Salted Caramel Apple Cups

These Salted Caramel Apple Cups are chewy blondies topped with cinnamon apples, salted caramel, and a sweet crumble. They taste like little bites of apple pie.

I often long to be more adventurous in the kitchen. I have crazy recipe ideas that rarely come to fruition. Why? Turns out, I hate failing. Once I try to make a concoction and in the end it’s in an inedible mess, I’m frustrated at the waste of ingredients and the dishes in my sink for nothing. My sails are depleted and it’s really hard to put my neck out there again.

It’s just cooking you say. True. But how much does that apply in our real life. I’m not trying to get all deep on you but I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. I just came out with my cookbook and although things have been going well I’m holding my breath waiting for the other shoe to drop. Does it have to drop? I’m cringing at the negative comments that I know will come and the low review on Amazon that I might get. I’m not being pessimistic I just know from running this blog since 2008 that people always have harsh opinions whether it’s about food coloring or using cake mixes and are very good at vocalizing them.  I’ve developed a thick skin but sometimes it wears thin. So how do you deal with it?

For me, I’ve really tried to find the happy. Whether it’s an email from someone who said they never liked cooking but now have been completely inspired or a comment saying that my recipe made them a rock star at their latest get together. I try to focus on that. And a Diet Dr. Pepper with some chocolate never hurts either. Because at the end of the day I’m sharing recipes because I LOVE food and want everyone to experience the joy I have for it.

Salted Caramel Apple Cups | The Girl Who Ate Everything

On that note, here’s an experiment that went right. I made 4 different versions and this is the one that won the heart of my family. You know a recipe is good when it’s 10 pm and you find you and your hubby alternately sneaking them. It may seem like a lot of steps but they are all simple and easy.

Salted Caramel Apple Cups | The Girl Who Ate EverythingChop up an apple. I used a Honeycrisp apple here but you can use any apple you like. Salted Caramel Apple Cups | The Girl Who Ate EverythingCook the apples with some butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar until tender.

Salted Caramel Apple Cups | The Girl Who Ate Everything

We’re going to make an easy caramel sauce. I’ve made salted caramel from scratch. If you want that recipe go here. Start with your regular old caramels. You’ll need about 20, which is half of a standard bag, or about 5.5 ounces.

Salted Caramel Apple Cups | The Girl Who Ate Everything

Add a little cream and microwave it until it’s melted. If you don’t have cream just use water. No need to run to the store or anything. The reason we thin it out is so that when they are cool the caramel doesn’t harden but stays a little soft.

Salted Caramel Apple Cups | The Girl Who Ate Everything

Salted caramel makes everything better. Add some coarse salt to your caramel and stir it in. As you see my caramel was starting to get thick because I was distracted by one of my 5 kids. No worries. Just heat it again to a workable consistency.

Salted Caramel Apple Cups | The Girl Who Ate Everything

I used my favorite blondie batter which also happens to be in My Cookbook. I’ve used it for years and it’s so adaptable. It gives these cups  chewy base to pile our goodies on. Spoon 1-2 Tablespoons into a muffin tin. Add some apples and a drizzle of caramel, making sure to stay away from the sides. Top it off with a crumble. I tried topping it with more blondie batter with no crumble but we liked this better.

Salted Caramel Apple Cups | The Girl Who Ate Everything
There you have it. Beautiful chewy blondies, topped with cinnamon apples, salted caramel, and a sweet crumble.

Salted Caramel Apple Cups | The Girl Who Ate Everything

They’re good at room temperature or even better heated up for about 20-25 seconds in the microwave. These were seriously good.

