Buttermilk Cupcakes with Caramel Icing

Delicious Buttermilk Cupcakes topped with Caramel Icing and a mini candied apple! Fun fall treat for any gathering! Light and tender cupcake with just the right amount of sweetness in the caramel frosting.

Buttermilk Cupcakes with Caramel Icing - The Foodie Affair

Buttermilk Cupcakes

According to Pinterest I’m already behind the blogging holiday schedule. Yep, there are tons of holiday desserts already circulating.

I’m never in a rush for the holiday season. It’s hard to just enjoy right now instead of looking toward what is next, which is what bloggers need to do so we don’t fall behind the eight ball.

Fall is my favorite time of year, and I’m determined not the rush the season along by baking Christmas cookies just yet. Let’s enjoy Thanksgiving and these buttermilk cupcakes first!

Are you with me?

Buttermilk Cupcakes with Caramel Icing - The Foodie Affair

Buttermilk Cupcake Recipe With Mini Candy Apples

These cupcakes are just super adorable and fun to make. This recipe is your typical lots of sugar and flour recipe.

There is nothing diet-like in this recipe. In fact, I won’t recommend any modifications. Sometimes it’s ok to indulge. As long as lingering medical conditions don’t set you back.

Buttermilk cake adds a nice tang, is tender and tasty, but what really brings the flavors together is the earthy caramel icing!

Plus, I added an extra special decoration. What looks like a cherry on top of the cupcake is actually a mini candy apple!

These crispy adorable Crimson Gold apples were at my grocery store and I had to have them. I bought two bags full!  

Aren’t they the cutest little apples you’ve ever seen? They’re a perfect little sweet and flavorful snack!

Crimson Gold apples also are the perfect candy apple topper for these cupcakes!

If you’re interested in learning more about these little gems, I found this great article Crimson Gold Apples – A Tiny Tasty Treat! over at Shockingly Delicious!

holding Crimson Gold apple
Photo Credit : Alchetron

Why Use Buttermilk In Vanilla Cupcakes?

Buttermilk is acidic, which helps break down gluten aiding it tender cupcakes.

In addition, the reaction of the buttermilk and baking soda together adds air giving these buttermilk cupcakes a nice airy texture.

Can I Use Powdered Buttermilk?

Yes! Powder buttermilk works fine in baked goods adding the same yummy flavor and texture.

Although there are some tips to consider. I find that the powdered buttermilk can clump up when reconstituted, so you need to mix well.

One way to incorporate powder buttermilk is to whisk it into the dry ingredients, then add the extra water it calls for in the liquid ingredients.

Buttermilk Cupcakes with Caramel Icing - The Foodie Affair

How To Store Candied Apples

These mini candied apples will last several days at room temperature or up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Although, I recommend covering them to keep them dry so that the candy doesn’t get gooey or extra sticky.

To keep the buttermilk cupcakes fresh as well, add the apples just before serving.

Buttermilk Cupcakes with Caramel Icing - The Foodie Affair

Buttermilk Cupcakes with Caramel Icing

Tender buttermilk cupcakes with caramel icing. Make this an extra special treat with a mini candied apple topping.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Uncategorized
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttermilk, candied apple, caramel, cupcake, dessert
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 24 Servings
Calories: 390kcal
Author: Sandra Shaffer


  • 1 cup butter unsalted and at room temperture
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Caramel Icing

  • 1/2 stick 4 ounce butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups powdered sugar sifted

Candy Apple

  • 12 Crimson Apples
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4-6 drops red food coloring


  • Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs one a a time beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
  • In a separate medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add a third of the flour to the butter mixture alternate with buttermilk. Mix well after each addition. Pour into prepared cupcake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire baking rack.
  • Combine butter, brown sugar and cream in a small saucepan. Over medium heat bring to a boil, stirring constantly ensuring the sugar melts and none is on the bottom of the saucepan. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes. On low speed beat in sifted powdered sugar until smooth. Dip each cupcake into the batter and let set.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place clean mini apple on top and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan add sugar, corn syrup and water and cook over medium heat (watch so it closely so it doesn’t boil over pan) until a candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees (not more than 310). Remove from heat and stir in food coloring. Using a spear or small pliers (protect your fingers and hands!) dip each apple into the hot candy. Place back on baking sheet and let harden. Place on cupcake or eat plain.


Insert popsicle sticks (12) into half of the cupcakes for a caramel apple look!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 86mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 57g


Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.


Tender buttermilk cupcakes on a mini cake pedestal topped with caramel icing and candied apple.

Hugs Sandra Signature

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  1. You always come up with such creative and delicious ideas. This looks so delicious. We sometimes get those little mini apples from Japan. I will have to keep my eyes open for them.

  2. These apples are adorbs and cupcakes look delicious! I’m with you about not cooking Christmas cookies until it’s actually time. I just published my first pumpkin recipe of the year today lol

  3. I’m right there with ya, not wanting to move too fast into the cookie season just yet, which is why there is a carrot cake cupcake on my own blog today. Your cupcakes are seriously the cutest! I have never seen mini apples, but what a fun buy!

  4. Cannot recall seeing Crimson Gold apples at my food market but may be they are there I did not notice, will pay attention when next I go shopping. Your cupcakes are so cute.

  5. I thought for sure that apple was really a fun play w/ a cherry. I’m definitely going to head over to learn about those. I agree, let’s not rush Christmas, let’s enjoy Thanksgiving!