Full of fresh apple flavor and topped with a delicious cinnamon cream cheese frosting, these Apple Cider Cupcakes are gluten-free and vegan!
One big holiday down, one more to go.
How’d everyone’s Turkey Day turn out? I had a really great day, starting with my normal 4am wake up call but instead of going to the gym to work, I went to get my own workout in! I worked out for about an hour and a half, then spent some time at the front desk with my co-worker/friend sipping on coffee [ I picked us up some Mc Donald’s coffees!] and chatting. After the gym I rushed home to shower and cook up my last dish [ a roasted garlic carrot side dish] and then Ninja and I grabbed the pups and drove over to Daddy’s.
The day itself was pretty relaxed – we ate lots of food, watched football and went on a walk with the pups. All of my desserts were a big hit, including these Apple Cider Cupcakes which were sort of a last minute creation. Even though I had a pumpkin pie, apple crisp and cookies prepared, I just felt like there needed to be something with frosting on it. Or maybe I just wanted to make frosting so that I could lick the bowl and eat the leftovers with a spoon. 😉
Regardless of the reason, I’m really glad that I opted to make these.
Unlike the other apple cupcake recipe that I have on the blog, these Apple Cider Cupcakes are actually made without any fresh apples inside. Since I already had the Apple Crisp as a dessert I wanted a cupcake that contained the flavors of fall like apples and spices but I didn’t want it to be too similar to the apple crisp. These cupcakes get their apple flavor from both apple cider and applesauce while also being chock full of warm fall spices, including the simple cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
And not that I really needed convincing, but this cinnamon cream cheese frosting reminded me yet again why cream cheese based desserts are my favorite. Even though I used a cream cheese substitute so that these cupcakes could be dairy-free, that delicious slightly tangy yet sweet flavor of cream cheese is still there – and I absolutely adore it.
Which is probably why I ate half the frosting before it even made it onto the cupcakes.
I wish I was kidding.
So what about the flavor of these Apple Cider Cupcakes?
I was a bit worried at first that there would be a lack of apple flavor without there being any fresh apples inside, however the apple flavor is just enough to be subtle yet noticeable. Though the amount of frosting you place on top of the cupcakes could also be a factor in the final flavor – I tend to load my cupcakes up with frosting [because duhhh, who doesn’t want more frosting?] so the cinnamon flavor was pretty abundant. That being said, I also sampled one by eating the entire top first before diving into the actual cake and found the cake by itself to be light, fluffy and just perfectly flavored with apple goodness.
And considering that my family went to town on these cupcakes I’d have to say they agree with me. Heck – Little Sissy had two even though she had her favorite pumpkin pie sitting on the counter. That’s high praise coming from her!
And I know that Turkey Day is over now and everyone is probably trying to detox for a little bit before all of the holiday festivities pick back up, but these Apple Cider Cupcakes are just too good to pass on. Make them for your next holiday party, or dinner or heck, just because. I mean do you really need an excuse to make cupcakes? 😉
- For the Cupcakes:
- 1 cup Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 GF flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup apple cider
- ⅓ cup applesauce, unsweetened
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- For the Frosting:
- 8 ounces dairy-free cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup vegan butter substitute
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the apple cider, applesauce, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract and coconut sugar.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until everything is well incorporated.
- Fill each muffin tin ¾ way full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- While cupcakes are cooling, beat together the frosting ingredients until fluffy. Once cupcakes have cooled, pipe or spread frosting on and sprinkle with extra cinnamon, if desired.
How was your Thanksgiving?