Salted Caramel Apple Cups
 
Serves: Makes 12 cups
Ingredients
Apples:
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped apples
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
Batter:
  • ½ cup (1 stick), melted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
Salted Caramel Sauce:
  • 20 caramels (about 5.5 oz), unwrapped
  • 1 Tablespoon cream (or water)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Crumble:
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, slightly softened
  • 6 Tablespoons flour
  • 4 Tablespoons brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Do not use paper liners, they will stick.
  2. For the Apples: In a small skillet, melt the 1 tablespoon of butter and add the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook for about 3 minutes or until apples are slightly tender. They don't have to be cooked all the way through because they will continue cooking in the oven. Remove apples from heat and set aside.
  3. For the Batter: In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour and mix until combined. Set aside.
  4. For the Caramel: In a microwave safe bowl, place the caramels and cream and heat for 60-90 seconds or until melted. Stir in the salt and set aside.
  5. For the Crumble: In a small bowl, mix the butter, flour, and brown sugar with a pastry blender or by hand until mixture resembles course sand.
  6. For Assembly: Add about 2 Tablespoons of batter to each muffin tin - 12 muffin tins total. Spoon about 1-2 teaspoons of apples on top. Drizzle about 1-2 teaspoons of caramel on top making sure to not touch the edges of the tin. Sprinkle the top with an even layer of crumble.
  7. Bake for 13-16 minutes or until tops are slightly golden. Let cups cool in the muffin tin. Use a knife to loosen the edges before removing. Serve room temperature or warm. If not serving right away they can easily be warmed by heating in the microwave for 30 seconds.They are great with ice cream. Makes 12 cups.
Notes
Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything Original


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Comments

  1. You need to read a couple of books from Brene Brown. I would either suggest The Gifts of Imperfection or Daring Greatly. These two books changed my life and changed my prospective on people and emotions. It is an easy read and she is very easy to understand. Her website is http://brenebrown.com/ After reading your post today I could not help but tell you about these books. It will help you with your perspective on negative comments and may help you with you perfection struggles in the kitchen. I very much enjoy your food. Thank you!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Clarissa,
      I think you’re right. I just ordered both of them from Amazon. Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me about these! I think it’s just what I need.

      • I’m so going to try these! I love how you made them individually portions and the caramel oozing out of them looks divine… It seems like Amazon is a hard place to hang out; some of the people that comment are the ones who used to bully everyone in school, I think… I love the book selections Clarissa suggested!

  2. I love every recipe of yours that I have made!! And I’ve made quite a few!!! Remember- “haters guna hate” don’t worry about them! We love you!

  3. I love your posts (especially this one)! Your photos are beautiful, and I hope you keep doing what you’re doing just the way you’re doing it. I follow a lot of food blogs, but yours is one of the better ones. Thanks!

  4. So many great flavors in one bite! Approximately how many does this recipe make?

  5. These look great. I can’t wait to make them. Your recipies are all so wonderful. I always modify them to make them gluten free and they still turn out great. Looking forward to getting to Costco to buy your book. Thx for putting one out.

  6. Hi Christy, I love all your recipes, it’s my “go-to” page when I need some normal-I grew up with this cooking-comes out right all the time recipes….*smile* I do have a couple of quick questions on this recipe, though, first of all, you are talking regular, not tart size muffin tins, right? I have the 12 count pans (cupcake tins?), and I also have the Pampered Chef mini tins (24 count, I think?) that you make pecan tarts in, we’re talking the larger 12 count pan, yes? Which brings me to my last question, how many does this recipe make? I’ve got a family reunion this Sunday that I need to bring a dish for, and these apple pie tarts will wow and be just what I had in mind. Thanks for all your help, keep the newsletters coming, and DON’T change a thing. I so look forward to getting your newsletters and your friendly family news.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Janis,
      You definitely want the larger tin (a regular cupcake pan). It makes 12. Hopefully you love them! I’m sure you could make them mini if you want though.

      • Thanks, Christy for the reply back…..I “did” make them for my family reunion, had rave reviews and an empty dish to take home. They were omgoodness delicious, and I am definitely making these again. I had a tendency to overload the individual cups on the first pan though, and the outsides were golden brown and the inside a bit gooey, (no worries, my hubby and I polished off that first pan, I made 5 dozen) , so for me, using the smaller measurements for the batter, apples and caramel on pans 2 – 5, worked great. Listen to Christy and DEFINITELY let those cups cool at least 20 minutes before removing them from the tins or you won’t get them out in anything but gooey pieces. Thanks once again for one of my new favorite desserts!

  7. Thank you so much for this recipe! I may have to try it…and very soon (we have baby #2 coming next month). Maybe I’ll plan it as a family activity…so my husband can do half of it so I don’t get so tired. The kitchen these days is becoming a chore. 🙂 I have to say thanks for saying we can use water in the caramel, because I probably would have skipped over this recipe otherwise. I rarely buy cream because it’s so pricy. Thanks again, I’m excited to try this one for sure.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Lynette,
      Congrats on baby #2. Cooking is totally a chore when you’re pregnant. I used to say when I was pregnant to my husband, if you want to torture me…make me cook.

