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Dessert Recipes

Caramel Apple Cupcakes in a Jar

As cute as they are delicious! We transformed the delicious flavor of caramel apples into a sweet-as-can-be treat.

Serving Size:


Active Time:

1 hr., 30 min.

Total Time:

3 hrs.


  • 1 orange
  • 1 (16 oz.) pkg. poundcake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2½ cups butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 8 cups cored, peeled and diced Granny Smith apples, about 6
  • 1 (12.25 oz.) jar caramel sundae topping
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 12 (8 oz.) jars with lids
  • Red and green decorating sugars
  • Pretzel twists, broken into small pieces
  • Green gumdrops


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 18 muffin cups with cupcake liners. Grate zest and squeeze juice from orange. Add enough water to juice to equal ⅔ cup. On low speed, beat cake mix, juice, eggs, ¼ cup butter, zest and pie spice 30 sec. On medium, beat 2 min. Divide among liners. Bake 18 min. or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean.
  2. In large skillet, melt ¼ cup butter over medium heat. Add apples; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and almost tender, about 5 min. Add ½ cup caramel topping; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apples are softened, about 10 min. Remove from heat; spread apple mixture in shallow pan to cool completely, about 1 hr. Stir in remaining topping; reserve.
  3. On medium speed, beat cream cheese and remaining 2 cups butter until fluffy, 2 min. On low, gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar, then vanilla until light and fluffy, 5 min. If desired, transfer to pastry bag fitted with round tip.
  4. Remove cupcakes from liners. Horizontally cut each cupcake in half. Place 1 cupcake half in each jar; top with 1 Tbs. apple mixture. Pipe or spoon about 2 Tbs. frosting over apples. Repeat layering with 1 cake half, apples and frosting. Top with third cupcake half; equally divide remaining frosting among jars. With small spatula, smooth top into rounded shape. Sprinkle with red sugar; insert pretzels for stems. On surface lightly sprinkled with green sugar, roll out each gumdrop to ⅛’ thickness; cut out 1”-1½”- long leaf shapes. Insert into frosting. Chill until ready to serve.

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