these last I filled them with cranberry sauce. This time I still wanted to incorporate cranberries but in a different way. For an interesting twist on the classic cream cheese frosting that these cupcakes are usually topped with, I decided to incorporate cranberry sauce into the buttercream.

Perfect for autumn, these simple Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cranberry Buttercream are a creative and fun dessert that everyone will enjoy! They feature easy, spiced apple cider cupcakes topped with a fresh, from scratch cranberry buttercream featuring homemade cranberry sauce . Fall flavors ring in this unique treat that will bring back nostalgic trips to the apple orchard. Click through and get baking today!

The tart cranberries work perfectly in a sweet American buttercream. If you are asking yourself what American buttercream is, check out my Ultimate Guide to the Perfect Buttercream Frosting!

Here are a few tips to perfect your cupcakes and get you hooked on the apple cider bandwagon.

  • When adding the apple cider to the cupcake batter, it may appear as it is slightly separating. Continue to follow the recipe, it should smooth out once all the dry ingredients have been added.
  • When cooking the cranberry sauce, you want to take it off the heat when it is slightly loose. It will thicken as it cools.
  • The cranberry sauce will be tart, this is intentional. When added to the sweet buttercream the tartness of the cranberries is mellowed and sings in this buttercream.
  • After adding the cranberry puree to the buttercream the frosting may be thin. Beat the frosting for 1-2 minutes as directed. If the frosting has not thickened and still looks runny, place it in the refrigerator to firm up slightly.
  • Instead of making cranberry sauce, you can use canned whole cranberry sauce (not the jellied kind).
  • These cupcakes have a mild cranberry flavor. If you want a stronger cranberry flavor, you can fill the cupcakes with the extra cranberry puree!
  • Depending on how you frost these cupcakes (piping technique, etc.) you may have extra buttercream!

Recipe variation

Dairy-free: Substitute vegan butter sticks for the regular butter in both the cupcakes and buttercream.

Perfect for autumn, these simple Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cranberry Buttercream are a creative and fun dessert that everyone will enjoy! They feature easy, spiced apple cider cupcakes topped with a fresh, from scratch cranberry buttercream featuring homemade cranberry sauce . Fall flavors ring in this unique treat that will bring back nostalgic trips to the apple orchard. Click through and get baking today! Β 

If apples are not quite your thing and you are obsessed with pumpkin spice, you cannot go wrong with these Pumpkin Spice Cake Pops.

Perfect for any fall occasion, I hope these cupcakes will bring back the same nostalgia that arose for me when I think about apple picking!

Perfect for autumn, these simple Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cranberry Buttercream are a creative and fun dessert that everyone will enjoy! They feature easy, spiced apple cider cupcakes topped with a fresh, from scratch cranberry buttercream featuring homemade cranberry sauce . Fall flavors ring in this unique treat that will bring back nostalgic trips to the apple orchard. Click through and get baking today!

Now you are all ready to pick some fresh apples, eat a few apple cider donuts (one just won’t cut it!), and drink some apple cider πŸ™‚

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Perfect for autumn, these simple Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cranberry Buttercream are a creative and fun dessert that everyone will enjoy! They feature easy, spiced apple cider cupcakes topped with a fresh, from scratch cranberry buttercream featuring homemade cranberry sauce . Fall flavors ring in this unique treat that will bring back nostalgic trips to the apple orchard. Click through and get baking today!
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Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cranberry Buttercream
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hrs
 

Perfect for autumn, these Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cranberry Buttercream are a creative dessert that everyone will enjoy! They feature spiced apple cider cupcakes topped with a fresh cranberry buttercream. Fall flavors ring in this unique treat that will bring back nostalgic trips to the apple orchard.  

Course: Dessert
Servings: 12
Ingredients
Cupcakes
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter , softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar , packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
Buttercream
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter , softened
  • 3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar , sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350Β° F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin liners.

  2. In a small bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter and sugars on medium high for 2-3 minutes until lightened in color. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix on low speed until smooth, ~30 seconds. 

  4. On low speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture. Once incorporated add Β½ of the apple cider. Repeat this, ending with the dry ingredients. 

  5. Evenly pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Bake the cupcakes for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. 

Buttercream
  1. Place the cranberries, water, sugar, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the cranberries burst and the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. 

  2. Once the cranberry sauce has cooled, put it in a food processor and blend until smooth. Place the pureed cranberry sauce through a sieve.

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixture, beat the softened butter until smooth. On low speed slowly add the powdered sugar. Add Β½ cup of the pureed, strained cranberry sauce to the buttercream. Increase the speed to medium and beat the buttercream for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy. 

  4. Using either a piping bag or knife, frost the cupcakes and enjoy! Store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. 

Recipe Notes
  • When adding the apple cider to the cupcake batter, it may appear as it is slightly separating. Continue to follow the recipe, it should smooth out once all the dry ingredients have been added.