  8. Please just keep on sharing . You encourage me to be adventuresome and get out of my cooking rut . Love your recipes and your pictures. Now off to buy some caramels.

  9. I’m loving everything about these … they look amazing!!

  10. You may want to be adventurous—-but I think your recipes are darn good!!!
    I share them with the teachers at school and the thing they keep repeating is that here is a great recipe for a busy working mom. Something they can get together on a busy work night or ever busier weekend.
    So many recipes are so far out there and time consuming that most cooks I know won’t take the time to make them no matter how great they will taste.
    By the way you won’t here on Amazon how great I think your cookbook is because I got it at a store and one for a gift (but I will still have to keep sending your recipes out to my non-blogging friends–LOL).
    Have a great and happy weekend!

  11. Ahhh a girl after my own heart!!! (diet dr. pepper and chocolate!!) 🙂 Can’t wait to make these they look awesome and with fall just around the corner and apples starting to come it’s going to be perfect!! Ty Ty 🙂

  12. What an addictive yummy. My boss is a caramel nut. I am thinking I might have a raise in my future.

  13. People who criticize recipes (or most other things) have never tried the recipe or if they did, they didn’t follow it exactly. I’m all for experimentation but one of my pet peeves is people who get online, swear up and down how terrible a recipe was and then it turns out that they didn’t follow the directions. They added this, changed that and they didn’t have this in the cupboard so they used whatever instead. Your recipes are all great and you can tell the care you take with this blog. I’m sure your cookbook will be equally filled with love and your passion for cooking. Yours is the only one I read regularly.
    The recipe for the apple cups–since my parents died about 15 years ago, I have fondly remembered a pastry bar with apples and a crumbly bottom. I had such good memories of going camping and enjoying them. I’ve never seen anything come close. While the ones we had didn’t have caramel (and I adore caramel) these are the closest ever and I’m sending my hub to the store tomorrow to get ingredients. Thank you for posting this for us. It brings back wonderful memories as many of your recipes do. Your cookbook will do well and when you are creating in your kitchen, know you are not only make yummy things to eat but you are also reminding us of memories that make us happy.

  14. I don’t remember how I found it but yours was the first food blog I started to follow and I have lots of your recipes pinned . You are so adorable and I love it that you have 5 kids ! I had pre ordered your cookbook and it came the other day . I’m so excited to try so many of the recipes . The beautiful pictures make me want to try every one! Amazon even actually credited ny credit card .65 because the price had dropped ! Please don’t listen to the critics . There are negative , sad , mean people on every social media format -block and delete them 🙂 keep smiling and cooking !

  15. These look deadly but in such a good way. Please don’t let those negative comments put you down, I have read your blog for a long time and now I am starting to experiment with my own cooking. You fill my stomach and my soul, haha, so thank you and keep it up!

  16. These look absolutely amazing! As the fall weather comes in I am all about apples and definitely want to try these out!

  17. Your post made me feel a little guilty. Not because you have done anything wrong, but because I have enjoyed your recipes and your blog for a while yet I haven’t written on here telling you thank you. I am sure that there are many people who sneak on here, use a recipe, LOVE it, and you never hear about it. Christy, I want you to know that I appreciate your efforts to create delicious food. You have a talent that I, and many others, get to reap benefits from. Thank you.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      No, no! Don’t feel guilty. That wasn’t my intention at all. But thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate it more than you know!

  18. Oh YUM!!!

  19. It’s 3am and I woke up but can’t go back to sleep. So deciding to peruse my email, I see this recipe in my bloglovin feed. Wow! If it tastes half as good as your picture makes me think it will I will be so happy! I’m so excited to try these!

  20. They look so tempting and so good! Apples and caramel is really delicious combo!

  21. Oh my, I love these. They won’t last too long at our house!

  22. Most of my tried-and-true recipes have come from you! I love the the easy-to-find ingredients, the simplicity of cooking them, and how amazing they taste! I love knowing that when I make something off your blog, it will probably be a winner and be made again. Thanks for sharing the awesome photos too.

  23. These look delicious! I can’t wait to try them! I’m right there with you on wasted ingredients. I always want to try something new, but don’t have a lot of money to invest in something just to have it not work.

