Recipe courtesy of Brent and Suzie Lantz

Apple Cheddar Cupcakes with Jalapeno-Apple Filling topped with Vanilla Butter Frosting

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Yield: 16 to 17 cupcakes
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1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup applesauce

1 cup peeled and diced apples

Crumble Topping, recipe follows

Vanilla Butter Frosting, recipe follows

Jalapeno-Apple Filling, recipe follows

Cheddar flavored potato chips, crushed

Crumble Topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

Vanilla Butter Frosting

3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 to 5 tablespoons sour cream

Jalapeno-Apple Filling

3 to 4 apples, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

4 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 to 2 tablespoons cornstarch, if needed

1 to 2 teaspoons seeded and finely diced jalapeno


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with 16 to 17 cupcake liners.  
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.  
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and then the vanilla extract. Beat until they are well combined. Add half of the dry ingredients, alternating with the applesauce. Mix just until combined. Fold the diced apples into the batter. 
  4. Fill the cupcake liners about half full with batter. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the Crumble Topping into each batter-filled liner. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks to cool completely before assembling the cupcakes.
  5. To assemble: Place the Vanilla Butter Frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a closed-star tip. Pipe frosting around the outside rim of the cupcakes, creating a well in the center. Place about 1/2 teaspoon of the Jalapeno-Apple Filling in the well. Finish the cupcakes by rolling the edges in the crushed cheddar potato chips.

Crumble Topping

  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon. Then add the softened butter. Mix together with a fork or your fingers until everything is well combined.

Vanilla Butter Frosting

Yield: about 2 cups
  1. Put the powdered sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low for 10 seconds. Add the vanilla extract, butter and 4 tablespoons sour cream. Mix on low for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on medium-high speed until creamy. Add the remaining tablespoon sour cream if necessary to bring the frosting to spreading consistency. 

Jalapeno-Apple Filling

Yield: about 2 cups
  1. Place the apples in a medium saucepan on the stove. Add the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and 3 tablespoons water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for about 1 minute, and then reduce the heat to a simmer until the filling thickens. If needed, gradually add the cornstarch and whisk after each addition. After the mixture thickens, remove the pan from the heat and add the jalapeno. Let cool completely.