The next set of cupcakes we made was this delicious combination of caramel apple all in a cupcake! I am a sucker for caramel so as soon as I found out that pure, thick, caramel was going both into the cupcake and the icing, I was sold! I will note that I do not like having left over icing, so I cut the icing recipe below in half and it was more than enough to cover all 24 cupcakes, but you can always make it as is shown below. Also, I didn’t do the fancy nut topping but feel free to add that nutty touch! Enjoy!

Ingredients
Cupcakes:
  • 1 (15.25 box) yellow cake mix
  • ¾ cup apple cider
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup apple butter
Frosting:
  • 3 (8 oz.) packages regular cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3 (4 oz.) sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup thick caramel topping
  • ¼ cup apple butter
  • 6 cups sifted powdered sugar
Topping (optional):
  • ½ cup thick caramel topping
  • 1 cup finely chopped nuts (such as walnuts, pecans, or peanuts)
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with paper baking liners or spray pans with nonstick spray. In a large mixing bowl mix together cake mix, cider, eggs, and ½ cup apple butter with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pans so that each cup is about ⅔ full.
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Bake cupcakes for about 19-23 minutes or when toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on wire racks and cool completely.
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To make frosting, mix together cream cheese and butter in large mixing bowl until well combined and lumps are all gone. Mix in ¼ cup caramel and apple butter until well combined. Slowly mix in powdered sugar until well combined. Frost cupcakes as desired with pastry bag or knife.
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If desired, warm remaining ¼ cup of caramel in microwave for 15 seconds or until drizzling consistency. Cool slightly then drizzle over cupcakes. Sprinkle nuts on top. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
 I didn’t get to add a caramel drizzle or nuts but I did try a mattice icing style with the same icing through a pastry bag.
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