Guilty Pleasure ~ Caramel Apple CUPCAKES!

21 Oct

I am a huge caramel apple fan. HUGE. When we go to a carnival, festival, or fair, I always have to buy at least one to take home and one to eat at the actual event. They aren’t hard to make at home, but I generally avoid doing it because I don’t want to have to eat them all! So I indulge when I can.

Then I kept noticing on foodgawker.com that there were all these recipes for caramel apple cupcakes and I got to thinking, hmmm….no one recipe struck my fancy and I wanted something that would be easy to whip up and be as healthy as could be since the basic premise of a caramel apple is caramel, and well, an apple. So I wanted a cupcake that infused as much apple flavor as possible. Voila – spice cake mix with applesauce and chopped apple! My sister in law always adds some sour cream into her cake batters for extra moisture so I thought I’d do the same. Love the result. There is alot of apple flavor in these, they’re the perfect portion of sweetness, and they’ll tide me over until I get my next caramel apple fix!

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

1 (18.25-ounce) package spice cake mix
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup applesauce (I used homemade cinnamon)
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
1/4 milk
24 wooden craft sticks
Caramel sauce: 1 11oz bag Kraft Caramel bits
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix, eggs, sour cream, milk, and applesauce until incorporated (about 30 seconds). Scrape sides of bowl and then beat on med-high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in chopped apple.

2. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

For Caramel sauce: combine Kraft caramel bits as directed on packaging. I had to use a whisk to get the caramels and water to mix together properly, but the result was just what i was looking for. If you want a thicker caramel sauce, use less water.

Spread caramel mixture over cupcakes. Insert a wooden stick into center of each cupcake. Store covered in an airtight container. It’s best to serve the cupcakes the same day that you add the caramel topping. Otherwise the caramel sauce will soak into the cupcakes. They still taste great, but you lose the presentation effect!

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