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Gluten free toffee apple cupcakes

I had recently seen cupcakes with shards of toffee on, which got me wondering if I could make nests out of toffee. It took me three attempts*, but I got there in the end. I wanted the cupcakes' flavour to match the toffee nests so, being a big fan of toffee apples, I decided to make apple and maple syrup cupcakes with a chocolate butter cream top.

*I made three batches of toffee because on my first attempt I left the toffee too long in the saucepan and it went black. The second batch worked well but I was not quick enough with it so it started to set in the pan. I tried re-heating it, which was a disaster as it turned white and powdery! So, on the third attempt I worked really quickly with the toffee before it started to set in the pan. I guess the saying is true - the third time really is a charm!

Gluten Free

12 Cupcakes


Maple apple cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 165C/325F

  2. Line muffin tray with paper cases or baking tray with silicone cases

  3. Beat butter, sugar, flour, eggs, maple syrup and ground cinnamon in a bowl with an electric mixer until the mixture turns a pale colour

  4. Fold in the grated apple

  5. Divide mixture between cases

  6. Bake for about 25-30 mins until cakes bounce back when lightly pressed

  7. Place cakes on rack until cool

Dark chocolate buttercream

  1. Melt chocolate drops in a microwave on low power, or in a bain marie on the hob

  2. Whip butter until light and fluffy, gradually beat in icing sugar

  3. Add vanilla extract and continue to beat

  4. Fold in melted chocolate and milk, till you have an even consistency


  1. Coat the back of the muffin tray in olive oil (it has to be olive oil)

  2. Combine sugar, water and vinegar in a heavy based saucepan

  3. Stir over heat till sugar dissolves and bring the mixture to the boil

  4. Boil uncovered without stirring until the liquid goes a golden colour. I used a sugar thermometer and took the mixture off the heat when the thermometer read 'crack'

  5. Wait for bubbles to subside

  6. Using a wooden spoon, drizzle the toffee onto the back of the muffin tray to create nests

  7. Allow toffee nets to set at room temperature

To decorate

  1. Fill piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle with the chocolate buttercream and pipe in a swirl on top of cakes

  2. Place toffee nests on to buttercream and fill with mini eggs


Maple apple cupcakes

  • 60g butter (unsalted, at room temperature)

  • 110g brown sugar

  • 150g gluten free self raising flour (sifted)

  • 2 large eggs

  • 60ml maple syrup

  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon (ground)

  • 200g appe (grated)

Dark chocolate buttercream

  • 100g butter (white, unsalted, at room temperature)

  • 75g dark chocolate (chips)

  • 200g icing sugar (sieved)

  • 1 tsp vanilla (extract)

  • 1 tbsp milk (semi skimmed)


To Decorate

To decorate...


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