Taffy Apple Cupcakes


 May 23: National Taffy Day

At spring carnivals and fall festivals, we would sometimes snack on taffy apples when we were kids. The sticky-sweet fruit on a stick reminds us of the festive seasonal celebrations of our youth. Nowadays, it is simpler for us to eat sliced apples dipped in caramel sauce.

For National Taffy Day, we made taffy apple cupcakes and stuck a stick in the middle to mimic real taffy apples. The cupcakes contain chopped apples and the frosting is a combination of caramel (dulce de leche in Spanish), cream cheese and whipped cream.

These taffy apple cupcakes are a sweet substitute at spring carnivals and fall festivals and are most appropriate on National Taffy Day.


(Adapted from MyRecipes.com)

For the apple cupcakes

  • 1 box spice (or carrot cake) mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tart apple, finely chopped to equal about one cup
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon


Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box, adding the water, eggs and oil. Mix well.


Chop the apple and fold into the cake batter. Stir in the cinnamon.


Divide batter into paper cupcake liners, filling no more than 2/3 full.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes, testing for doneness. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Make the frosting.


For the caramel cream frosting

(Adapted from Pillsbury)

  • 1 14 ounce can dulce de leche (caramel)
  • 1 8 ounce block of cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
  • Green frosting (such as Wilton tube frosting) 


In a large bowl, combine the dulce de leche and cream cheese. Add the heavy whipping cream and mix until soft peaks form.


Spread on top of the apple cupcakes. Toast the nuts by heating them in a small skillet over medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes, being careful not to burn. Let cool.


Sprinkle the tops of the cupcake with nuts. Stick a popsicle/lollipop/wooden craft stick in the middle. Pipe leaves with green frosting (optional). Refrigerate to set the frosting. Bring to room temperature before serving.



  • Dulce de leche(caramel) can be spread directly onto the cooled apple cupcakes, instead of the caramel cream frosting.
  • Toast the chopped walnuts by heating them in a skillet on medium high. Stir often with a wooden spoon to avoid burning the nuts.
  • Search our blog for other apple recipes.