Apple Spice Cupcakes {Back to School Cupcake Couture Blog Party}

Apple Spice Cupcakes Recipe {Back to School Bella Cupcake Couture Blog Party}

School is back in full swing here in Arizona.  Summer is “officially” over and during the school year my husband and son have a fun tradition. On Friday nights they head out for wings. You know, like men do.   Then they come back and watch movies.  What would movies be without the essential movie treats? Guess who caters those treats? It’s hard to believe I wrote one of my first blog posts about this 2 years ago.   I created a special cake for them, you can find the recipe {HERE}. Today I decided to take the recipe, tweak it a tad and make cupcakes. Now in all fairness, while apple spice cupcakes are so delicious they remind me of fall. Needless to say the temperatures do not feel like fall here. Actually, fall won’t arrive until December. But I can dream about cooler temperatures, right?

Apple Spice Cupcakes

Bella Cupcake Couture is a wonderful company which creates cupcake wraps and straw kits. I absolutely love the ones that we received for this blog party. They carry every pattern underneath the sun, from haute couture to holiday colors. The cupcake wraps provided for our blog party are blank.  These blank canvases are perfect for any artist who wants to create their own unique look.  The cupcake wraps pictured on the apple spice cupcakes blog post were created by some amazing students who started school last week. I wish I could draw like they do.

Apple Spice Cupcakes {Printable Version}

Makes approximately 14 standard cupcakes

  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. all spice
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Lorann’s Butter Vanilla Emulsion {or sub vanilla extract}
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk {room temp}
  • 2 large honey crisp apples
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • lemon juice


  1. Core and peel both honey crisp apples. Cut up apples into small chunks. Place them in a small bowl.  Sprinkle lemon juice over the apples if you are not going to cook them right away. This will keep them from browning. Sprinkle with a small amount of sugar, cinnamon and a touch of all spice. Add one teaspoon of vanilla bean paste to the apple mixture and stir. Cover and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Line standard cupcake pan with liners
  4. In a saucepan, melt out two tablespoons of butter from the 1/2 cup of butter . Add the apple mixture and cook on medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.
  6. In a bowl of an electric mixer place the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter, sugar and brown sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Approximately 3 minutes.
  7. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined.
  8. Add half of the flour mixture on low.
  9. Add the buttermilk.
  10. Add the rest of the flour mixture.
  11. Fold in the apple mixture.
  12. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling approximately 2/3rds full.
  13. Bake at 350 for 20 to 22 minutes depending on oven. {These were made in a convection oven}

Apple Spice Cupcakes

Caramel Buttercream Recipe

  •  3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  •  ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • Caramel {you can make your own, Trader Joes has a great caramel sauce or Ghiradelli}


  1.  To make the frosting, whisk the sugar and egg whites together in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Place the bowl over a simmering pot of water and whisk until the eggs are very hot (160 degrees) and the sugar has completely dissolved.
  3. With the whisk attachment, whisk on high until the mixture is light and fluffy and has cooled (~10 minutes) IMPORTANT: when the mixture begins to look frothy, after about 2 minutes, stop mixer add cream of tartar. Then continue mixing.
  4. Drop butter into the mixer 2 or 3 cubes at a time
  5. After all of the butter has been added if it looks curdled or separated then mix on high for 3 to 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  6. Mix in 2 tsp. of vanilla bean paste.
  7. At this point switch to paddle attachment once the frosting has come together add caramel slowly until swirled.
  8. Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator for 7 days or frozen for three months. Set the frosting out 1-2 hours ahead of time and then mix using the paddle attachment for a couple of minutes on medium.

Apple Spice Cupcakes

While most kids bemoan heading back to school, they really should not. I know that it is easy to say, but not always easy to believe. My husband and I do charity work in Africa and we see the effects of a people lacking education. We have such an amazing privilege in this country to be educated. I have realized over the years, that I have so much influence on how my son views school. I can either feel sorry for him, and say I know school stinks.  Alternatively, I can remind him about all the things that he loves that requires an education. My son loves technology.  Technology has not evolved to what it is today by accident. Many people who study math, science and engineering keep learning and studying to bring us our favorite movies, games and applications. Take time to help your kids see that the things that they love and enjoy come from people who work hard and have embraced learning.  Embracing learning is a skill. We are all still learning, growing and progressing as adults.  I am currently learning how to make macarons. While it has been challenging and has required a lot of reading, I no longer have to fly to California to enjoy one.

Apple Spice Cupcakes

In 9th grade Jude found his mustache….next year I am wondering if I will have to fear the beard.   He started 10th grade this year and I love the fact that he is not too cool to take pictures for mom’s blog or it could be the monetary compensation. This year is a big year for Jude; he is learning to drive. will begin prepping for the SAT and all my baker friends are excited that he has to read Pride and Prejudice in school.

We handled our cupcake wraps a little different. I sent them to school with him and of course he handed them off to the girls to doodle away. The only rule I had is that he had to at least draw on one. His response, “girls are so much better at this stuff.”

