Apple Pie Cupcakes

You know I gotta do it. You know I have to explain myself right away before people FREAKING THE F OUT! Yes, this recipe has butter in it. Yes, it has organic sugar in it as well. No, those two things are not paleo. But if you’re freaking out about those two things and feel like reminding me that they aren’t paleo, I’ll remind you this – you don’t have to eat them. You can make some crappy frosting with palm shortening and coconut sugar, if that’s what you prefer, but I do not prefer that. If I’m going to eat a cupcake, I want it to still be appetizing. I apologize if you cannot have butter, but I have many MANY treat recipes that do not include butter or any dairy or any refined sugar. So before you get your panties in a twist, remember, you have the power to not eat them! This has been yet another Juli Bauer Public Service Announcement. The more you know.

PaleOMG Apple Pie Cupcakes

Looking at these photos of cupcakes is making me regret not eating more of them when I had the chance. As soon as I made them, I took them to the neighbors house and then straight to the gym to get them out of my sight. Last week was a very emotional week and the last thing I needed to do was eat my feelings. But now, feelings are under control and I WANT THESE IN MY FACE. Guess I’ll just have to make them again, which I’m completely cool with since my amazing friend Caroline bought me the best wedding gift ever: a Kitchen Aid Mixer with a glass bowl in a beautiful teal color! I’m obsessed. I need to start using it for everything! What do you use your kitchen aid for?! It’s the only appliance I keep on my counter because it’s pretty much the most beautiful thing ever. Why can’t every appliance be that pretty?

So get this. I mentioned last week about how I had my rug and couch cleaned at my house and he did an awful job but after going through an eye-opening life situation, it felt like such a small detail that I shouldn’t even be worrying about. Well, when I received an email asking me to rate the company, I gave my full, honest opinion and rated the company as low as I could go. Well of course they called me back and asked if they could come back out to make the situation right. So the manager come back out, asked what I paid for the couch cleaning and then measured it himself and said they overcharged me by $200. That’s a lot of freaking money.

They re-cleaned the couch and the rug and the rug seriously looks completely different. Night and day. If I wouldn’t have said my 100% b*tchy honest opinion, I would still be out $200 and have a dirty ass rug. Just proof that sometimes being yourself and saying exactly what you feel can actually get you somewhere in a world full of bullsh*t. Mostly I’m just saying – stick up for yourself! It can actually work in your benefit sometimes.

I don’t know why we’re still talking about couches here when you could be eating these cupcakes instead.

PaleOMG Apple Pie Cupcakes


Apple Pie Cupcakes

  • Yield: 10-11 cupcakes 1x



For the cupcakes

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ½ cup maple sugar (or coconut sugar – maple sugar just makes the color lighter)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup ghee
  • ¼ cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the caramel

For the frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup organic powdered sugar, divided

For the apple toppings


For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a silicone muffin pan with 10-11 paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, maple sugar, baking soda and powder, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, ghee, coconut milk and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Batter should be slightly thick.
  4. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the batter into 10 or 11 lined muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Place cupcakes on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
  5. While cupcakes are cooking and cooling – make the caramel sauce from Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook then set aside.

For the frosting

  1. Place the softened butter in a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment. Whip on high speed until fluffy, scraping down the sides every minute or so, about 5 to 7 minutes—the longer, the better.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and coconut milk and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes, until fully combined.
  3. Turn the mixer off, add 2 tablespoons of the powdered sugar, and then turn on the mixer and process to combine. Repeat until all the powdered sugar has been added and the frosting is thoroughly whipped. Set aside.

For the apples

  1. Place a large saute pan over medium heat. Add ghee along with the diced apples. Let cook and soften for about 10 minutes, tossing every couple minutes. Then add apple pie spice and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Once apples are soft and tender, add 3 heaping tablespoons of the caramel sauce and mix to combine. Set aside.

To build the cupcakes

  1. When cupcakes are completely cooled, use a spoon to add frosting to each cupcake. (I like to build my frosting a little higher on the outsides so the toppings can sit in the middle without moving) Add about 1 teaspoon of caramel sauce to the middle of the cupcake then add about 1 tablespoon of the apple mixture on top. Continue until all cupcakes are frosted and topped! Serve immediately!

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PaleOMG Apple Pie Cupcakes


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Caramel Donut & Ice Cream Topped Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes


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I may be compensated through my affiliate links in this post, but all opinions are my own. This compensation helps with expenses to keep this blog up and running!

Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


47 thoughts on “Apple Pie Cupcakes”

  1. These cupcakes looks soooo good! While I’m not strict Paleo I have definitely learned that if I’m going to have a treat, it’s going to be a real treat with great ingredients, not some crappy grocery store cupcake – if I’m going to eat it, it’s going to be worth it. An unexpected way to use you mixer – shredding meat. Use the paddle attachment & turn the mixer on low – before long you have perfectly shredded meat with little fuss!

  2. These look soooooo good. I can’t have dairy though, but recently discovered I can eat ghee! I don’t know a whole lot about ghee, can it replace butter in the frosting? Or are they not able to be directly substituted?

