Caramel Apple Frosting

Caramel Apple Frosting is the perfect topping for any fall dessert. Made with melted caramel and apple flavoring that will remind you of a caramel apple! This frosting pairs perfectly with Pumpkin Molasses Cupcakes, recipe included!

pumpkin molasses cupcakes with caramel apple frosting and fall sprinkles

I came up with this recipe because my significant other requested Caramel Apple Frosting for his birthday cupcakes. When I went searching for a recipe, I couldn’t find one. There were caramel frosting recipes and caramel apple recipes, but nothing for a frosting. So, I came up with my own and I must admit, it’s REALLY good! The caramel melted in and apple flavoring extract were a perfect combination to make one of the best fall treats ever!

Ingredients Needed For Caramel Apple Frosting

  • cream cheese
  • unsalted butter
  • vegetable shortening
  • apple flavoring 
  • caramel (melted candy or from a jar)
  • heavy cream (if you are using caramel candies)
  • confectioners powdered sugar
pumpkin molasses cupcakes with caramel apple frosting and sprinkles2

How to Make Caramel Apple Frosting

  • Place the butter, cream cheese, and shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and cream together.
  • Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing in each time. Add the apple flavoring and continue mixing.
  • For the caramel, if you are using caramel candy, place 8-10 caramel candies in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir and microwave for 20 more seconds if needed. Stir heavy cream into the caramel. If you are using caramel sauce from the jar, warm up in the microwave for about 20 seconds before adding the heavy cream and drizzling in.
  • With the mixer on low, drizzle the hot caramel into the frosting as quickly as you can.
  • Once everything is incorporated, remove the bowl from the mixer and refrigerate the frosting until you are ready to use it.
caramel being mixed in to apple caramel frosting

Tips for the Best Frosting Ever

  • This is one of those recipes where the ingredients need to be ROOM TEMPERATURE or you will not get a smooth frosting.
  • The caramel step is pretty quick so have everything ready ahead of time. Don’t add cold heavy cream to the warm caramel.
  • If you get a few pieces of caramel that didn’t blend into the frosting, just pick them out (or leave them for a gooey caramel surprise!)
  • Because there is cream cheese, butter, and shortening in the frosting, it is pretty soft when you mix it together. As mentioned, store the frosting in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
  • If you don’t want to use vegetable shortening you could use more butter or cream cheese in its place. However, I find that a small amount helps with the consistency and pipe-ability of the frosting.
  • The apple flavoring (pictured below) is very potent so don’t use too much!
a bottle of apple flavoring from LorAnn oils
pumpkin molasses cupcakes with caramel apple frosting and fall sprinkles
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Caramel Apple Frosting

A delicious Caramel Apple Frosting made from scratch that tastes like fall!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple caramel, apple caramel frosting, apple flavoring, buttercream frosting, frosting recipe, homemade frosting
Prep Time 19 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 cups
Author EmilyFabulous

Equipment

  • stand mixer or hand mixer
  • microwave-safe bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz cream cheese package, room temp
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • ¾ tsp apple flavoring (I used LorAnn brand)
  • 1/4 cup caramel (melted candy or from a jar)
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream, room temp or warm
  • 6 cups confectioners powdered sugar

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream together the butter, cream cheese, and shortening for about 3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, incorporating fully before adding the next cup. Add the apple flavoring mix in.
  • For the caramel, if you are using caramel candy, unwrap 8-10 caramels and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and remove to stir. If it's needed, microwave for 20 more seconds until all of the caramel is melted together (careful, the bowl is hot!!). Make sure the heavy cream is room temp (or zap in the microwave for 15-20 seconds) and stir it into the caramel. You need the caramel to be pourable. If you are using caramel sauce from the jar, warm up in the microwave for about 20 seconds before adding the heavy cream and drizzling in.
    melted caramel for twix cookie recipe
  • With the mixer on low, drizzle the hot caramel into the frosting as quickly as you can. The caramel needs to be warm so it will melt into the frosting.
    caramel being mixed in to apple caramel frosting
  • Once everything is incorporated, remove the bowl from the mixer and place the frosting in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
    pumpkin molasses cupcakes with caramel apple frosting and fall sprinkles

Notes

  • Frost right before serving or store frosted treats in the fridge until you are ready to serve them. 

What Treats to Put this Frosting On

  • Pumpkin Molasses Cupcakes (recipe below)
  • Let’s be honest, almost any cupcake!
  • Apple Cake
  • Zucchini Bread
  • Pair it with spice cake and make these EASY CAKE BITES!
pumpkin molasses cupcakes with caramel apple frosting and sprinkles
Print

Pumpkin Molasses Cupcakes

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cupcake recipe, homemade cupcakes, molasses, pumpkin, pumpkin dessert, pumpkin puree
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Author EmilyFabulous

Equipment

  • cupcake pan
  • cupcake liners
  • stand mixer (or large mixing bowl and hand mixer)
  • rubber or silicon spatula
  • cookie scoop
  • large mesh sifter

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup molasses

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350° and prepare a cupcake pan with liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cloves into a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
    dry ingredients for pumpkin molasses cupcakes in a sifter
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), cream together the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix in. Add the pumpkin and molasses. The batter will be kind of curdled, don't panic!
    wet ingredients for pumpkin molasses cupcakes
  • Turn the mixer on low and add the dry ingredients slowly until fully mixed in. Turn off the mixer right away being careful not to overmix.
    pumpkin molasses cupcake batter
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake pan using a cookie scoop or a spoon. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the cupcake pan for 5 minutes and then remove from the pan and allow the cupcakes to cool on a cooling rack completely before frosting.
    pumpkin molasses cupcakes on a cooling rack

Notes

Recipe inspired by womansday.com

More Recipes with Delicious Homemade Frosting

cupcake with apple caramel frosting and sprinkles
Click on the image above to PIN to your Pinterest board for later!

Did you make this Caramel Apple Frosting?

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