The moment I saw these cupcakes I knew I HAD to make them.  Unfortunately, I have this feeling about almost every cupcake recipe I see (not to mention all other desserts).  I am saving recipes at an alarming rate, but thankfully, I have a wonderful outlet for my baking – the teachers’ lounge at Ben’s school!  I can bake my little heart out, sample the results, and send the rest to school with Ben.  He always returns at the end of the day with an empty container.  Works for me!  Because of the astounding number of dessert recipes I have saved, I have made a resolution to bake at least one thing per week to send to school with him so I can start making some progress with this mountain of recipes.

These cupcakes may seem somewhat complicated or involved, but I was actually surprised how quickly they came together.  I have never made a cupcake using the cone method before, so I was glad to have the opportunity to try that technique.  For anyone who isn’t familiar, it is exactly what it sounds like – use a paring knife and cut a cone shape out of the top of your cupcake to leave room for filling.  In this case I wanted an open-faced cupcake so I discarded the tops (okay, so we ate a few – you would too!)  I loved these because it was a great compromise between Ben’s favorite dessert, apple pie, and my love for cupcakes.  You can’t beat the cuteness factor either!  Make these for a fall get-together, they are sure to be a hit!


  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2-3 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • vanilla buttercream (I used 3/4 of a batch)


  • 01

    To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.

  • 02

    In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well to combine. Add in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.

  • 03

    Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3-3/4 full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pans. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

  • 04

    To make the apple filling, heat the butter a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon and sugar and cook for a minute, until the mixture begins to bubble. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the apples. Mix well. Cook until the apples are somewhat tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

  • 05

    While the apple mixture is cooling, use the cone method to remove a chunk from the center of each cupcake, making sure to leave a rim around the top of the cupcake. Fill the holes with the cooled apple mixture. To decorate, top each cupcake with a swirl of vanilla buttercream.

  • These are adorable! And so much easier than apple pie. What a great compromise dessert!

  • These look so cute! I admire your goal to bake once a week – I’d totally do that if I had somewhere to send the baked goods. I work in a small office with only 4 people though and my husband works for the state they can only bring in packaged stuff for health reasons or something. Ugh. So I try to not bake because otherwise we have to eat it all! I’ll live vicariously through your blog :)

  • Laura (biogrrll)

    These look wonderful! Yum!

  • How fun! These are super cute!

  • Oh my god, Annie. You just made my week.

    I LOVE apple pie, but I hate making pies.

    And I LOVE making cupcakes! Finally — a solution! woohoo!

  • Those look delicious and such a creative presentation!

  • Oh my gosh these are so cute! I also have a problem with saving WAY more recipes than I could possibly make. I don’t even really like sweets but I have been wanting to bake more and more lately… my coworkers will really start to love me :)

  • These look so cute and delicious! I’m sure your husband’s coworkers love the treats. I’m a teacher and it’s nice to be able to bring goodies to school for others to enjoy, since, like you, I bake way more than we can eat!

  • These are so adorable! I will be making these this fall for sure.

  • ash

    ok seriously, you’re killin me with all the deliciousness you’ve been making lately. i don’t have enough time to catch up on all these recipes!

  • goodthingscatered

    What a GREAT idea to put the apples into the cupcake like that. It looks SOOOOO good!!!!

  • Those are completely adorable! I am also saving recipes at such a fast rate that I don’t think I’ll ever get through them all… and right now, everyone’s making these delicious apple recipes which is making my list even longer!!

  • These are so cute! Next time, you should have the tops and make apple cinnamon cake balls using Bakerella’s red velvet cake ball recipe!

  • Wow, these look great!

  • These are so adorable(and sound delicious too)! I will be adding this to my growing list of ‘must try’ recipes for sure!

  • oh my gosh! those cupcakes are so adorable! must have been delicious! :)

  • I’m totally making these…

  • They look yummy! I bet that they were as good as they look. :) This is a nice spin from a regular cupcake.

