American Summer Cupcakes

Vanilla Apple Cupcakes

These Vanilla Apple Cupcakes taste just like America in the summertime, with a thick cinnamon buttercream frosting and a light apple batter.
Servings 24 cupcakes


Vanilla Apple Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 Granny Smith apples

Cinnamon Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (3 sticks)
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Red food coloring, optional
  • Red, white, and blue sprinkles, optional


Vanilla Apple Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside. Feel free to use patriotic paper liners or silicone ones.
  • Combine the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large measuring cup. Pour through a fine mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl.
  • In an electric mixer, or using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar on a medium-high speed. When it's pale and fluffy, you've reached the right consistency.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well to incorporate each one before adding the next. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla.
  • Reduce the mixing speed to low and add in the flour mixture in thirds. After each batch, add a third of the milk to the batter. Beat until combined after each addition, and continue the pattern until all flour and milk has been added.
  • Chop your Granny Smith apples finely, or process them in a food processor. You want them to retain shape so if you use a food processor, be sure they don't turn to mush.
  • Add the Granny Smith apples to the batter and stir to combine.
  • Fill the cupcake liners until they are each 3/4 full, giving the cupcakes room to rise. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes away clean. Rotate the pans in the oven after the first 10 minutes.
  • Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cook completely.

Cinnamon Vanilla Buttercream

  • For the frosting, beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer or use a handheld mixer on medium speed for about 5 minutes.
  • Gradually begin to add the confectioners' sugar in batches while beating the frosting on low. Each batch should be fully incorporated before the next is added.
  • When all of the sugar is added, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt while beating on low. Once fully added, beat for an additional 5 minutes until the frosting becomes fluffy and pulls away from the mixer in peaks.
  • If you're going for the fun Red, White, and Blue look, take about 1/3 cup of the frosting. Add five drops of red food coloring to it and mix well, or until desired color is reached.
  • When the cupcakes are completely cool, pipe frosting in a luscious pile on each cupcake. Follow with a dollop of red buttercream. Top with sprinkles. Serve and watch the line around the table form.


If you love cinnamon, feel free to go heavy-handed when adding it to the batter and the buttercream. As a matter of preference, you can decide how you want your batch to taste!
In our test kitchen, the cupcakes baked through at about 21 minutes with our top rack directly under the broiler.

Perfect Pairing

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