Caramel Apple Cupcakes & a Cake Mix Doctor Giveaway!

Have I mentioned how much I love this time of year? The crisp weather, falling leaves, college football games and the wonderful fall inspired baked goods! I’ve kind of been on an apple kick lately…I blame it on the fact that I can’t go apple picking at our local orchard. Or maybe it’s those darn pregnancy cravings again! Who knows! All I know is that those cravings inspired these incredible cupcakes! Fresh apple cupcakes with a dulce de leche core topped with a caramel frosting and a caramel drizzle…seriously if these don’t scream fall I don’t know what will!

I resently came home to find a fun package from Anne Byrn, better known as the Cake Mix Doctor, filled with cake mix sitting on my doorstep. If you love to bake, then I’m sure you’ve heard of Anne Byrn. Her books offer incredible ways to enhance cake mixes to make them as good–or better–than cakes made from scratch. Well now she has come out with her own flavors of cake mixes to go along with her cookbooks. These cake mixes contain only the best ingredients (just 5 or 6 of them) with no additives, preservatives, or trans fats.

Thanks to the Cake Mix Doctor, I’m holding a giveaway for one of my readers to win a yellow cake mix, a chocolate cake mix, and the Cake Mix Doctor’s book of frosting recipes. Just follow the directions below for a chance to win! Sorry this giveaway is limited to US residents only.

How to Enter: Leave a comment on this post answering the question: “Do you like cake mix? How do you use it?”

Extra Entries: The following six opportunities below will earn one extra entry into the giveaway for each. You must leave separate comments for each one to ensure that they are counted as separate entries:

  1. Subscribe to Sweet Pea’s Kitchen by either RSS or Email. Come back and let me know you have subscribed in an additional comment.
  2. Become a fan of Sweet Pea’s Kitchen on Facebook. Come back and let me know you became a fan in an additional comment.
  3. Follow Sweet Pea’s Kitchen on Twitter. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional comment.
  4. Tweet the following about the giveaway: “Cake Mix Doctor #Giveaway! Enter to win samples of @annebyrn’s new Cake Mixes from @SPKitchen” Come back and let me know you’ve Tweeted in an additional comment.
  5. Follow me on Google +. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional comment.
  6. Follow Sweet Pea’s Kitchen on Pinterest and Pin this giveaway

Deadline: Friday, October 19, 2012 at 11:59pm CST GIVEAWAY CLOSED!!

Winner: The winner will be selected at random by Sweet Pea’s Kitchen using All entries received after the deadline will not be considered. Entries that do not follow the entry requirements will not be considered. Winner will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to confirm receipt of the email. If the winner does not reply within 24 hours, another winner will be selected.

The winner of the giveaway was Lyn! I hope you enjoy the cake mixes! Here’s what she said:

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Fresh apple cupcake with a dulce de leche core topped with a caramel frosting and a caramel drizzle.

Yield: 24 cupcakes


For the Cupcakes:
1 (18.25-ounce) package Yellow Cake Mix
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup diced apples

For the Filling:
1 (13.4 ounce) can dulce de leche

For the Caramel Frosting:
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar

For the Caramel Drizzle:
10 soft caramel candies
1 tablespoon heavy cream


Line muffin pan with baking cup liners; set aside.
Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box, adding cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg to the batter. Fold diced apples into the batter. Evenly divide batter among prepared baking cup liners.
Bake according to directions on the box, until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
To make the filling, heat the dulce de leche in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until warm. Transfer to a piping bag; set aside.
Once cupcakes have cooled, use a paring knife or apple corer to cut out a small circle in the center of each cupcake. Remove the core and trim leaving the core just big enough to be used to plug the hole once it is filled. Pipe the caramel filling into each hollowed cupcake. Once the filling is in place, place the trimmed core of the cupcake back into place.
To make the frosting, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the salt and brown sugar and heat the mixture to boiling, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the milk and return to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to lukewarm, about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the caramel frosting mixture is lukewarm, transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the powdered sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Adjust consistency with a little more milk or powdered sugar, if necessary.
Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. Pipe a spiral of frosting, beginning at the outer edge and working inward.
To make the caramel drizzle, microwave caramels and heavy cream in medium bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a piping bag and drizzle onto the cupcakes.

130 Responses to “Caramel Apple Cupcakes & a Cake Mix Doctor Giveaway!”

  1. #
    Anita — October 12, 2012 @ 9:34 am

    I’d use these babies if they hit my mailbox…. oh those cupcakes look awesome!

  2. #
    Abby Grimes — October 12, 2012 @ 9:35 am

    I do like them and I use them for Cupcakes

  3. #
    Monica — October 12, 2012 @ 10:28 am

    I almost always use cake mixes and I LOVE the Cake Mix Doctor–I have her first 5 books!!!

  4. #
    Peggy N — October 12, 2012 @ 10:59 am

    I use cake mixes to make fruit cobblers and cookies and would definitely use one to make Caramel Apple Cupcakes!

  5. #
    Regi — October 12, 2012 @ 11:15 am

    No, I don’t like cake mix. But if it is from scratch-well-I may like it then. It’s not the taste of cake mix I don’t like-it is the usual 50 plus ingredients. The Cake Mix Doctor mixes look like they would be worth trying. 🙂

  6. #
    lindsay — October 12, 2012 @ 11:48 am

    Cake mixes are the only boxed baking good I use. I like them for just making cakes and cupcakes, I haven’t gotten in to experimenting with them for other uses. I think cakes using the box mixes alot of time turn out better than what can be made from scratch for the price.