  3. You better watch out the paleo police are coming for you! I’m a Dietitian so clients are always asking me if coconut sugar/honey/maple syrup is better for them than regular. Sure it is, but it isn’t THAT much better for you. I’m pretty sure you can get the trace minerals found in those things a million other ways. I’m not advocating you stuff your face with refined sugar and butter all day, just making a point. I think that argument is like the argument for wine and antioxidants ,but I think we are on the same page on that one!

  4. Love you! Love your recipes (and so do my kids)! It’s ok to have a treat with sugar and butter occasionally! Thank you for all your amazing recipes and hilarious blogs!

  5. I stay away from sugar, but sometimes you just want an awesomely delicious cupcake that happens to have some sugar in the frosting! I get it!

    Also, hubby surprised me last year with a PURPLE (my fave color) sparkly Kitchenaid just like your teal one. I had a perfectly good (boring) white kitchenaid, but he knew I’d love the purple one after 20 years with the old one…it’s my favorite, and certainly most beautiful, appliance!

    Love your site and cookbooks – when I make one of your recipes, I tell my daughter I got it from my friend Juli (cue teen eye roll). So far, Indian butter chicken is her fave and she requests it often. Thanks for making my transition to a Paleo lifestyle that much easier.

  6. This looks so freaking delicious…Juli…. you’re giving me hope girl. I think a Paleo Thanksgiving is gonna be dope this year =D. Just a heads up I think I’m gonna write a cookbook. I’m not a chef by any means at all, but I just wanna blog it ya know?

    Question… what advice would you have to someone who is about to start a cook book / blog like yourself…

    1. check out my podcast tomorrow because i’m talking about how i became a full time blogger! and then if you have any specific questions after you listen to that, feel free to leave a question!

  7. These look amazing! Thinking of making it as a cake instead of individual cupcakes. Any changes or suggestions you’d make?

  8. For the full fat coconut milk in the frosting, do you mean room temp liquid shaken up & mixed really well, or the full fat coconut milk that’s been chilled & risen to the top of a can that’s been in the fridge? Gonna make these ~ can’t wait to get them in my face!

  9. I’m going to make these for my daughters first birthday! She doesn’t need the frosting but I’ll add applesauce to the cupcakes to make them sweeter 🙂

  10. Also, please do not use palm oil!!!!! If you research what is happening to our planet and the animals on it you will not want to!

  11. Juli,
    Saw your snap about your husbands migraines, and thought I’d throw out a suggestion for you to look into – Feverfew. Its an herbal supplement that is commonly used to prevent migraines. FYI migraines can be autoimmune triggered. Has he tried an elimination diet. I also hear acupuncture helps, and light therapy but I am not exactly sure on that. I know you probably have tons of people giving you advice that you may or may not want but thought I’d throw all that out there.

    And thanks for all the great recipes you put out there!!!


  12. These look absolutely wonderful however I’m allergic to almonds. I realize that you can’t just substitute it equally for something else. So, if I wanted to get creative and try making these, any advice for flour or ways to modify it?

  13. I made them. They’re not pretty! I even burst a pastry bag with the frosting. Frosting everywhere!

    Honestly, if I made these again, I would make half the frosting (or double the cupcakes).

    And they are VERY sweet. I had one bite and had to put it down… and I love sweets!

    Juli, I love your recipes! But my kitchen skills are apparently broken today because these just didn’t go well for me ????

    1. that’s why i don’t use a pastry bag, i just frost mine with a knife. sorry they were too sweet for you. did you make the caramel a salted caramel, the one that i linked in this recipe? that salt in the caramel really changes the flavor profile and keeps it from tasting too sweet.

  14. Can I use maple syrup instead of maple sugar? I’ve got coconut sugar, but I don’t prefer the taste. Maybe organic brown sugar if maple syrup can’t be used?

  15. Hi Juli!!

    Thinking of making these for thanksgiving. For travel do you suggest only icing and adding the apples with caramel closer to serving??


    1. i would not ice them until you’re about to serve them. so you could make the icing ahead of time and just frost them before you’re ready to serve!

    1. if you google apple pie spice, it has the common ingredients: 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon.
      1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg.
      1/2 teaspoon ground allspice.
      1 teaspoon ground ginger.
      1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom.

  16. Made these for my birthday…so freaking good. Never would have thought I could make Paleo/gluten free desserts that my husband actually wants to eat. Thanks Juli.

  17. These look delish – have you tried making them using an egg substitute (can’t have eggs)? Do you think the flax seed egg option might work?

  18. These were not sweet at all (at least the cupcake part wasn’t) but the cupcake part was like a brick. More like a dense unsweetened muffin than a cupcake. It was meh for me. My kids will eat them, though, which is good.

    1. are you sure you followed the recipe correctly? the recipe calls for 1/2 cup sugar, which definitely sweetens it up. i try not to overdo it on the sugar content inside the cupcake since they are layered with frosting, apples AND caramel. and if the cupcake was like a brick, you may have missed the baking soda/baking powder which helps the cupcake rise, adds bubbles and therefore keeps it fluffy.

  19. when you say to use full fat coconut milk…are you using the stuff from a can or carton? If you’re using the can are you fully mixing to combine the fat and liquid…or do you drain the liquid out of the can and just use the fat in the can? Thanks so much!

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