  24. Just finished a batch and i can’ t wait for them to cool… I used tinned caramel… Hope they turn out ok… The smell is diviiiiiine!

  25. Such a delicious recipe! I love apples- tick! Caramel? tick, tick, tick!

  26. Great post Christy! Your cookbook is going to do so well, and I know it will be a blessing to so many because you put your heart into it! But I can definitely relate to the recipe fails ruining the day… sinks full of dirty dishes for nothing is the worst!

  27. I made these this afternoon on our first ‘fall’ like day – they were delicious!! I will definitely be making them again this fall. Thank you!!

  28. The ONLY thing wrong with this recipe is there is no caramel in the crumble. I am a caramel addict and prefer caramel over chocolate anytime. This recipe sounds so good that I will have to make in soon…like tonight!
    Best of luck with your cookbook. I know I will be searching for it. To satisfy all those who NEED to criticize why don’t your start your next cookbook out with a recipe that includes some red dye, lard, peanut butter from a jar, cherry kool-aid, and white flour. That outta make them happy and then they won’t have to search for something to bitch about!

  29. Your blog and your recipes are AWESOME!! So sad that people feel like they have to share their negative comments! Especially in such an unsolicited way. Like someone else said, haters are going to hate, but I’m sad for them, and sad for you that you put so much effort into this blog just to have people say mean things.

    Keep it up, girl!! You are helping so many of us boring cooks to spice it up in the kitchen, and I’m so thankful!!!

  30. Just wondered if you could use ice cream caramel sauce. I have some Smuckers.

  31. These. Look. AMAZING!

  32. This recipe looks and sounds wonderful! Thank you for sharing it. Quick question – can this be made ahead and frozen? I am never sure about baked goods that contain fresh apple. What do you think? Thanks in advance.

  33. Kathy Johnson says:

    Oh my goodness! This is a major problem. These are amazing. First the little muffin size is so handy and adorable, then the warm fall goodness of the odors and colors of the Salted Carmel Apple Cups just fit the palate for a wonderfully delightful treat. They didn’t last long! Thank you for sharing this fall treat.

  34. These look awesome. I’ve been dying to try them for a few days now, and was getting everything together but noticed it calls for flour, but doesn’t specify whether to use all purpose or self rising. Which do I use? If all purpose what about a leavening agent?

  35. Hi Christy! I can’t wait to make these and I just wanted to tell you how happy I am that your new cookbooks arrived from Amazon today! I bought two and can’t wait to curl up and read it this weekend! I love your blog and ideas and wish you the best with your book. It’s hard to do something new but you’ll be so happy you did. Congrats!!

  36. We’re a gaggle of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.

    Your web site offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve performed an impressive task
    and our entire community will probably be grateful to you.

  37. I made these yesterday for a football game potluck today. My husband and I couldn’t wait to try one, so we split one to test them out, wow we LOVED them and I think they will be the most popular dessert today. I doubled the recipe and even when some of the caramel sauce touched the side of the muffin tin I still had no trouble getting them out. I made my own caramel sauce, since I prefer it. This will be a keeper for sure. You must try these!

  38. Omg! These look amazing. Just found them on pinterest about 5 minutes ago and I am already gathering ingredients to get these babies in the oven and then in my tummy asap! Only one question: Do you think I could bake them in silicone cupcake liners? Thank you very much for sharing:)

  39. Should not have read this post hungry! These look too good! Pinned 🙂

  40. I just made these – oh boy! And I’m enjoying one w/ a glass of red wine… oh boy again! I would not tweak the recipe above one bit – amazing! I’m gonna have a problem holding back on these babies. Thanks so much for the great recipe!

  41. It’s a shame so many people are so quick to criticize, hopefully you can take anything constructive from it (if any) and disregard the rest as quickly as possible. One question about this recipe, you said you made it 4 different ways, did any of them happen to be in bar form? I’m curious how you think these would turn out made in one big pan instead of the muffin tins. If it was one of the versions you tried that went south, could you share why?

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Katie,
      Great question! I did not try them in bar form but I really wanted too. I think they would be perfect in bar form.

  42. Long time reader, first time commenter. I have been thinking about these divine treats constantly since I discovered the recipe. They are in the oven right this moment. The only change I made was to cook the apples in some bacon fat instead of butter, since we had it leftover from making bacon for dinner. I’m so excited to try one!!!