  • omg, these look absolutely awesome! I can’t wait to try them (minus the cinnamon, of course! ;-))

  • Can’t wait to make these!! Thanks!

  • I totally know what you mean about making every dessert recipe you come across. Fortunately I’m student teaching right now and can unload everything in the staff room too!

  • Those look so cute and really good!

    I nominated your blog for the E for Excellent Award. You can check out my blog for details.

  • DAMN are these cute!! How fun and festive. This is great!!

  • Cute, Annie!

  • cejaystine

    ooh those look really good… and I’ve been intrigued by the cone method for a long while (like maybe 3 yrs or so) but never moved enough by any of the fillings I saw it used with to bother trying it… I may have to try these though… and such a perfact fall treat too…

  • Jen B

    I made these today, they are fantastic, I filled 6 with apple and 6 with blueberry. And that frosting recipe is the BEST I have ever made. I could hardly control myself with the batter. GREAT RECIPE!!!!

  • tashamort

    I just made these over the weekend. They were/are so delicious! I’m eating one now! Thanks for the great recipe.

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  • Adorable! I can hardly wait to make these!

  • mysweetestday

    yes! this is perfect! i’m going apple picking on saturday and wanted to make an appley treat. how cute!

  • Ohh yum! These look fantastic

  • These look so delicious and cute too.

  • those are adorable! i love anything w/apples

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  • mysweetestday

    just to let you know, i made these cupcakes and they were very well received. thanks so much!

    here is my post about it, with pictures:

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  • I made these too! I loved them. They were so good! thanks.

  • Heather

    Your pictures are always so tasteful. My mouth waters every single day before I even see the recipe! Thank you for building and frequently updating this site – I love it!

  • when i saw this post, i knew i HAD to make these. they were just as delicious as they looked, what a great idea :)

  • These are BEAUTIFUL! I love cupcakes and like you, I always fall in love with cupcake recipes and I have to make them. This one looks like true cupcakey love. Yum!

  • Wow, I think I need to make these tonight. Great recipe!

  • What a nice apple pie alternative.
    One of these and a coffee would make my day.

  • Meaghan

    Hi Annie, these look wonderful. I was wondering if they would turn out okay if I used Jonagold apples instead? Thank you :)

  • Annie

    Yes, you can use any apples you want.

  • CB

    Hi Annie! I brought these to a BBQ tonight and they were a big hit! Great recipe…. thanks! I ran out of apple filling with about 6 cupcakes left. I wasn’t sure if my apples were too small (they looked pretty big though) of if my ‘cones were too deep. Either way…. they tasted great and I’ll just use 4 apples next time.

  • Annie

    Hi CB,
    Glad you enjoyed them. I think for these cupcakes I tend to go with a wide, shallow cone so the filling is really visible at the top of the cupcake and people know what it is. Sorry you were short on the filling, but glad they were a hit!

  • Julie

    Wow, these look amazing! I’m planning ahead for a World Cup party and would love to use these as my “Dutch” dessert (as in, Dutch apple pie cupcakes – maybe a reach, but the deliciousness should quiet any skepticism!). I just have one question about the recipe – when you say 3 cups sifted cake flour in the ingredients list, do you mean to sift cake flour so you get three cups, and then sift it again as per the first step of the recipe? Or is it three cups cake flour, then you sift it?

    Thanks so much! I’m really looking forward to making these – it’ll be my first attempt at an Annie’s Eats cupcake. I’m always amazed how, when I google some obscure cupcake, your site is nearly always the first result!

  • Annie

    I think the way the recipe was written, you would sift first, then measure. That said, I always measure first, then sift, and have never had these fail. Enjoy!

  • hi annie! i want to make these for a competition at my office for the “most creative” dessert. i am a little confused on how to make the cone – do i just cut it out with a sharp knife? also, if i make them the night before will it be okay or will they get soggy? Thanks so much.

