Pumpkin Apple Cupcakes

pumpkin apple cupcakesI’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again: cupcakes make Monday a better day.  But before we get to these little gems, I’ve got something very important to discuss…

I think we’ve got another canned pumpkin shortage on our hands here in Central New York.  I noticed the dwindling supply a few weeks ago, but didn’t think much of it since it was barely September.  Now – almost October – it’s gotten worse.  Pumpkin isn’t on the shelves at all, not even at Wegmans.  And they have everything

As horrific thoughts of a pumpkin-less fall started going through my mind Saturday evening, I decided to take last-ditch trip to WalMart.  By the grace of (the pumpkin) God, I was relieved to find it there and promptly put twelve hefty cans in my basket.  By the time I got to the checkout, my arms were about to fall off and a few people in line were looking at me strange.  Ha, they’ll think of me when they’re not eating pumpkin pie on the fourth Thursday in November!  Then, I noticed the guy in front of me was buying three cases of beer and couldn’t help but think to myself—gosh Liz, you’ve gotten pretty wild, hoarding pumpkin at WalMart on a Saturday night!  I should really tone things down and take it easy.  Anyway…

Let me know if you’re noticing the same problem in your area.  I hope you’re not, because you need to make these pumpkin apple cupcakes!

pumpkin apple cupcake 2

It’s interesting how my eating pattern changes when I’m deep into marathon training.  I still have the urge to bake and cook, but I tend to take more shortcuts.  Like last weekend, when I was making these cupcakes for my mom’s friend.  I wanted to do a fall-inspired cupcake, but I didn’t want to put in too much effort…so I didn’t!  And let me tell you, the ease of prep didn’t sacrifice flavor or texture one bit. 

These cupcakes use a boxed cake mix, but you don’t even have to bother adding eggs or oil.  Just pumpkin, an apple, spices, and some water.  Before you know it, you’ll be savoring a super-moist spicy cupcake, without all the fuss! 

pumpkin apple cupcake 3

Pumpkin Apple Cupcakes

Canned pumpkin and cooked apple are the secret to these incredibly moist, spiced cupcakes.  Don’t have a white cake mix on hand?  Yellow or spice cake mix are great substitutes!

Makes 24 cupcakes

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes


  • 1 medium apple (peeled, cored and diced)
  • 1 boxed white cake mix
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 1/3 cups water


  • 1 16-ounce container cream cheese icing
  • 2 tablespoons light maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the apple on high about 1 minute or until tender.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat all of the cake ingredients with an electric mixer on high speed 2 minutes.  Fold in the cooked apple pieces.  Spoon the batter into prepared cupcake pan.  Bake the cupcakes about 18 to 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. 

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, stir the cream cheese icing, maple syrup, and cinnamon until well blended.  Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.


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