  43. Approximately how many muffin cups does this recipe make?

  44. Another winner! I took these to a tailgate and after making a regular batch in a muffin pan and believing they might be too big for the “dainty eaters” in our group, I made more in mini muffin tins. They were perfect for one-bite treats. Thanks for so many great recipes for get-togethers.

  45. oh i am SO making these for my next book club in a few weeks …. can’t wiat!!! 🙂

  46. Looks so delicious and this is one unique recipe!

  47. I have made these twice this week and just love them! Thank you so much for giving such good directions. I love your blog and can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  48. Girl, you are amazing! Do not let those “haters” get you down at all!!! I love your attitude and how you handle everything with grace!!! Now these apple cups…oh, my gosh!!! I am seriously dying over here. I cannot wait to make these!!!

  49. I made these and I am not sure what I did wrong. My batter was real thick, more like a cookie dough. Then when I baked them they oozed out of the cups. When I took them out of the cups they had no shape and they were real gooey but had great flavor. I followed the recipe but not sure what I did wrong….. Any suggestions?

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Yeah it should be fairly thick dough. It sounds like you may have overfilled the cups? Did you try cooking them longer?

  50. I just need you to know that I see a ton of YOUR recipes on PINTEREST. So if you have any doubts about people liking your stuff, they must! You are all over the place! And to heck with anyone who’s negative…they have their own problems! Carry on! We’re here!~

  51. Are these good if you make them ahead of time? And should you put them in the fridge if you do?

    THanks

  52. I tried these last night and they came out pretty good, but I think my crumble is missing something or maybe was over mixed? It was more like a paste than a crumble and I had to spread it on. Any suggestions on how I can get the sand-like texture? I will be trying them again for sure!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Hmm. If you’re butter is too soft it would be like a paste. Add a little more flour and that should help if you have a problem next time.

  53. Caitlyn Cooper says:

    I doubled the recipe and made these tonight for a dinner party I’m having tomorrow.
    If I just may say one thing, they were painful – absolutely painful – to pry out a muffin pan. About 6 out of my 24 kept their perfect shape. If I were to make them again, I would probably put them in cupcake liners. I don’t think it said that anywhere in the recipe, but it’s definitely needed to make the removal process a little easier. Either that, or use some heavy crisco to grease the pan (I used margarine) and lighten up the caramel some more with more heavy whipping cream since it sticks to the side so bad.
    Also, my crumble turned out more of a paste, too. It could be that I ran out of butter and had to use margarine, but I don’t see how it would have made that huge of a difference.
    Either way, they still taste great, and I’m just going to keep the messier blobs hidden during my dinner party. Thanks for the fun recipe!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Oh no! Yes, a nonstick pan is definitely a must and mae sure that your caramel stays away from the sides. Margarine does not have the same consistency as butter and shouldn’t be substituted. Hope that helps.

  54. this will be the third time I’m making these .. I need about 36 this time. Everyone is loving them so much.
    Normally they don’t last for more then 48hrs in my household. This time I’m making them for a good cause. And I have to make them up front a few days. Does anyone know how they hold up when you freeze them? Or is it better to just stick them in the fridge?
    Absolutely favored over any cupcake they are!

  55. Just made these….these were delicious! ! Even without the caramel. ..made a double batch!!! 😊 and even an 8×8 cake…love it!!

  56. Leonie Buchanan says:

    Hi Christy love your blog. I made double quantity and was a bit concerned that batter was not thin enough and added some water because from your beautiful photos mine did not look like yours!!! I have a fan forced oven and cooked them on a lower tempand hey really needed about 25-30 mins. I used Canola spray and had no probs removing from tin even a couple where caramel got onto sides😡 I am a grandmother from Australia and am so impressed that you do all this with 5 children. Hats off to you clever girl😄best wishes Leonie

  57. Leonie Buchanan says:

    Christy, forgot to say they taste delicious. Leonie😊

    • Leonie Buchanan says:

      Regarding Kiki’s question re keeping, I made mine the day before for church fete and they were a hit . I know this post is a bit late for you but I am sure they would freeze ok. I freeze just about anything and have no problems. Even cupckes and sponges that have been creamed! Freezing cream is ok but must be whipped, although when defrosted is a bit runny. I have read where some people re whip it but I haven’t tried that. Cheers Leonie 😲