  • Annie

    Yes, use a paring knife. Filling the night before is fine.

  • Jaime

    OMG this is next on my list. So yummy looking!

  • Caroline

    Could you make a mini version of these for holiday parties? Thanks.

  • Annie


  • Elena

    I made these as a Rosh Hashana Dessert with Honey Buttercream (since you’re supposed to eat Apples and Honey on Rosh Hashana)….They were AMAZING!!! Best cupcake recipe yet! Thanks for the recipe!!

  • Heather

    Hi Annie!

    If you don’t have to the time to make the cupcakes from scratch and you HAD to use a box, what kind of cake would you recommend using??

  • Annie

    I really can’t give a recommendation since I never bake from a box. I don’t even know what brands there are.

  • Susie

    I made these for a potluck dinner for my friends and they were a big hit! I chose to ice them differently though. I made small dots rounds the outside of the filling, so it would not cover the scrumptious apples! This was the 3rd cupcake recipe I made from your blog and they all have turned out great! Thanks for sharing!

  • Ashley S

    Hi! I’ve been following your blog now for some time… I work with Stephanie James’ mom and she told me about you. Your stuff is awesome and I’m trying to build up my portfolio to start my own blog. I made this recipe and I have to say I don’t know if i put too much cupcake batter in the paper cups but they ran over a bit to make the tops wider and it made it more difficult to get out of the pans without the edges breaking. I also had enough batter to make 3 more cupcakes than the recipe’s 24. Do you think I mixed the batter too long? I use a hand mixer instead of the stand mixer just because it’s what I’m used to. Thanks!

  • Annie

    Hi Ashley,
    It sounds like you just overfilled the cups. Over-mixing batter doesn’t cause overflowing, it just causes cake to be tough and chewy. Many recipes yields vary slightly depending on the baker, pan size, etc.

  • Patricia

    Hi Annie,
    Just wanted to double check – I think you usually use unsalted butter for many of your cupcake recipes. But in this case, you use 1 cup regular salted butter plus a 1/2 tsp of salt?

  • Annie

    I still use unsalted butter, just didn’t note it that way. I’ll change it.

  • Heather

    I just didn’t know what kind of cake as far as what flavor you’d suggest. Should have clarified!!

  • Andrea

    These look great! Love your blog. I will be sending these off to the Hubby’s work. Do these need to be stored in the fridge or would they be ok if they are covered on the counter? (although I’m not sure they will last long!)

  • Annie

    I’m no food scientist so you need to decide that for yourself. Personally I am fine leaving them out at room temp for a day.

  • amy

    wow. i stumbled onto your blog about two weeks ago, and last weekend my husband made the pumpkin spicve pancakes for me. today i made these cupcakes (though i’m waiting on the frosting til in the morning) and they ROCK! i’m not a fan of apple pie, but my husband is, so i thought i’d try these. the cupcake is just delicious, and turns out very pretty for taking to gatherings. thanks annie!

  • Gemini

    I’m not a huge fan of pie, and I came on here looking for a Pumpkin Cake (cupcake) recipe. I had either seen it here or cozy kitchen (both found through the pioneer woman). And I find these! My thanksgiving is no longer having any type of pie. Hopefully everyone will be happy about having cupcakes instead. I can’t wait!

  • Oh, my. I’m just loving your blog so much. I have to try these, too!

  • OMG I made these today and they are SO good! Thank you for sharing. I gave you a shout out on my blog today :)

  • Danielle

    Hey Annie,
    Im from Australia i was just wondering is cake flour, plain flour? we dont have something called cake flour here.
    I love your website, flawless cupcakes all the time.

  • Annie

    Try Googling for questions like this. Yes, cake flour is different than all-purpose.

  • These look amazing! I would love to try this out for Thanksgiving!

