Apple Crumble Cupcakes

Apple crumble cupcakes combine the joy of apple crumble with a spiced cake. A sweet, crumbly topping sits atop a caramel-like spiced cake with soft apple pieces. The perfect Autumn bake!

Why should I make Apple Crumble Cupcakes?

  • You get to eat apple crumble and a spiced cake both at the same time!
  • Great for using up an apple glut in the Autumn
  • Really, really easy to make in a mixer

Apple Crumble Cupcakes

There’s nothing like Autumn to start baking with apples and bringing out all your spices, ready for bakes, tarts and whatever else you can throw them in! These apple crumble cupcakes use pumpkin pie spice instead of the more common UK mixed spice. They are both however very similar so this could be used as a substitute. 

What I love about these apple crumble cupcakes, is the way that you get to enjoy a brown sugared crumble topping but then end your bite with a super moist, spiced apple cake. Delightful! The dark brown sugar used in the sponge gives off hits of caramel. Yum! 

Perfect for sharing with friends or colleagues, or just eating all to yourself? Trust me, you’ll want to!

What do I need to make these apple cupcakes?

For the crumb – 

Light brown sugar – I went for a brown sugar to ensure notes of caramel in the crumb

Unsalted butter – The butter is needed to combine the sugar and flour to create the crumb

Plain flour – Just plain flour is needed as we don’t want any rise with this!

For the cake – 

Unsalted butter – I always choose unsalted butter for my cakes, rather than salted. The butter helps flavour the cake but also provides aeration and moisture.

Dark brown sugar – A darker sugar is used again to create a caramel-like flavour.

Golden caster sugar – I didn’t want the cake to be too rich so chose a lighter sugar as well, but still golden rather than plain. 

Sour cream – To give a creamy and moist texture to the sponge. 

Eggs, medium – eggs add the structure to a cake. 

Vanilla bean paste – I love vanilla bean paste for its powerful, true vanilla flavour it gives to cakes. You don’t need as much either. 

Plain flour – Just plain flour to add the structure.

Baking powder – We’ve added baking powder to give the rise, rather than using self-raising flour. I prefer to do this. 

Pumpkin pie spice mix – You could use mixed spice if you can’t find any. I wanted the cakes to have a spiced flavour and since it’s Autumn, pumpkin pie spice is always my go-to.

Milk – an optional extra if you think your mix needs more moisture. I added a tiny drop in mine.

Granny smith apples, peeled and chopped – You could use normal eating apples.

Equipment list

12 muffin cases

A muffin tin 

A mixer or hand whisk 

Measuring spoons


Knife for cutting the apples

Frequently asked questions!

Where can I buy pumpkin pie spice? 

Pumpkin pie spice is not as easy to find here in the UK. However it is sold on Amazon. You could make your own pumpkin pie spice by combining ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground allspice and ground cloves. The Pioneer Woman has a recipe here if you’re interested.

What If I can’t find pumpkin pie spice?

If you can’t find pumpkin pie spice and can’t make your own using the recipe above, you could always used mixed spice. They are very similar. 

Can I use any variety of apple?

Yes of course! This recipe welcomes any apple variety. 

How do I make Apple Crumble Cupcakes?

These apple crumble cupcakes are SO easy. The mixer does most of the hard work for you. I always make my crumb topping first, then prepare the cake and assemble. Read the tip and then keep scrolling for the recipe!

Apple Crumble Cake Tip –

Push the first lot crumb topping down so its level with the cake case, then crumble the top to create an even pile of crumb. Pushing It down also helps give the cake that perfect layer of cake and then crumb. 

The Recipe

Apple Crumble Cupcakes

  • Serves: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy

A delicious Autumn bake: a crumble topping and spiced cake combo.

What you will need

  • For the crumble -
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 90g plain flour
  • For the cake -
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g dark brown sugar
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 eggs, medium
  • 70ml sour cream
  • 200g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 50ml milk - optional
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, chopped


  • 11. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees fan/190 C. Line a cupcake tin with 12 cases.
  • 22. Start with making your crumble topping: add sugar, butter cut into small cubes and plain flour, with your hands until it forms a crumb-like texture. The rub-in method is essential: rub the mixture between your thumb and forefinger. Set aside.
  • 33. In a mixer, beat the butter and sugars until creamy and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well in-between. Add sour cream and vanilla. Mix in.
  • 44. Sift the flour, pumpkin pie spice and baking powder into the bowl of mix, and fold in carefully, doing a figure of ‘
  • 58’
  • 6. If the mixture is too stiff, add the optional 50ml of milk.
  • 75. Fold in the chopped apples. Divide in the cases.
  • 86. To each cake, add some topping with a spoon and push down gently. Finish off each cake with a sprinkling of crumb to create a neat little ‘
  • 9pile’
  • 10.
  • 117. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins or until brown, and you can insert a skewer and it comes out clean (the best cake test method).


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