  7. #
    lindsay — October 12, 2012 @ 11:48 am

    I also follow on facebook

  8. #
    Patti Johnson — October 12, 2012 @ 11:49 am

    I mostly use mixes for when I don’t have time to do from scratch. I have the Cake Mix Doctor’s “chocolate” book & have used many of the recipes! Ps….I LOVE your site…such great recipes!!!!

  9. #
    Patti Johnson — October 12, 2012 @ 11:52 am

    just subscribed…… already follow on FB!

  10. #
    Patti Johnson — October 12, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    Just pinned the giveaway & now am following you on Pinterest!

  11. #
    Chocolate lover — October 12, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

    I add instant pudding and sour cream to box cake mix and it makes it super moist. I would love to try these cake mixes.

  12. #
    Vicki Gensini — October 12, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

    I love using cake mixes and would love to win this book.

  13. #
    Sara — October 12, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

    I love cake mix – easy and delicious! My friend was once asked by guests for the recipe, and she answered that it’s a “secret family recipe” 🙂

  14. #
    JD — October 12, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

    I use boxed cake mix, plus some extra ingredients to make a 10-inch round cake to practice frosting and decorating. With a little extra flour and some sour cream, it makes a great cake!

    I follow SPK on twitter and facebook.

  15. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — October 12, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

    I use cake mixes when I need a dessert in a hurry 🙂

  16. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — October 12, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

    I subscribe to you through email

  17. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — October 12, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

    I follow you on Twitter

  18. #
    Sara — October 12, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

    I LOVE Cake mix doctor… use her cupcake book all the time. My favorite way to use cake mix is to make her key lime pie cupcakes!

  19. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — October 12, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

    I am a fan on Facebook

  20. #
    Nancy Merrill — October 12, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

    I use cake mixes in cookies bars and of course cakes. Cake mixes make your cookies softer.

  21. #
    Christina — October 12, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

    These look yummy! Making cupcakes are the main way I use cakes mixes.

  22. #
    Amber — October 12, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

    I love your website and share it verbally with others all the time also thru email, its too bad you have to be wrapped up in social media to win the prize :/ can you considering do one that doesnt require social media mentions. Love your recipes, thank you for sharing! Please consider 🙂

  23. #
    Amber — October 12, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

    I do subscribe to emails however

  24. #
    Shari — October 12, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    I use them on occasion, usually doctoring them up some way, and I don’t feel a bit bad about using them either! 😉

  25. #
    Shari — October 12, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    I’m subscribed to your blog through RSS via Google Reader.

  26. #
    Shari — October 12, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    I’ve “liked” you on Facebook. 🙂

  27. #
    Shari — October 12, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

    I follow you on Twitter — @sharinlilbit

  28. #
    Shari — October 12, 2012 @ 2:33 pm
  29. #
    Shari — October 12, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

    I’m following your boards on Pinterest — sharinlilbit — and I pinned the giveaway here:

  30. #
    Gary — October 12, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

    All guidelines accomplished.

  31. #
    Jenna Z — October 12, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

    I don’t typically use mixes because I’m wary of all the weird ingredients so these sound right up my alley!

  32. #
    Kell H — October 12, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

    I love using cake mixes in non-cake recipes–cookies, puppy chow, bars, etc… And I looooove the Cake Mix Doctor!

  33. #
    Erin — October 12, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

    Can I use any yellow cake mix to make these?

  34. #
    Tammy — October 12, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

    I do use cake mix and I like to make bar cookies with the recipe

  35. #
    Maureen — October 12, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

    OMG. Love Cake mix it makes the whole make something from scratch so much easier.

  36. #
    Maureen — October 12, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

    subscribe via Email.

  37. #
    Linda Etter — October 12, 2012 @ 9:21 pm

    I love using yellow cake mix to make dump cake!

  38. #
    Tami G. — October 12, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

    I follow you via email!

  39. #
    Stefanie — October 13, 2012 @ 1:47 am

    Oh my gosh these look so amazing!! Perfect for this season… or any season really. I’m drooling right now 🙂 And that’s so cool that the Cake Mix Doctor came out with her own mixes, especially since they have no additives!!

  40. #
    Sue Ames — October 13, 2012 @ 5:07 am

    I’m a big fan of cake mixes these day since I only bake for myself. I usually make cupcakes since they are easier to freeze and take out what I want. The other most favorite thing my grandsons want me to make is a Jello poke cake! Always requested.

  41. #
    Sue Ames — October 13, 2012 @ 5:16 am

    Just became a fan on Facebook and love the looks of it and will make the cupcakes.

  42. #
    LeAndra — October 13, 2012 @ 7:58 am

    I follow @SPKitchen on Twitter…

  43. #
    LeAndra — October 13, 2012 @ 7:59 am

    …and I tweeted about the giveaway.

  44. #
    Jenn — October 13, 2012 @ 7:59 am

    I love cake mixes! They come in handy in a pinch and I also use them to make cake balls.

  45. #
    Danielle T — October 13, 2012 @ 8:26 am

    i love cake mix! i actually make an awesome cake mix cookie!

  46. #
    Danielle T — October 13, 2012 @ 8:28 am

    i like you on FB (name is realia Mazing)

  47. #
    Danielle T — October 13, 2012 @ 8:29 am
  48. #
    Danielle T — October 13, 2012 @ 8:31 am

    i follow u on pinterest and pinned the giveaway –

  49. #
    Barbara — October 13, 2012 @ 9:53 am

    Only thing store bought i buy!! I love to bake

  50. #
    Ana — October 13, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

    I like a Sandra Lee recipe that uses cake mix and pumpkin. It’s a pumpkin spice cake. Very moist and easy to make.

    I also follow on FB.

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