Back to School Apple Cupcakes

Today is the first day of school for many students in B.C. I thought it would be fun to share a recipe that could be used to celebrate back to school.

I was on Pinterest about a month ago and came across this really cute pin for Back to School apple cupcakes and thought it would be fun to make them for a games night we had planned with friends (some are heading back to University this Fall): www.frugalcouponliving.com/back-to-school-apple-cupcakes/. When I took a closer look at the recipe, while they looked really pretty, I thought the extra layer of sugar, tootsie roll and M&Ms might be a bit of a sugar overload so I tweaked it a bit so it wasn’t quite so sugary.

Here are a few of the changes I made:

  • I had a box of red velvet cake mix that also came with some cream cheese frosting so I decided to use that.
  • Instead of covering the icing in sugar, I headed to my local craft store and picked up icing colouring in red*.
  • I have a friend who has a HUGE mint plant in her yard so I asked her for some mint leaves to decorate the tops with. Not only does mint go well with chocolate, it’s still an edible decoration.
  • I was planning to use pretzel sticks as the stems, however I forgot to pick them up over the weekend so I melted some chocolate, put it into a Ziploc bag and cut off the corner. I then squeezed out little chocolate stems onto some freezer paper (so it wouldn’t stick) and then stuck it into the fridge to harden them. I used semisweet chocolate as that was what I had but you could always use milk or dark chocolate if that is your preference!

To make these cupcakes:

  1. Prepare the cake mix and baked as per the box instructions. Once baked, I let the cupcakes cool for about 30 min in the pan and then transferred them to a cooling rack for about 4 or so hours. I really wanted to make sure the cupcakes were cooled all the way through before frosting them.
  2. While you wait for your cupcakes to cool, you can colour your frosting. Simply add your icing colour until you reach the desired shade you are looking for (I used about half of a 1 oz bottle as I wanted a really bright shade of red).  It could also be fun to make green apples instead of red ones!
  3.  Once your cupcakes are cool, you can frost them and then decorate with whatever ‘stems’ and leaves you decide to use.

* A few things I learned while looking up icing colouring:

  • Icing colouring is more concentrated than liquid food colouring so it won’t dilute your icing down.
  • You probably won’t find it in a grocery store but if you have a local food supply or craft store that sells more specialized baking products, you will likely find it there.
  • Red icing colouring can change the taste of your icing (it seems only red colour does this) but they do make a ‘no-taste’ red icing colouring so if you are working trying to colour icing red, you may want to consider getting the no-taste option. When I purchased mine, it was the same price as the regular red icing colouring.


If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate back to school, why not try these fun apple cupcakes!


Happy Back to School!

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