With a harmonious blend of sweet, sticky toffee and the tartness of fresh apples, these cupcakes offer a delightful contrast of flavors that perfectly complement each other. The toffee infuses a warm, caramel richness into each moist cake, while the apple adds a refreshing burst of fall's bounty.

As you sink your teeth into these cupcakes, you'll experience the comforting nostalgia of caramel apples at the fair, wrapped up in the comfort of a homemade treat. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply savoring the season, our toffee apple cupcakes are sure to become your go-to fall dessert.

As the chef himself, Edward Hayden says himself "A perfect treat for this time of year, when a bit of indulgence is necessary."

Irish chef Edward Hayden's toffee apple cupcake recipe

Serves: 15-18


For the muffins:

  • - 225g/8oz butter
  • - 225g/8oz caster sugar
  • - 3 large eggs
  • - 200g/7oz Carnation boiled caramel, available in supermarkets
  • - 225g/8oz self-raising flour
  • - 1 medium-sized cooking apple, grated

For the icing:

  • - 75g/3oz softened butter
  • - 350g/12oz icing sugar
  • - 75g/3oz Carnation boiled caramel, available in supermarkets
  • For the garnish:
  • - Melted chocolate
  • - Chopped nuts
  • - Carnation boiled caramel, available in supermarkets
  • - Highbank Orchard apple syrup or honey


Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Line muffin trays with cases.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the eggs and caramel.

Slowly incorporate the self-raising flour into the butter and egg mixture. Gently mix in the grated apple and beat thoroughly.

Transfer the mixture to the lined muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes until the cupcakes are cooked or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin and then invert onto a wire tray and allow to cool.

When the cupcakes are cool, remove a small amount from the center of the cupcake and fill it with any remaining caramel from the tin using a piping bag.

Meanwhile, begin by making the butter icing. Cream together the softened butter and caramel with the icing sugar until light and fluffy and then pipe (using the same piping bag) on top of the cake.

Optional: To decorate, drizzle the cupcakes with some melted or grated chocolate and some apple syrup or honey and garnish with some roughly chopped walnuts or almonds.

TIP: The Highbank Orchard apple syrup is a great store-cupboard staple. Drizzle it over desserts and salads.

* Originally published on Food and Wine Ireland.  Originally published in 2019 on IrishCentral updated in Sept 2023.