  • Brenda

    These were amazing! They are seriously my new favorite cupcakes! Such a big hit with everyone! :)

  • Kenya

    Yowzers! These are great! I really enjoy baking recipes from your blog. Thanks for sharing such yummy treats :)

  • Val Reimer

    I baked these wonderful cupcakes and they were delicious! I could hardly wait till I had them iced and ready to eat with a cup of coffee. I thought that the cupcakes might get a little soggy if I served them 2 days later, but I found that they were even more delicious 2 days later! I did keep the extra in the fridge! They never got soggy at all! My friends all LOVED them!

  • Amy

    I finally made these! They do come together a lot easier than they would appear to. Even if they did not, they are worth all the work! I had never made the cupcake part of the recipe in the manner described, but it made the smoothest, fluffiest batter. The guys at work even noticed the cupcake, and they notice NOTHING…EVER. Kudos!

    My test subject requested more frosting, so I put some in the center before loading it with the apple filling, then added another swirl on top. I personally enjoyed the cupcakes when they were loaded with apple filling, so a fourth apple would have been nice. Overall, the cupcakes were a homerun.

  • Vic

    Hi Danielle, we do actually have quite a few brands of cake flour here in Oz. Try Anchor Cake, Biscuit and Pastry Flour – it’s usually on the top shelf where the regular flours in Woolies are. Self raising and plain are both available, and it is not much more expensive than regular flour. Hope that helps!

  • Dorian

    I’ve been waiting for an excuse to make these cupcakes since I saw the recipe several months ago and I finally found one. Yum! I loved them. I brought some into work today and someone just told me it was one of the best cupcakes he’d ever had. So, thanks for sharing this creative cupcake recipe!

  • Kaitlin

    How do you think these would be with Swiss Meringue Buttercream? I’ve made them before and they were a hit, but since I’ve fallen in love with the Swiss Meringue.

  • Annie

    If you love SMBC, I would assume you’d like them with that on top :)

  • Annie

    Hey Annie!
    Nice name ;) I am a huge fan of the cupcake and I make them all the time. I am the baker of my house and I’m only 13 years old! But I was wondering if you used a regular sized cupcake pan or a mini cupcake pan. I personally love mini cupcakes but didn’t know what you did for this recipe or what you think would work better.

  • Annie

    I always use regular unless otherwise specified. I don’t think minis would hold up well to filling so I recommend the large size.

  • Annie

    Sounds great! I’m about to attempt these cupcakes :)

  • I had tons of apples from apple picking. This recipe looks amazing, and I just made these cupcakes today. If I am eating them tomorrow, should I leave them at room temperature or keep them in the fridge? Thanks!

  • Annie

    Please see the FAQ page.

  • Rebecca

    I just made these last night with cinnamon buttercream icing!! SO GOOD!

  • Meredith

    I made these for Thanksgiving and they were AMAZING!!!! I was surprised at how simple they were to make-your directions are fantastic for this beginner baker. I only wish I was good enough at icing so that my cupcakes looked more like yours! They were not as pretty, but tasted great! I will definitely be trying more of your recipes.

  • Jessica

    I love trying your recipes, and have had success with our cupcake recipes especially, but I made these this morning and they were a total flop?? literally. My baking powder was fresh and i followed all the directions as always….was making them for my dads birthday tomorrow b/c he is such a big apple pie fan. super bummed :-/

  • Anonymous

    It’s hard to say what might have gone wrong. See the FAQ page re: what went wrong. Many readers have made these with success so I know the recipe is correct.

  • Baker_Daddy1990

    These are so good and a hit with my family.

  • jamie

    haha, mine made exactly 27 as well! and mine rose a little more than expected too…sometimes one test cupcake is the way to go when trying to figure out exactly how much to put in each cup. overflowing or not though, these cupcakes are delish!

  • Turtle Jacob

    You are so amazing with your baking! Someday I hope to be as good as you are.

  • jaimy

    made these already twice for my family and they are soo good! :) Thanks for this awesome recipe :)