Back to School is one of the best times to hold a just-because get-together with all your favorite classmates…and if you need a quick and tasty treat that’ll leave an impression on your guests, why not try making our apple-shaped mini cakes? One part apple spice cake and one part vanilla frosting equal unforgettable deliciousness!
We don’t know about you, but for us, there’s something about the coming of autumn that makes us want to party! (Maybe because it’s the start of the end-of-year holiday season?) And every good party needs a memorable dessert, of course. Still…we don’t always have the hours in the day to prepare something huge.
That’s why these apple-shaped mini cakes come in very, very handy!
They take only 20 minutes to put together, don’t use any out-of-the-ordinary ingredients, and, as you can see, they are extremely adorable. Plus, they use all the greatest autumn spices: cinnamon, ginger…
If you need a wonderful fall dessert but also have to contend with your daily schedule, try this recipe!
You’ll be surprised how a few simple ingredients can create something so fun!
For the cakes:
- The spice cake mix and eggs are the base of your batter.
- Cinnamon and ginger will provide an extra hint of fall flavor to your cupcakes.
- Apple juice and apple cider will turn your cupcakes into a fruity treat!
For the decorations:
- Pretzel sticks form the “stems” of your apples.
- Green gumdrops (or fruit slices) will form the “leaves” on your apples.
- Vanilla frosting forms the base of your red frosting. You don’t have to make your own here. Store-bought canned frosting works best for this recipe because it’ll harden after the cakes are dipped!
- Red food coloring and our edible Cherry Red Luxe Glitter give the frosting its color.
For the cakes:
- Our Geometric Heart Cake Mold will give the cakes their apple shape!
For the decorations:
- A small bowl for mixing the frosting with the glitter, creating a shiny red frosting.
- A second microwavable bowl for heating the frosting.
A few answers to common questions we’ve received about this recipe…
What kinds of substitutions can you use in this recipe?
We prepared this recipe as written, so we can fully recommend nothing as a go-to substitution. However, we imagine (but can’t confirm) that gluten-free cake mix would work just fine in this recipe, for instance. Let us know in the comments if you made any dietary switch-outs!
Do you recommend any liners specifically for this recipe?
Could you make this recipe with green frosting instead?
What if I don’t have a heart-shaped mold?
We recommend grabbing our Geometric Heart Cake Mold to make things super easy on yourself! However, you can also use the old “marble” or “tinfoil” trick where you place a marble or ball of tinfoil at the top of the cupcake liner so it bakes into an apple-like shape. Perfectly round apple cupcakes won’t look bad, either, if all else fails…but you know going the extra mile is always appreciated.
How long does it take to make this recipe?
All together, it only takes about 20 minutes—10 minutes of prep and 10 minutes to bake!
How many cakes does this recipe create?
About 24! One or two batches should be more than enough for a get-together, which is why this is the best fall party food ever.
Aren’t they creative and oh-so-cute? Your loved ones and besties will think so, too! Let us know in the comments how you liked this fall party recipe. Did you use any substitutions? Did you have any trouble with a particular step? We’d love to hear from you! Check out our other back to school party ideas: Pancakes, PB&J Parfaits, and Chocolate Bananas.
…some of our other fall-themed snacks here on Sweets and Treats! We suggest taking a look at:
- ● 1 box spice cake mix
- ● 2 large eggs
- ● ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ● ½ cup apple juice or apple cider
- ● 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ● ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ● Cherry Red Luxe Glitter
- ● 2-4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ● 1 container vanilla frosting **see notes
- ● Red food coloring
- ● Pretzel Sticks
- ● Green gumdrops or fruit slices
- ● Geometric Heart Cake Mold
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix all ingredients for the cake together in a large bowl and beat until well combined
- Fill cake mold to ¾ full
- Use the back of a small spoon to spread batter evenly into corners
- Place mold on small baking sheet
- Tap on counter a couple times to level batter
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on pan
- Transfer mold to wire rack to cool for another 5-10 minutes
- Remove each cake from mold and allow to cool completely
- In a small bowl, combine sugar with a small amount of glitter, and stir. Continue adding glitter until desired color
- Add frosting to medium bowl and color with food coloring
- Transfer about ½ of the frosting into a microwave safe bowl
- Heat for 15-20 seconds and stir. You will need the frosting to be very thin, but don’t cook it.
- Dip cake into frosting and let excess frosting drip off
- Place on parchment paper
- Sprinkle with glitter mixture
- Allow to dry about 15-20 minutes
- Spray a small sharp knife with cooking spray and cut gummy for leaf
- Break off about ¼ of pretzel stick and gently push into apple cake
- Add leaf near pretzel
- Store in airtight container until ready to serve
Frosting - store bought canned frosting works
best for this recipe because it will harden after the cakes are dipped