  • When cooking the cranberry sauce, you want to take it off the heat when it is slightly loose. It will thicken as it cools.

  • If the frosting looks runny, place it in the refrigerator to firm up slightly.

  • Instead of making cranberry sauce, you can use canned whole cranberry sauce (not the jellied kind).Β 

  • These cupcakes have a mild cranberry flavor. If you want a stronger cranberry flavor, you can fill the cupcakes with the extra cranberry puree!

  • Depending on how you frost these cupcakes (piping technique, etc.) you may have extra buttercream!

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134 thoughts on “Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cranberry Buttercream

  1. Oh goodness, girl. These look and sound amazing. I’ve already pinned them so I can make them later. Apple cider and cranberry are two things I never would have thought to put together but they sound delicious!

    1. The combination is not one you often see but it should totally be more popular! I would love to hear how you like this recipe!

  2. Omg these sound and look absolutely delicious. Perfect for the autumn days, sat down with a nice hot cup of tea and a yummy cupcake! Must try them out

    1. You definitely can substitute the eggs, my favorite way is flax eggs but I have not tried it in this recipe. I would love to hear what substitute you use and how you like the recipe!

  3. Ooooo I love this reinvention! I have an cranberry apple crumble on my blog so I love the sweet and tart combination. I gotta try it in cupcake form!

    1. The flavor combination is definitely spot on as you mentioned! Enjoy, I would love to hear how you like the recipe πŸ™‚

  4. Never did apple picking, but did pear picking back in the days. It’s a hard days work! And we did it in summer! Under the roasting sun!
    Lovely cupcakes! Will try out your recipe for my hubby soon! I’m sure he will love them!

    1. I have actually never done pear picking, but that sounds lovely as well! I would love to hear how you and your husband like the recipe πŸ™‚

    1. I love fall baking as well, especially if it involves cinnamon. Enjoy, I would love to hear how you like the recipe!

  5. It’s fall and these cupcakes are perfect for the season! I have never heard of apple cider cupcakes before! This reminds me of apple cider vinegar somehowπŸ˜† but I bet this will be way tastier than that!

  6. I love apple season. There is nothing more heavenly than the smell of apples and cinnamon baking in the oven. This recipe sounds delicious. I have never tasted cranberry frosting. I can’t wait to try this out!

  7. Thank you for these tips, as soon as I added the apple cider and seen it beginning to separate I would have given up and started over. Right now, I’m looking for any excuse to you some apple cider, the family will surely be happy with these cupcakes!

    1. That’s almost what I did when I first made this recipe, glad they are helpful! Enjoy,I would love to hear how you like the recipe πŸ™‚

  8. Oh my goodness! that looks soooooooooo dang good! I will have to make these TODAY! thank you for the recipe (my kids will thank you too after they eat one!) YUM!

    1. Thank you, I hope you got a chance to make them! I would love to hear how you and your kids enjoyed the recipe πŸ™‚

  9. This is just the perfect time for this. My daughter and I just went out apple picking and this dessert looks perfect. I really would love this. And the buttercream frosting looks amazing.

    1. Thank you! I love the spices as well, I am currently adding cinnamon to just about everything, including cookies πŸ™‚

  10. This is the second article today I have read with baking recipes, my boyfriend is going to be a happy person when I go through with making all of these delicious recipes!

    1. The color of the buttercream is definitely great and all natural! Thank you, I am definitely going for all the fall flavors now as well!

  11. This apple cider cupcakes with cranberry buttercream looks so delicious and tasty. I will definitely try to do this on weekend. And I am pretty sure that my daughters will love this cupcake.

  12. These look so heavenly! I love cupcakes, I’m definitely going to have to try these. I love trying new food. I’m sure my 3 yrs old son will love these. Thanks for sharing

    1. Thank you, enjoy! I love trying new foods as well! I would love to hear how you and your son like the recipe πŸ™‚

  13. These look amazing! I think I’ll make them for my daughter’s upcoming Fall birthday party. She needs to be gluten free so I am going to give them a try using gluten free flour.

    1. Thank you, I hope she enjoys them! I would love to hear how you like the recipe with the substitution of the gluten-free flour!

    1. Wouldn’t that be ideal, if only I had a delivery service! Enjoy, I would love to hear how you like the recipe!

  14. Frozen cranberries and apple cider??!! I never would think to put these ingredients together in a cupcake. Congrats to you though because they look delicious and are not your run of the mill dessert. I am GF so I think I could make them with a few easy subs. Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much! You definitely could, I did not include a GF recipe variation for this recipe since I did not try it for myself. For the cupcake, I essentially substituted the milk in the recipe for apple cider, so this may be a good place to start for the GF version. I would love to hear what swaps you end up making and how it turns out πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much, I am glad the name was so intriguing. Apple cider is definitely underused in baking, enjoy πŸ™‚

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