Gluten Free Apple Pie Cupcakes

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Get ready for a mouthwatering adventure with my Gluten-Free Apple Pie Cupcakes! These little bundles of joy take the best of two worlds – a spiced cupcake and a gooey apple pie – and combine them into a single, irresistible treat. As if that’s not enough, we’ve added a swirl of apple cider buttercream that’s like a party on your taste buds. Whether you’re a gluten-free guru or just an apple pie aficionado, these cupcakes are your ticket to dessert delight. Get ready to bake and have some fun!

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Bite shot of Gluten Free Apple Pie Cupcakes

Ingredients for Apple Pie Cupcakes:


  • Dark Brown Sugar: This sweet ingredient not only adds sweetness but also infuses a rich, molasses-like depth of flavor to the cupcakes.
  • Butter: Butter is the key to moisture and the creamy, luxurious taste you crave in cupcakes.
  • Vegetable Oil: It plays a role in keeping the cupcakes moist, resulting in a tender crumb and a slightly softer texture compared to using butter alone.
  • Eggs: These are the binding agents in your cupcake recipe, ensuring that all the ingredients come together into a harmonious, cohesive batter.
  • Vanilla: A dash of vanilla extract enhances the overall flavor profile, imparting a sweet and aromatic note to the cupcakes.
  • Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour: This special flour blend replaces traditional wheat flour, making the cupcakes gluten-free and suitable for those with dietary restrictions. The flours main role is providing structure to the cupcakes.
  • Baking Powder: As a leavening agent, baking powder is responsible for giving your cupcakes their light and fluffy texture by helping them rise.
  • Salt: salt works as a flavor enhancer, bringing out the best in all the other ingredients and ensuring a balanced taste.
  • Cinnamon and Apple Pie Spice: These spices infuse your cupcakes with warm, cozy notes reminiscent of a classic apple pie, adding a delightful twist to your recipe.
  • Sour Cream: Sour cream contributes moisture and a subtle tanginess, elevating the cupcakes’ texture and taste.

Apple Pie Filling:

  • Honey Crisp Apples: These apples are the stars of the filling, known for their sweet and crisp texture, which pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.
  • Light Brown Sugar: Light brown sugar sweetens the filling and, when heated, creates a caramel-like syrup that coats the apples.
  • Vanilla: A touch of vanilla extract enhances the aroma and flavor of the apple filling, making it more enticing.
  • Cinnamon and Apple Pie Spice: These spices add warm, cozy, and familiar flavors that are synonymous with apple pie.
  • Corn Starch: Corn starch is a thickening agent, ensuring the filling reaches the perfect, pie-like consistency.
  • Water: Water is used to create a syrupy sauce that envelops the apple slices, adding moisture and making your cupcakes ooze with apple goodness.
Gluten Free Apple Pie Cupcakes

Tips for making Apple Pie Cupcakes:

  1. Room temperature ingredients: for fluffy and moist cupcakes allow ingredients like butter, eggs, and sour cream to come to room temperature before mixing. Room temperature ingredients mix more evenly and result in better textured cupcakes. Don’t have hours for your butter to come to room temperature? Check out my video here about how to soften butter in the microwave!
  2. Let everything cool down- allow cupcakes to cool completely before filling or frosting. Also make sure the apple pie filling has cooled before filling the cupcakes.
  3. Plan out baking accordingly: when making a recipe that has a few parts to it, I find it easier to make the components of this recipe over a few days. All of these components can be made ahead on one day (or split between a few days) and then assembled another day before serving. If a recipe seems too overwhelming to make in one whole day, break it down into smaller pieces!
  4. Whip that Buttercream: Swiss meringue buttercream taste best when it tastes like melted ice cream (trust me, its DELIGHTFUL). It can be tricky to make but trust the process and let that buttercream whip for a VERY long time. This allows it to become really smooth and fluffy and delicious!
  5. Storage: store the cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two. For longer storage, refrigerate and bring them to room temperature 1-2 hours before serving.
  6. Have fun decorating: the best part about baking is being creative. Add a salted caramel drizzle, top with more apple pie filling, or even a sprinkle of cinnamon will do for these Gluten Free Apple Pie Cupcakes. Get creative and most importantly, HAVE FUN!! Feel free to check out my video about How to Pipe Cupcakes like a PRO!
Gluten Free Apple Pie Cupcakes

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the difference between buttercream and Swiss meringue buttercream?

