My good friend, Amanda, and I have been talking about having a fall-themed baking party since September. First, we said we were going to make like 4 or 5 things. Then a few weeks ago, it turned into 3 things. Then, two weeks ago, it was just two things. Come Saturday, the day of our baking party, it was one thing. Grad school gets in the way of all our fun! Not only did we only end up making these cupcakes, but we took a shortcut by using boxed cake mix and kicked it up a bit. Some people don’t like to admit to using box mix, but I am not one of those people my friends. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy making my own cake from scratch, but when you are short on time, why not use a box mix? We didn’t end up getting together until the evening and had two other important things on our agenda: 1. drink lots of wine and 2. watch trashy TV.

So, all in all, our baking party was certainly not the baking extravaganza that we had hoped it would be, but these cupcakes came out pretty good!!

Apple Spice Cupcakes

Makes approximately 12 cupcakes

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

– 1 box spice cake mix

– 1 1/3 cups water

– 1/3 cup vegetable oil

– 3 large eggs

– 1/2 cup sour cream

– 1 tsp. vanilla extract

– 3 apples, peeled and diced into small bite-size pieces

– 1 tsp. cinnamon

– 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

– pinch of salt

– 1/2 lemon

Ingredients for the frosting:

– 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened

– 4 cups confectioner’s sugar

– 1 tsp. vanilla extract

– 1- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (add more if you want to really taste the cinnamon)

– 1 stick unsalted butter, softened


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the cake mix, vegetable oil, eggs, water, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Mix until well-combined. In a separate bowl, add the diced apples, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Mix well. Add the apple mixture to the cupcake batter. In a muffin tin lined with baking cups, distribute the batter evenly amongst each cup. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool for at least 15 minutes before frosting.

2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla extract. Add the confectioner’s sugar 2 cups at a time until it is well-combined with the cream cheese. Add the cinnamon and mix until it is thoroughly mixed in with the frosting, but try to avoid over-mixing the frosting.

– I used Duncan Hines box mix for this recipe. If you use a different brand, I recommend following the directions for that specific cake mix, then add in my additions of the vanilla, sour cream, and apples.
– Most cake mixes say that the mix will make 24 cupcakes, but because you are adding the apples to this, you have to account for the fact that they are going to release moisture while baking, so you need more of the dry mix to account for this. This recipe should give you about 12 cupcakes.
– The frosting recipe might make more than you need for just 12 cupcakes, but I wanted to give these a generous frosting so I made sure to have extra!