Delicious + easy apple cider cupcakes! Sweet cake packed with apple flavor and topped with a maple cream cheese buttercream frosting. Gluten free + dairy free!
These apple cider cupcakes are so delicious and perfect for fall! Crisp apple cider packs these sweet cupcakes full of flavor! The maple and cream cheese buttercream frosting and cinnamon then combine to top these cupcakes and take them next level. These are so good! Plus, they are gluten free and dairy free.
Free From: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn, sesame, mustard, lupin, sulfites, and more
These cupcakes are a perfect addition to any fall and winter holiday menu, or enjoy them anytime you feel like a cozy comforting dessert! They would pair nicely with my apple cider dressing or minestrone soup for the ultimate in comfort food.
The base of this recipe is a simple vanilla cake that we spice up with apple cider!
Apple Cider is a type of drink made from fresh apples. Think of it like apple juice with even more flavor! They are essentially the same thing. Apple juice is filtered and apple cider is left unfiltered.
Outside of the United States, it’s common for apple cider to be an alcoholic drink. That is not the same as the apple cider I’m using in this recipe! Apple cider from a cider mill is a non-alcoholic drink that is safe for everyone to drink.
If you can’t get apple cider in your area, just replace it with apple juice.
For this recipe, my favorite gluten free flour to use is King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure or my own Homemade Gluten Free Flour, which is nightshade free! While this recipe may work with other flours, I have not tried them. Elements like liquids may need to be altered to get the best results.
First, combine the butter of choice and both sugars in a bowl. Mix these together with a hand mixer or stand mixer using a whisk attachment. Whisk them for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until they are light and fluffy!
Next, add the eggs into the bowl one at a time, making sure to mix well after each egg. If your butter mixture curdles, the eggs were added too quickly or they were too cold. But don’t worry. Everything will be fine as soon as you add the flour so keep going.
In a separate bowl, sift together the gluten free flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Slowly add the apple cider to the batter. If the cider is too cold, the butter mixture may curdle here as well. Again, don’t worry. Keep adding the cider.
Next, add the flour mixture. If your batter has curdled, now you will see everything sort itself out. Give it a good mix on medium-high speed for 30 seconds to make sure everything is blended together well.
Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl! You don’t want anything at the bottom or sides of the bowl.
Spoon batter into lined baking trays. Fill them about ¾ of the way full.
Bake for 23-25 minutes or until the cupcakes are a light golden brown color and the toothpick inserted into them pulls out clean. Let the cupcakes rest in the tray for 5 minutes before removing them from the tray to cool completely.
To make the maple buttercream frosting, in a bowl combine butter, cream cheese, and 1 cup of sugar. Mix on high for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the remaining sugar and maple syrup. Mix for 3 more minutes on high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Transfer frosting to a piping bag (I used a 1M tip for these photos!) and frost the cupcakes!
Special Diet Variations
To make these cupcakes dairy free, swap out the dairy butter with your favorite plant-based butter. My favorite is the soy free from Earth Balance.
If you have food allergies, especially to corn, soy, nuts, or wheat, it is important that you find a good maple syrup provider who does not strain the maple syrup using an ingredient you are allergic to. If in doubt, contact the maker of your maple syrup. A good maple syrup to use is Anderson’s Maple Syrup. They have an allergy disclaimer on their site stating their policy and I really appreciate companies that do this!
How to Store
Keep these cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Keep the cupcakes in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve after freezing, make sure you let them thaw in the fridge before serving.
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- measuring cups
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- hand mixer or stand mixer
- frosting bags and tips
- muffin tray and liners
Apple Cider Cupcakes
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- ½ cup butter (plant-based of choice)
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup fresh apple cider make sure it is non-alcoholic
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ½ cup gluten free flour
Maple Buttercream Frosting
- 3 cups
- ½ cup butter plant based if needed
- ¼ cup cream cheese plant based if needed
- 4 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- dash cinnamon
Apple Cider Cupcakes
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Make sure the oven rack is set to the middle of the oven. Line or lightly spray muffin tin. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, or in your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together the brown sugar, white sugar, and butter until light and fluffy.
- Add your eggs and vanilla. Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly incorporate the apple cider. Mix until combined.
- Now add the baking powder and cinnamon before adding the flour. Mix well until no lumps remain.
- Fill cupcakes ¾ of the way full, making sure not to over fill. Place in the oven for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center pulls out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.
Maple Buttercream Frosting
- In a large mixing bowl with your hand mixer, or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together your butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon, and powdered sugar. Whisk on high for 4 minutes or until fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag and frost cupcakes.
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