Amaretto Apple Streusel Cupcakes

Amaretto Apple Streusel Cupcakes recipe |

First and foremost…the happiest of birthdays to my Sister (you know who and what sis I mean, Sis!). We’ll just proclaim my new favorite cupcakes as virtual birthday cupcakes for this most momentous occasion of birthdays!

It’s about this time of the year when the days are suppose to cool down, hours of daylight become noticeably shorter, and leaves of deciduous trees start teasing us with their bright array of dazzling colors. I long for the scenic drive we take through the Cuyamaca mountains to visit Julian for a couple of hours and enjoy a slice of apple pie. It’s something we try to do once a year to support this small historic gold mining town. However, with a neighboring city at over 100 degrees today, it is challenging to get in that autumnal spirit {sigh…}.

Instead of apple pie, I’m baking up these tender crumb Amaretto Apple Streusel Cupcakes. These are like little coffee cakes and I am impressed (to say the least) with this assembly of ingredients that make up these sweet treats.

Muffins with some kind of fruit and nuts are one of my more favorite things to bake up. It is, in a sense, my comfort food that can be enjoyed any time of day. These are not muffins, however, but they are reminiscent of the wholesomeness enjoyed about muffins.

The Amaretto Apple Streusel Cupcake
The cake part has a tender crumb about it and each cupcake is like a mini coffee cake. The smell of the amaretto is perfume with the streusel topping. The real surprise? Biting into the cake there are small chunks of apples throughout that are not instantly visible, but most certainly present and enjoyed.

There are a lot of ingredients and by the time you’re through whipping up the batter, there’s a lot of bowls to be washed, but it’s so worth it. I’ve made two batches during the last two days, and they do not disappoint. The recipe for the glaze was enough for me to glaze 24 cupcakes. It’s good with or without the glaze. The sugary, sticky, deliciously sweet glaze just kicks these small cakes up a notch!

This is a keeper of a recipe. I already have ideas about improvising it further and will share that on TC in the next weeks (have a long list of Fall-like recipes I’m looking forward to getting to!).

Amaretto Apple Streusel Cupcakes recipe |
Amaretto Apple Streusel Cupcakes
Don’t forget the glaze!

About Amaretto
Amaretto is a sweet, almond-flavored Italian liqueur that is traditionally made from apricot pits and/or almonds. The Italian word amaro means “bitter” and is said to describe the taste as “a little bitter”.

Amaretto is used in many mixed drinks, both sweet and savory dishes, and enhances the flavors of almonds and compliments chocolate.

Teenie Notes
  • Substitute almond extract if you don’t have amaretto
  • Adding a small splash or 1/4 teaspoon of amaretto to the glaze is a nice touch.
  • Watch the baking time, as I cut it down about 4 minutes and it was perfection.
  • The glaze yields enough for two batches of 12 cupcakes. It might not hurt to cut the glaze ingredients in half (preference).
  • The recipe calls for 3/4 cup of chopped apple. That’s about 1 medium-sized apple. Upped it to 1 cup but could still add more – maybe 1 1/2 apples.
Amaretto Apple Streusel Cupcakes
source modified from

Makes 12 cupcakes


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup (2 ounces) light cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (2 ounces) butter, softened

2 tablespoons amaretto (you can substitute with almond extract)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg

1/2 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup 2% milk

3/4 – 1 cup apple (like Granny Smith), cut into small chunk cubes
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, cubed and chilled
2-3 tablespoons almonds, chopped or sliced

1 cup powdered sugar
4 teaspoons 2% milk
1/4 teaspoon amaretto (you can substitute with almond extract) – optional


Preheat oven to 350. Using paper baking liners, line pan(s) for 12 cupcakes.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the 1 1/2 cups of flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

In the bowl for a stand mixer (or a larger bowl if you are using a hand mixer), combine granulated sugar, cream cheese and the 1/4 cup of butter; beat with mixer at medium-high speed until well blended. Add amaretto, vanilla, and egg to the sugar mixture and beat at medium speed until well blended.

Combine the sour cream and 1/4 cup milk in a small bowl; whisk until well blended.

Combine prepared apple and 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl; gently toss well.

Add the flour mixture and sour cream mixture alternately to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat just until well blended. Fold in the apple/flour mixture. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Prepare the Streusel
Combine the 2 tablespoons of flour, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork until mixture turns into coarse meal. Stir in the almonds. Sprinkle streusel evenly over cupcakes.

Bake for 24-27 minutes OR until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Rotate the pan half-way through the baking time. Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to continue cooling while you prepare the glaze.

Prepare the Glaze
Combine and whisk powdered sugar and 4 teaspoons of milk in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over cupcakes.

Store leftovers in a sealed, airtight container.

Amaretto Apple Streusel Cupcakes recipe |
Amaretto Apple Streusel Cupcakes
A bit of sepia nostalgic touches of baked goods from yesteryears.



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    • says

      I agree with you, absolutely! That’s what I really liked about these borderline muffin/cupcake. There is that wholesomeness and just love the chunks of fresh applies in the cake. I would call these a muffin! 😀

  1. says

    First time I saw this post in my email I thought it’s a cookbook. Well, I will not be surprised if one day you’ll come up with one, Cristina. Chalkboard in the background? Haha you are amazingly creative my friend! :) Have a good weekend, Cristina!

  2. Chona says

    Hey Cristina, i would love to have these cupcakes on my own birthday ( halloween ) but then it looks a bit complicated to do hahaha…but OMG, i’m dying to taste it because your cupcakes look soo good & yummy! I will try my best but i’m quite scared at the same time. I wish i can be as talented as you are my friend, you are soo good xxx

    • says

      Oh! A halloween birthday, how fun, Chona! These cupcakes aren’t complicated at all…you’re family may very well love ’em! Thanks so much, Chona! xoxo

  3. Jasmine says

    This sounds delicious and look so good. I’m definitely making it this weekend in a cupcake. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Nessa says

    These muffins/teenie cakes look so delicious, and the photos are beautiful. Have all the ingredients except the Amaretto – I may have to substitute it with the almond extract. Looking forward to trying these.

    Thank you for the sweet birthday mention – loved it so much! xo <3