Apple Ale Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

First fall recipe! I know it’s kind of late, but I will be making up for it very soon! :)


I’m really sad I’m so behind on all the autumn-flavors-action. It’s my favorite time of the year! There’s football, tailgating, silly Halloween treats, caramel apple EVERYTHINGβ™₯, lattes, hot chocolate, boots and scarves, big sweaters, and a thin layer of pumpkin spice on top of all of it. But I think I’ve been holding back because…I’mnotreallyafanofpumpkin.

There I said it.

I’m not really a fan of pumpkin.

I like how pumpkin spice smells, you know, in pies or candles. But who doesn’t? I mean, I want to like it. I just don’t. But my friend at work brought homemade pumpkin spice scones the other day and I ate that thing like it was my job. It was SO. GOOD. So maybe I’ll give pumpkin spice another chance this year. We’ll see.

For now, I hope you love these cupcakes just as much as I did. I should have made them forever ago! Maybe I would have been in the fall spirit sooner.


I think another reason why I’m so behind is because it really doesn’t feel like fall in Alabama. It’s usually in the 60s in the mornings and at night, which isΒ perfect!Β But it’s usually around 80 by the afternoon. It’s slowly getting cooler, though. I dug through the attic space in my closet and broke out my first pair of boots this past weekend. (Read: I have so many boots that I don’t have room for all of them in my closet and have to keep some in the attic.)

So, finally, I felt like it was time. Time for apples, and cinnamon, and brown sugar, and lots of drizzley caramel sauce. Or spoonfuls of it. It doesn’t matter how you get it to your mouth really; I don’t judge.


I’ve seen a billion caramel-apple-themed recipes at this point, but I really wanted to make some caramel apple cupcakes anyway because it’s one of my favorite flavor combinations. And I saw these cute fall leaf sprinkles at Michael’s and hadΒ to make something with them.

The cupcakes have some Redd’s Apple Ale in them, but they also have chopped apples. I pureed mine, actually, but you can do whatever you like. Chopped, grated, pureed. It’s all good. I just really wanted to make sure that apple flavor was in there. Oh, and I also browned the butter because I’m still not sure how I’ve never done that before my last post. Browning the butter isn’t necessary, but it kind of is. πŸ˜‰


I’m very pleased with how the cupcakes turned out, but oh my gosh this frosting. Caramel just makes everything better. And caramel sauce. You can never have enough caramel sauce. It’s was a pain in the booty to make, but that’s probably just because I didn’t know what I was doing the first time around. But messing up several pots to get it right was totally worth it.

I took these cupcakes to work, but my family loved them so much there were only five left. Um, oops!

Apple Ale Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

Yield: 12 cupcakes


    apple ale cupcakes
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter, browned and solidified (or just regular unsalted butter)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup chopped apples (pureed, grated, etc. Whichever you prefer.)
  • 2/3 cup Redd's Apple Ale
  • caramel buttercream:
  • 1 1/2 cup butter, divided
  • 12 unwrapped caramels (Such as Werther's Baking Caramels)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • caramel sauce
  • 12 unwrapped caramels
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


    apple ale cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. In one bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg; carefully whisk together.
  3. In another bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and both sugars until fluffy.
  4. Add vanilla, egg, and apples. Mix well.
  5. Add half of the apple ale and half of the flour to the sugar mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Repeat. Mix until completely combined.
  6. Fill cupcake liners with batter until about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  8. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about five minutes, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. caramel frosting:
  10. In a small saucepan, melt 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter and caramels, stirring constantly. Once melted, set aside to cool.
  11. Cream remaining butter and slowly pour in melted caramel. Beat on medium to medium-high speed until butter and caramel are completely incorporated.
  12. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing on low until mostly incorporated, and then on medium speed until completely combined. Scrape sides of bowl after each addition.
  13. If frosting is too thick, mix in one tablespoon of milk.
  14. When cupcakes are cool, frost them however you want!
  15. caramel sauce:
  16. In a small sauce pan, melt caramels and cream, stirring constantly.
  17. Once caramel and butter are completely melted, remove from heat. Let the sauce cool.
  18. Drizzle cooled caramel sauce on the frosting cupcakes.
  19. Top with sprinkles!

Recipe from bethcakes. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without permission. If you would like to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.



  1. says

    These cupcakes sound so good! I do like pumpkin but I think I actually prefer apples – so these are right up my alley. And with all the caramel?? yes yes! I love that one photo with the caramel dripping off the frosting!

  2. says

    With each bite of these cupcakes, I said things like, “wow”, “man”, “dang” – these cupcakes were so good, I could only speak in one word sentences. And yes, I ate several of them. :)

  3. says

    Exactly what my cupcakes need: beer. πŸ˜€ Beth these are beautiful cupcakes and I love all the apple-ness going on in here. It’s ok if you are not a huge fan of pumpkin if you share more amazing apple recipes like this one!

  4. jana says

    These were THE most moist, delicious cupcakes I have tasted in a long time – perfect for fall and apple season!

    • says

      Haha. Hmm, I don’t think there’s room, but I’m sure I can figure out a way to pass treats along to you. I’m always looking for ways to give them away!

  5. says

    These look absolutely amazing! I’ve read about bakers adding beer to their cakes recently and it really has me intrigued. The apple combined with the ale sounds fantastic.

    • says

      Thanks, Marcie! Redd’s Apple Ale really does have a nice apple flavor, so the apple chunks probably aren’t necessary, but they definitely helped!

  6. Carolyn Mustopa says

    I “need” to make these tonight. I was hoping Trader Joe’s would have the apple ale, but they don’t (at least the one near my office). If my local store doesn’t carry it, do you think I could sub a pale ale cut with some boiled cider?

    • says

      Sure! You could probably just sub in apple cider for the apple ale if you wanted to. I haven’t tried it with pale ale + cider, but I’m sure that would be fine!

  7. Carolyn Mustopa says

    They’re in the oven now — the batter tastes fabulous; will let you know tomorrow how they came out. I’m using Trader Joe’s Salted Caramel Sauce instead of making my own, though. It’s a weeknight and I need to save a little time where I can!

  8. says

    I’ve never heard of apple ale but I bet it tastes amazing in these cupcakes. I’m not a big cupcake person, but if it’s s fruity flavour like apple then I’m in! :)

  9. Carolyn Mustopa says

    OK, I can now say that these were a smashing success. I brought half into work and am bringing the other half to dinner tonight. My co-workers were literally swooning. I used a pale ale mixed with about 1/4 c of boiled cider, so it was very apple-y. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    • says

      Oh, that’s so wonderful, Carolyn! I’m really glad you and your co-workers enjoyed them! I’m also glad the pale ale and cider worked out. I wouldn’t have known to do that. :)

  10. Carolyn Mustopa says

    Boiled cider is very concentrated — in my case I boiled a half gallon of cider down to one cup. Good stuff!

  11. says

    This gorgeous apple-caramel cupcakes are such a nice break from the usual pumpkin flavored fall treats.
    I’ve featured this recipe on my blog, hoping that you don’t mind, but if you do, please contact me and I’ll remove it. All the best.

    • says

      Thanks, Vera! And thanks for featuring these cupcakes! And letting me know. I see that you’ve linked back to this post, so all is well! :)


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