Enjoy a taste of Autumn with these delicious honey apple cupcakes! A honey sponge filled with a spiced apple compote, topped with creamy honey buttercream and a dried apple slice!
With leaves turning into gorgeous autumnal colours and the colder nights drawing in, all I want are bakes filled with apples and spices and comfort! And these honey apple cupcakes are the perfect fit. Not only are they super easy to make, so so delicious and look adorable! They’re also packed full of spiced apple compote and deliciously sweet honey. Honey & apples are a match made in heaven to me, and they work so so well here.
Key Ingredients You’ll Need
- Apples – Of course! The filling is made from my spiced apple compote which I’ve used in my Toffee Apple Macaron’s and my Spiced Apple Rose Tart! It’s so versatile, and so deliciously simple. You’ll also need an apple to create the dried slices for the decoration! Or a delicious snack 😉
- Cinnamon – To give the apple compote a delicious warming spiced flavour, the apples are cooked down with a cinnamon stick. You can find these in the spices or baking aisle of most supermarkets!
- Honey – You’ll need to use clear runny honey for this recipe, which you can find really easily in most supermarkets!
How to make honey apple cupcakes
These cupcakes are super easy to make. Though I do like to create fancy cakes with fancy buttercream and fancy toppings; when it comes to cupcakes I always like to make them fairly simple. Cupcakes are a bit of fun and I think they’re a great first bake to make with littleun’s and just a great quick bake you can whip up in an afternoon! So if you’re looking for more great cupcake recipes, be sure to check out the archive!
Making the cupcake sponges
Cupcakes are one of the quickest and easiest bakes you can make, but to make sure your cupcakes look a cut above the rest follow these tips;
- Use a cupcake/muffin tray with deep indents! This way your cupcake cases/liners will have something to lean against, and your cupcakes won’t sag and be misshapen.
- Don’t over bake! Cupcakes really don’t need a long time in the oven, and you don’t want to make them dry.
- Use an apple/cupcake corer when removing the middle of the cupcake to add the filling. You’ll get a more even distribution of filling and have a smaller hole to cover on top of the cupcake!
If you follow the tips above, I promise you, everyone will be asking you to cater their next party!
So, back to the cupcake batter. Like most sponges, this recipe uses the creaming method. So first beat together the butter and sugar until really light and fluffy. Then add the honey, vanilla and eggs – one at a time. Next add in the dry ingredients, and finally the milk. Then you can divide the batter between your cupcake cases/liners and bake! Super simple.
Making the dried apple slice decorations
Dried apple slices are one of the easiest ways to decorate a cupcake or cake, and make it look way fancier than it is! Just thinly slice an apple, you could use a mandolin if you have one, and lay flat on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Then bake for 50 minutes at 140C/120C Fan/Gas Mark 1 and thats it! They’ll be crisp, and really delicious. So if you want to make extra for a snack, go for it!
As these have a long bake time, pop them in the oven once your cupcakes are already baked. This way while the cupcakes are cooling and you’re making the compote and buttercream, they can be baking away.
Making the spiced apple compote
This is a very chunky compote, that adds the perfect moisture to the cupcakes and SO much flavour! It’s so simple to create by placing chopped apples, a cinnamon stick, butter, sugar, lemon juice and a little water to a pan. Then you simply cook it down, until the apple begins to disintegrate and caramelise slightly. Honestly your kitchen will smell so so good at this point! Then you can just leave it to cool, while you get on with the buttercream.
Making the honey buttercream
American style buttercream is really quick & easy to make, so perfect for topping cupcakes! All thats needed is to beat the butter on a high speed, add the icing sugar, beating again, and then adding the flavourings. In this case honey! And I’ve also added a little milk to help the buttercream get to the perfect piping consistency. But make sure you whip it for the full length of time stated, otherwise your buttercream will be thick and may end up a bit grainy.
I used the Wilton 2D piping tip to pipe my buttercream on top of the cupcakes, but you can choose whichever piping tip you prefer!
Tips & Tricks
Dry flat cupcakes are usually due to over mixing the batter, especially once the flour has been added. Try to stop mixing your batter as soon as all ingredients are incorporated, and if you are using a stand mixer or electric hand-whisk use a low speed setting.
Good alternatives are Jazz or Braeburn apples!
If you have a plastic food/sandwich bag, you can snip off one corner and use this like a piping bag. But the piping is purely for decoration, so you can just spoon it on with a spatula instead if you’re struggling!
These cupcakes are so moist, so light and packed full of warming autumn flavours. The spiced apple compote is so delicious and pairs so well with the sweet honey buttercream and the crisp dried apple slice. I really hope you love these as much as I do! Let me know below if you give them a go!
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Honey Apple Cupcakes
- 170 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 170 g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp clear runny honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 170 g plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch table salt
- 1 tbsp milk whole or semi-skimmed
- 1 royal gala apple
- 125 g chopped royal gala apple about 1.5 apples
- 15 g unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp water
- 15 g caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 10 ml lemon juice
- 180 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 250 g icing sugar
- 20 g clear runny honey
- 2 tbsp milk whole or semi-skimmed
- For the dried apple decoration: Firstly, preheat the oven to 140C/120C Fan/Gas Mark 1. Very thinly slice (or use a mandolin) the apple and lay flat on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 50 minutes until crisp, then set aside.
- For the apple compote: Peel, core and chop the apples into small chunks and place into a saucepan. Then add the butter, water, caster sugar, cinnamon stick, lemon juice and stir to combine. Place over a medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, breaking up the apples as they start to soften. Keep cooking until the apples start to caramelise, then take off the heat. Discard the cinnamon stick, then mash the apples until they are broken down. Then spread onto a plate to cool and set aside.
- For the sponge: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 4, and line one or two large cupcake/muffin tin(s) with 8 cupcake/muffin cases. Then set aside. Place the butter into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand-whisk until light and fluffy. Then beat in the sugar until well combined and fluffy. Then add the honey, vanilla, and the eggs one at a time – beating well between each addition. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Then beat into the wet batter in three additions, mixing until just combined each time. Finally, beat in the milk until just combined and divide the batter between the cupcake/muffin cases.
- Bake for 23 minutes, until the cupcakes are a golden brown and springy to the touch. Place the cupcakes onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
- For the buttercream: Place the butter into a medium bowl and whisk with an electric whisk for a few minutes until creamy and pale in colour. Then add the icing sugar, and whisk on a low speed until combined. Then turn up the speed and whisk on high for 4-5 minutes until very light and fluffy. Finally, add the honey and milk and whisk again until combined. Then spoon into a piping bag fitted with a star tip (I used Wilton 2D).
- To assemble: Using either an apple corer or small paring knife, core the cooled cupcakes and fill each with the apple compote to the brim. Then pipe swirls of buttercream on top of each cupcake, covering the compote filled hole. Finally, place a dried apple slice into the top of each cupcake, just before serving.