Traditional buttercream (or American buttercream) and Swiss meringue buttercream are the two most popular types of frosting used in baking. They differ in their ingredients, preparation method, texture, and flavor. Here is how they compare:

American Buttercream:

  • Made with butter and powdered sugar.
  • Sweet and dense texture.
  • Strong, sweet, buttery flavor.
  • Easier to make.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  • Made with egg whites, sugar, and butter.
  • Light and silky-smooth texture.
  • Less sweet, milder flavor.
  • Slightly more complex to prepare due to meringue-making steps.

Can cupcakes be made in advance?

Heck yah! Any kind of cupcake cake can be made in advance. If you do make them in advance, make sure they’re stored in an airtight container. Cupcakes can last 1-2 days at room temperature, about a week stored in the fridge, and up to 2-3 months if storing them in the freezer. When you’re ready to serve the cupcakes, allow them to thaw at room temperature for a few hours before serving so that your cupcakes are nice and soft for everyone to enjoy! I love using these Rubbermaid Containers to store any and all my desserts in!

What’s the secret to moist cupcakes?

The secret to moist cupcakes lies in 2 main factors: proper ingredient ratios and careful baking techniques. Below I’ve briefly covered 5 things that can aid in keeping your cupcakes moist:

1. Fat content: Incorporating an adequate amount of fat, such as butter or oil, in the cupcake batter is essential for moisture.

2. Liquid balance: Balancing the liquid ingredients in the batter is crucial. Too much liquid can make the cupcakes dense and soggy, while too little can result in dry and crumbly cupcakes.

3. Don’t overmix: Overmixing the batter can lead to gluten development, resulting in dense and tough cupcakes.

4. Proper baking time and temperature: baking cupcakes for the right amount of time and at the correct temperature is essential for achieving moistness.

5. Sour cream or buttermilk: Adding sour cream or buttermilk to the batter can significantly contribute to moistness.

Remember that moisture is a delicate balance, so it’s important to follow the recipe precisely, pay attention to ingredient ratios, and avoid overbaking.

close up bite shot of Gluten Free Apple Pie Cupcake
close up bite shot of Gluten Free Apple Pie Cupcake

Gluten Free Apple Pie Cupcakes

Delight in gluten-free goodness with Gluten Free Apple Pie Cupcakes recipe! Spice cake, apple pie filling, and cider buttercream. YUM!
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Assembling 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course cupcakes, Dessert
Servings 20 Cupcakes


  • Electric mixer w/ paddle and whisk attachment
  • Mixing bowls
  • Rubber spatula
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons
  • Whisk
  • Muffin Pan
  • Cupcake Liners
  • sauce pot
  • Thermometer


Spice Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 c. (363g) Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 c. (114g) Butter unsalted and softened
  • 1/4 c. (53g) Vegetable Oil
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. (5g) Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/4 c. (312g) Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. (12g) Baking Powder
  • 3/4 tsp. (6g) Salt
  • 2 tsp. (7g) Cinnamon ground
  • 1/4 tsp. (1g) Apple Pie Spice
  • 1 1/2 c. (362g) Sour Cream

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • 2 tbsp. (28g) Butter melted
  • 1/2 c. (108g) Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp. (3g) Cinnamon ground

Apple Pie Filling

  • 4 c. (14 oz.) Honey Crisp Apples peeled & diced
  • 1/2 c. (112g) Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. (5g) Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp. (10g) Cinnamon ground
  • 1/4 tsp. (1g) Apple Pie Spice
  • 1 tbsp. (10g) Corn Starch
  • 2 tbsp. (30g) Water

