The Flaming Vegan

A Vegan and Vegetarian Blogging Extravaganza

Caramel-Apple-Spice Cupcakes
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Caramel-Apple-Spice Cupcakes

Cook Time: About 60 minutes

This is a tender cupcake, bursting with caramelized apple chunks, with just the right amount of spice and old-fashioned, fun-to-say penuche frosting with a light caramel flavor. Have a few extra cupcake liners handy as there can be some leftover batter, or enjoy a shot of apple butter with a friend.


  • 2 tart, firm cooking apples, such as Granny Smith or Northern Spy
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of nonhydrogenated vegan margarine 
  • 1 cup of soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice 
  • 1/3 of canola oil
  • 3/4 of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Caramel-Penuche Frosting

  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of nonhydrogenated vegan margarine
  • 1 tablespoon of molasses
  • 1/3 cup of soy creamer or soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons of plain or vanilla soy milk powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2.5 cups of confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup of chopped, roasted peanuts for sprinkling


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners
  3. Leaving the skins on the apples, core and dice them into small pieces (about 1/4-inch cubes), for about 1 2/3 cups of diced apple.
  4. Heat the brown sugar and margarine in a heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture begins to bubble.
  5. Add the apple pieces and stir to coat.
  6. Cook the apples, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the water has evaporated and the apples are lightly caramelized, about 12 minutes
  7. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before proceeding.
  8. In a large bowl, whisk together the soy milk and lemon juice, and allow to sit for a minute to curdle.
  9. Add the canola oil, granulated sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla, and beat well.
  10. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir only until the dry ingredients are moistened.
  11. Fold in the sauteed apples along with any remaining juices.
  12. Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters of the way with batter, and bake for 20-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.


When the cupcakes are done, remove them from the oven and cool on wire racks.

While they cool, prepare the Caramel-Penuche Frosting:

  1. Combine the sugar, margarine, molasses, soy milk, powdered soy milk, and salt into a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir and bring to a boil.
  3. Allow the mixture to boil and foam for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from the heat.
  5. When the frosting mixture has cooled slightly and is still a little warm, stir in half of the confectioners' sugar and the vanilla, then beat with an electric beater for 2 to 3 minutes, or until creamy.
  6. Slowly beat in remaining confectioners' sugar until a thick, smooth, fudge-like frosting forms. (The frosting can be spread warm or slightly cooled, but too much cooling will make the frosting TOO thick to spread. If this happens, just let it warm to room temperature.)
  7. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with peanuts.

You may substitute any ingredients that you may need to or desire, enjoy! 

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