I came across this recipe for Spice Cupcakes that basically took a spice cake mix and ‘doctored’ it up with cider and grated apple. Sounded good to me. But never having used a spice cake mix I was a bit disappointed with its spice flavor – or in reality, lack of. So I added a little extra cinnamon and a bit of cardamom. Nutmeg would also be a fine addition. An extra 1/2 – 1 tsp. of spice will do it.
It called for a butter cream frosting made with a bit of cider which did sound nice. But something just called to me that said these cupcakes needed a cream cheese frosting. And not just any cream cheese frosting, but one that had been subtly flavored with real maple syrup and then finished with a bit of cinnamon. Oh yeah…that did the trick!
Apple Cider Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from a recipe from Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate)
Makes 24 cupcakes
- 1 box spice cake mix
- 1 1/3 cups apple cider
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cardamon
- 2/3 cups grated apple (Granny Smith, Braeburn and Gala are good options)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp. pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, combine cake mix, apple cider, oil and eggs. Beat, first at low speed and then moving up to high for 2 minutes. Add spices and beat to incorporate. Fold in shredded apple by hand.
- Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake 18 to 21 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
- In a large bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and maple syrup until smooth and fluffy. Add the cinnamon and beat just to incorporate. Frost cupcakes. Serve & enjoy!
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