Big Apple Crumble Cupcakes



  • 3 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, diced into small cubes

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar


  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup unsalted butter

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1/3 cup hot water

  • 2 1/2 cups freshly grated Empire, Macoun, or McIntosh apples (4 to 5 medium apples)

Cinnamon buttercream frosting:

  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar

  • 1 teaspoon whole milk

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


For the crumble:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients, and mix together using your fingertips. Spread the crumb mixture on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 30 minutes or until the crumble reaches a golden brown color. Let cool and set aside. Leave the oven on to bake the cupcakes.

For the cupcakes:

  1. Line a cupcake pan with twelve paper baking cups and a second pan with six baking cups.

  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 3 to 5 minutes.

  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.

  5. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one third of the hot water, beating slowly until well incorporated. Add another third of the flour mixture, followed by a third of the hot water. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining hot water, and beat just until combined. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed.

  6. Using a spatula, fold the grated apple and half of the apple crumble mixture into the batter.

  7. Using a standard-size ice cream scoop, fill each baking cup so that it is two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. After 5 minutes, transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely for approximately 20 minutes.

For the frosting:

  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer. Beat until the frosting is light and airy, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Frost each cupcake with a signature swirl (see below), and top with a sprinkling of the remaining apple crumble.

Signature Swirl

Transfer your frosting into a disposable plastic piping bag fitted with a large round metal tip. Be sure to whip up your frosting so it is light and airy. You don’t need to twist the top of your bag—you can just hold it closed with one hand and use your other hand to hold the bag near the bottom and squeeze. Start in the center of the cupcake, applying pressure to the bottom of the bag, and guide the tip around the cupcake in a circular motion, then end in the center with a burst of pressure. Try to move quickly and confidently. If you go too slowly, the frosting may come out uneven.

| Adapted from Epicurious