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Apple Cider Cupcakes

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Prep Time: 15 minutes     Cook Time: 18 minutes

5 from 45 votes

These amazing apple cider cupcakes pair a light, moist cake with creamy cinnamon and vanilla frosting. I love this recipe for its simplicity. If you can combine ingredients together then you can make these with ease!

Finished apple cider cupcakes on a table.
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I find apple cider to be refreshing and thirst-quenching in its own right, but when combined with cinnamon and other delicious ingredients, it's the basis of some really delicious cupcakes.

The buttercream frosting is rich and sweet and probably my favorite part of this cupcake recipe. Try one of these with a cup of coffee. I just know you'll love the juicy apple flavor as well as the hints of cinnamon and vanilla in every mouthwatering bite.

Raspberry chocolate cupcakes and cinnamon cupcakes are also super delicious and easy to make too!

Main Ingredients

The recipe ingredients used to make apple cider cupcakes spread out on a table.

Since apple cider is the main ingredient in these cupcakes, I'd recommend hitting your local farmers' market to get the best, freshest cider to make this recipe. Let's take a look at what else you're going to need:

  • Apple cider: The main flavor in the cupcakes. This ingredient flavors the cupcakes beautifully. Apple cider varies hugely in quality, so pick a good one since you'll taste it in the cupcakes.
  • Cinnamon: Brings out the apple flavor. Some things just go together, like bread and butter, strawberries and cream, and pen and paper. And then you have apples and cinnamon! This warming, earthy spice showcases the beautiful apple flavor wonderfully. If you already love the taste of cinnamon, you're going to love how well it works in these cupcakes. This isn't an ingredient you can omit!
  • Vanilla: Complements the other flavors. Vanilla complements many flavors and you really can't go wrong with it, even if you add a few drops extra (like I usually do)! It goes without saying you should use real vanilla extract rather than the synthetic essence.
  • Sugar: For sweetness. You're going to need three different kinds of sugar to make apple cider cupcakes. White granulated sugar goes into the cakes themselves, while you will be using brown sugar and confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar) for the frosting. Granulated sugar in the cupcakes adds simple sweetness while the brown sugar in the frosting adds a caramelized, molasses-type taste. The confectioners' sugar also adds sweetness without adding too much graininess to the finished texture.
  • Flour: A key ingredient. You can't make cupcakes without flour! But you don't need anything fancy here. Regular all-purpose flour is perfect and I'm sure you have that in the pantry!

Instructions Overview

Creating these beautiful cupcakes is mainly about combining ingredients. So, for the cupcake batter, you will cream the butter and sugar, before mixing in the eggs, vanilla, and cider. Mix in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Now divide the batter between 12 paper liners in a muffin tin. Bake until done. Meanwhile, you can whip the butter with brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Add the confectioners' sugar to that mixture and then transfer the mixture to a piping bag. Once the cupcakes are cool you can pipe the frosting on top. And there you go, your delicious apple cider cupcakes are done!

The inside of an apple cupcake split in half.

Common Questions

What is the difference between apple juice and apple cider?

Apple juice is filtered to get rid of pulp and then it's pasteurized to give it longer shelf life. Apple cider, on the other hand, is made from an apple mash (similar to applesauce) which is pressed into juice. So apple cider is like a raw apple juice that isn't filtered and can still have some bits of pulp in there. It doesn't last as long as apple juice and must be refrigerated. If it's unpasteurized, it can ferment over time, leaving you with hard cider!

What makes a cupcake moist?

Little bubbles of air that expand in the oven are a huge part of what makes cupcakes moist, so mix the ingredients together using a low speed, and as soon as everything is combined stop mixing. The apple cider cupcakes will definitely come out soft, sweet, and beautifully moist this way.

Are cupcakes better with oil or butter?

Honestly, it depends on who you ask. Now I use butter about half the time and oil the other half. I love the flavor of real butter, but then I also adore the result when using oil. The cake seems to last longer. So go ahead and swap the butter for oil if you want. It’s completely up to the chef!

An apple cider cupcake topped with an apple slice.

Chopnotch Tips

  • Swap the apple cider for apple juice if you want to. It's not exactly the same, but it will work just as well.
  • Add some finely chopped walnuts to the batter if you'd like. Or pecans. Nothing wrong with adding a little crunch!
  • If you aren't confident with piping bags, don't worry - you can spread the frosting over the cupcakes with a knife instead. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and they will still be appealing and irresistible!
Apples and cinnamon surrounding a cupcake.

These moist, sweet apple cider cupcakes are so good. They boast the flavors of apple, cinnamon, and vanilla and promise a delicate, moist texture. Served with tea, coffee, or your beverage of choice, apple cupcakes served at room temperature deliver a flavor sensation you won't forget in a hurry.

Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.


How to Make

Apple Cider Cupcakes

These cupcakes combine the unmistakable flavor of apple with earthy, warm cinnamon and a rich vanilla buttercream frosting.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
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To make the cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
  • Cream the butter and granulated sugar together in a large bowl, and then mix in the eggs, vanilla, and apple cider until fully incorporated. Then mix in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until just combined.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cavity ⅔ of the way full.
  • Bake for 18 – 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove them from the oven and let cool completely.

To make the frosting:

  • Whip the butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
  • Add 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar at a time while slowly mixing until all the sugar has been added and fully incorporated.
  • Transfer the frosting into a piping bag and pipe the frosting onto the completely cooled cupcakes. Optionally, lightly dust them with some ground cinnamon. Serve and enjoy!
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  • Swap the apple cider for apple juice if you want to. It's not exactly the same, but it will work just as well.
  • Add some finely chopped walnuts to the batter if you'd like. Or pecans. Nothing wrong with adding a little crunch!
  • If you aren't confident with piping bags, don't worry - you can spread the frosting over the cupcakes with a knife instead. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and they will still be appealing and irresistible!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 383kcal (19%), Carbohydrates: 76g (25%), Protein: 3g (6%), Fat: 24g (37%), Saturated Fat: 15g (94%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 92mg (31%), Sodium: 116mg (5%), Potassium: 144mg (4%), Fiber: 1g (4%), Sugar: 22g (24%), Vitamin A: 756IU (15%), Vitamin C: 1mg (1%), Calcium: 58mg (6%), Iron: 1mg (6%)
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Comments & Ratings

  1. 5 stars
    Fantastic! I made them jumbo sized and cooked 22 min (perfect) and filled them with granny Smith apples cooked down with sugar and a little honey and juice from 1/2 large lemon (with a little zest) with a tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken and they were PERFECTION. The tartness of the apples went omg good with the sweet icing and the not so sweet cake.

    • Thanks so much for the feedback, Holly! I'm so happy to hear how good they came out! Thanks for sharing your modifications with us. Sounds delicious!

  2. Are they Freezable?

    • Hi Sakura, yes, you can store them in the freezer in an airtight container. If possible, I would freeze them unfrosted, and then frost them once thawed and ready to serve.