Apple Cider Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 c. (341g) Granulated Sugar
  • 1 c. (272g) Egg Whites
  • 1 tbsp. (15g) Vanilla Extract
  • 2 c. (4 sticks) Butter unsalted, softened
  • 1/2 c. (120g) Sweet Apple Cider reduced (need 4 cups total)


Spice Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • Place the softened butter, dark brown sugar, and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Cream the butter, oil, and dark brown sugar together on a medium speed (speed 4 for a kitchen aid mixer) for 5 minutes, until the butter and sugars are light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing at a medium low speed until combined, and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  • Add vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  • In a medium sized bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and apple pie spice together. Whisk together until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • Next, by hand with a rubber spatula, fold in half of the dry mixture into the batter and fold in together until its almost combined.
  • Add half of the sour cream and continue to gently fold until combined.
  • Add the last half of the dry ingredients mixture and continue to gently fold until combined. Then add the last half of the sour cream and gently fold until combined.
  • Using a muffin scoop, scoop the batter into the cupcake liners so they’re about ¾ of the way full.
  • Place the cupcakes in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes. You can also check doneness of the cupcakes by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake and if the toothpick comes out clean your cupcakes are done 🙂
  • Let cupcakes cool at room temperature before filling and frosting!

Cider Reduction

  • Place 4 cups of sweet apple cider in a medium sauce pot over high heat.
  • Bring the cider to a boil, then lower the temperature to a medium-high heat.
  • Keep the cider at a simmer for 30-35 minutes. The 4 cups of cider should boil down to about a 1/2 cup once it is completely reduced and will have a syrup like consistency.
  • Set aside to cool!

Apple Pie Filling

  • Peel and chop apples into small, cubed pieces.
  • Place the diced apples into a medium sized pot along with the brown sugar, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and vanilla extract.
  • Place the pot of apples over medium high heat.
  • Cook down the apples to desired consistency. I prefer them to still have a little crunch to them cook about 10-15 minutes. If you like them to be a little softer, cook them for a longer time.
  • Once the apples have reached your desired consistency, in a separate bowl, create a slurry with the corn starch and water.
  • Pour the corn starch slurry into the pot with the apples. Stir together as it begins to thicken. Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat.
  • Set aside to cool!

Apple Cider Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Prep your stand mixer with the bowl and whisk attachment.
  • Place the sugar and egg whites in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat.
  • Constantly whisk the sugar and egg white mixture until it reaches 165°F.
  • Once the mixture reaches 165°F, pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  • Whip on high until the meringue comes to stiff peaks. It should be bright white, fluffy, and hold its shape. This may take about 5-10 minutes.
  • With the mixer running on medium speed, begin adding the softened butter, one stick at a time. Ensure each stick is fully incorporated before adding the next. The mixture may start to look soupy or curdled at this point, but don't worry; this is normal.
  • Once all the butter has been added, continue whipping on a high speed until the buttercream becomes smooth and creamy. This can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  • At this stage, increase the mixer speed to high and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes. This will make the buttercream extra light and fluffy. Make sure to do a taste test! When Swiss meringue buttercream is finished, it should taste like melted vanilla ice cream. If it feels really greasy/buttery on the roof of your mouth, continue to whip the buttercream on a high speed. It may also need some more vanilla as well!
  • Once the buttercream is ready, add the 1/2 c. reduced apple cider syrup and mix until combined.

Cupcake Assembly

  • Using a small pairing knife cut a hole out of the center of the cupcakes.
  • Make the cinnamon sugar topping. Mix the cinnamon sugar topping in one bowl and in a separate bowl melt the butter.
  • Brush the butter around the tops of the cupcakes and then dip the tops in the cinnamon sugar topping.
  • Next, using a spoon, fill your cupcakes with the apple pie filling.
  • Finally, pipe the apple cider reduction buttercream on top of the cupcakes and ENJOY!


I love using this Kitchen Thermometer for making Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It’s also handy to have some of these Wipes for easy thermometer clean up 🙂
Keyword Apple Pie, Cider, cinnamon, cupcakes, Gluten free, Spice, Swiss meringue Buttercream
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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