Jude’s Interview

  1. What is your favorite cupcake flavor?  Vanilla
  2. What has been your favorite moment this summer?  Going on vacation to San Francisco and Seattle
  3. What are you looking forward to about school this year? Summer Break {his answer} Mom’s response: that is not an answer, try again.
  4. What are you looking forward to about school this year {take number 2} ? Tackling Algebra because I am getting better at this subject. I used to really struggle in math. Plus, I have a really good teacher this year which is a huge bonus.

Now you have to stop by my blog post I did two years ago and see the picture of Jude. It is absolutely crazy how much he has changed. Plus if you pop over to the link you will find the recipe for apple spice cake.  You know what is neat about this for me. Not only can I see how much Jude has changed, but I also can see how much my skills as blogger have grown. I am learning to take better pictures, better styling and writing.

If you are bummed about your kids heading back to school, I have just the thing to help cheer you up! A giveaway! Thanks to our amazing sponsors one lucky winner will receive a prize package worth $375.00. After you enter the giveaway pop over to the awesome blogs listed below and you can collect some awesome cupcake recipes, get some great ideas on how to utilize these fun cupcake wrappers and learn a little bit about their back to school adventures.

Apple Spice Cupcakes


Bella Cupcake Couture

Chronicles of a Foodie

Crazy for Crust

Cupcakes Take the Cake

Diary of a Mad Hausfrau


In Katrina’s Kitchen

Love From the Oven

Mesa de Vida

Not Just a Mommy

Sugar Swings! Serve Some

The Baked Equation

The Decorated Cookie

Apple Spice Cupcakes

Thanks to our amazing Prize Pack sponsors for their generous donations! Please, visit their websites to see more of their fabulous products!

Bella Cupcake Couture
The Smart Baker
India Tree
Mesa de Vida
Pretty Party Details
To enter to WIN this Prize Pack, simply fill out the entry form below. Contest opens August 27, 2013 at 7am PST and closes September 2, 2013 at Midngight PST. One winner will be chosen and announced within 48 hours of the contest ending. Winner will be contacted via email by and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. If they do not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen. This contest is open to residents worldwide.

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Apple Spice Cupcakes

21 comments on “Apple Spice Cupcakes {Back to School Cupcake Couture Blog Party}

  1. Natasha says:

    How much butter did you use for the butter cream?

    1. melissa says:

      1 cup of butter. Thank you so much, i will update

  2. Samantha says:

    DUDE! Did he really say going on vacation to san francisco and seattle, in that order?? DUDE!

    I cried a little. It’s hurts man…

  3. Jacquee says:

    Jude is so very handsome – makes a great blog model. 🙂 His classmates did an amazing job on these wrappers. I initially thought were bought that way, until I read your post. I don’t have kids yet, but agree with your views on learning – I take every opportunity to learn something new – formally and on my own. So, like Jude, it’s back to school for me pretty soon, as well!

    1. melissa says:

      Thank you! I know, right? He is not the hugest fan of being a blog model, but then I said don’t be so cute!

  4. I want to curl up in my chair and have a cupcake like this right now!
    I love the wrappers , so perfect!

    1. melissa says:

      Thank you so much Hani

  5. Awesome that he passed them off to friends lol! That is SO something my son would do. So you’re telling me our little boys grow up and have mustaches? Sigh. I’m off to watch another Diego episode…

    1. melissa says:

      Oh you just wait Katrina. The freaky mustache is coming. And now the sparse beard hairs are lingering. So enjoy your Diego shows while you still have them, they grow up way toooo fast.

  6. Lora says:

    You hd me at apple spice but that caramel buttercream looks wow! The girls did a great job on the wrappers. how smart of your handsome son. Good for you for teaching him the value and privilege of an education.

    1. melissa says:

      Thank you so much!

  7. Love the wrappers, especially the Batman one 🙂 I hope he had a fabulous time in our gorgeous city of Seattle!

    1. melissa says:

      We had an amazing time in Seattle. Though we felt slightly jipped that we didn’t get any rain while we were there.

  8. That was such a treat to read and to see how much he’s grown. Love how he took the cupcake wrappers to school. They look fabulous and the recipe sounds amazing!! Thanks for participating as always!!

  9. I’m dying for the frosting!! Apple Spice is the best thing everrrr!

  10. Your cupcakes sound so delicious, and perfect for the theme! What a handsome son you have!

  11. Paula says:

    Jude is a very handsome young man. Best wishes for a fabulous 10th Grade year for him. Those chopped apples look delicious. I could eat them just like that but I’m sure the cupcakes are even better! Perfect back to school treat.

  12. Yum! This is the perfect cupcake flavor to welcome Fall… and boy am I eager to leave these triple digit summer temperatures in the rear view!

  13. Michelle says:

    Wow his friends did a great job as did he! Trying to get my boys to like school more. Once they are there they definitely enjoy it but they do have the back to school blahs. What a fun party!!

    1. melissa says:

      Thanks Michelle! Yes, this year was a little tougher than most to motivate him that getting up 6am vs 10am is a good thing! 🙂

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