Caramel Apple Frosting

6 cups
20 min

Caramel Apple Frosting is the perfect topping for any fall dessert. Made with melted caramel and apple flavoring that will remind you of a caramel apple! This frosting pairs perfectly with Pumpkin Molasses Cupcakes, recipe included! The caramel melted in and apple flavoring extract are the perfect combination to make one of the best fall treats ever and it tastes just like a caramel apple!

A few tips: This is one of those recipes where the ingredients need to be ROOM TEMPERATURE or you will not get a smooth frosting. The caramel step is pretty quick so have everything ready ahead of time. Don't add cold heavy cream to the warm caramel. Because there is cream cheese, butter, and shortening in the frosting, it is pretty soft when you mix it together, so store the frosting in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

Caramel Apple Frosting on pumpkin molasses cupcakes with fall sprinkles

Caramel Apple Frosting in the stand mixer with melted caramel being drizzled in

Pumpkin molasses cupcakes with Caramel Apple Frosting and fall sprinkles

Recipe details
  • 6  cups
  • Prep time: 1 Minutes Cook time: 19 Minutes Total time: 20 min
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Caramel Apple Frosting
  • 1 8 oz cream cheese package, room temp
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • ¾ tsp apple flavoring (I used LorAnn brand)
  • 1/4 cup caramel (melted candy or from a jar)
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream, room temp or warm
  • 6 cups confectioners powdered sugar
Pumpkin Molasses Cupcakes
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup molasses
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream together the butter, cream cheese, and shortening for about 3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, incorporating fully before adding the next cup. Add the apple flavoring mix in.
For the caramel, if you are using caramel candy, unwrap 8-10 caramels and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and remove to stir. If it's needed, microwave for 20 more seconds until all of the caramel is melted together (careful, the bowl is hot!!). Make sure the heavy cream is room temp (or zap in the microwave for 15-20 seconds) and stir it into the caramel. You need the caramel to be pourable. If you are using caramel sauce from the jar, warm up in the microwave for about 20 seconds before adding the heavy cream and drizzling in.
With the mixer on low, drizzle the hot caramel into the frosting as quickly as you can. The caramel needs to be warm so it will melt into the frosting.
Once everything is incorporated, remove the bowl from the mixer and place the frosting in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
Preheat oven to 350° and prepare a cupcake pan with liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cloves into a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), cream together the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix in. Add the pumpkin and molasses. The batter will be kind of curdled, don't panic!
Turn the mixer on low and add the dry ingredients slowly until fully mixed in. Turn off the mixer right away being careful not to overmix.
Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake pan using a cookie scoop or a spoon. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the cupcake pan for 5 minutes and then remove from the pan and allow the cupcakes to cool on a cooling rack completely before frosting.
  • Frost right before serving or store frosted treats in the fridge until you are ready to serve them. 
Emily |
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