Recipes

Gorgeous Apple Tree Cupcakes

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Something about the sight of apple trees is both nostalgic and uplifting.  Seeing them always makes me think of new beginnings, like the first day of autumn or the start of a brand new school year.  Today, I’m bringing you a recipe that will inject some cheerfulness into whatever occasion you choose to use it for: apple tree cupcakes! Not only are they gorgeous, they are also fun and easy to decorate.

If you have children, they will definitely enjoy helping with the decoration.  These would be perfect to bring to a school event, fall festival, or really any function where you feel like bringing something a little extra special. I think they’d also be fun to bring to a family reunion (along the theme of “family trees” and “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, etc.).

If you have young children, you may be interested in visiting the Only Passionate Curiosity website to read the articled called Learning All About Apples! It includes a free unit study called All About Apples! You may also want to visit the Hip Homeschool Moms site (even if you’re not a homeschooling family!) to find out how to do some fun math-related activities with your little ones while you make these apple tree cupcakes! 

This recipe is solely about the decorations. Therefore, the first step is to pre-bake 12 plain cupcakes. You can use any flavor you like (you can even make muffins instead!) In fact, if you are planning to bake these an autumn event, I think a cinnamon spice cupcake or pumpkin spice muffin would be perfect choices!

Once your cupcakes (or muffins) have cooled, you can begin to make your apple trees! My way of doing this is super easy (and tasty) because it uses one of my favorite treats—Oreo cookies!  To get started, insert a lollypop stick into each Oreo. I’ve found that “Double Stuf “works best because there is more filling to hold the lollipop stick in place.

Sidenote: Though a lot of our readers try to follow a gluten free diet (and so do I), you can still enjoy a GF version of this apple tree cupcake! Simply use a gluten free cupcake or muffin recipe and replace the Oreo cookie with these gluten free cookie sandwiches. They are just as delicious! When you’re gluten free and used to saying “no thank you” to these kind of treats, it’s nice to know you can enjoy something yummy and special sometimes.

When all your cookies have lollipop sticks, you’ll want to prep for the next step by lining a pan with wax paper (things are about to get messy)!

Pull out your green melting candy and melt it according to the directions. I usually will try microwaving it in 15 second bursts, taking it out and stirring once it starts to melt. If the candy is too thick to pour, add 1 teaspoon coconut oil or vegetable shortening.  However, do not add water. (You can add up to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil per bag of candy wafers.)

Dip each cookie into melted candy. As you remove the cookies, gently tap them against the side of the bowl, allowing excess melted candy to drip back into the bowl. If air bubbles form, pop them with a toothpick.

Place the cookie onto the waxed paper. Before the melted candy hardens, apply 5-9 red mini M &Ms for the apples!

After cookies are set and dry, twist a Tootsie Roll around the top half (just below the tree-cookie) of each lollipop stick to make the trunk of the tree.

Once your tree is made, you will decorate the cupcakes with green frosting (the grass).  Frost each cupcake by starting in a circular direction from the center of the cupcake and working towards the outside. I like to use a Wilton 1m open star piping tip because it makes the frosting come out looking crisp, detailed and intentional (we all know that the good old hole-in-a-ziplock-bag method can come out looking less than intentional sometimes!)

One you’re satisfied with the frosting on each cupcake, press each cookie pop into the center of each cupcake. Sprinkle remaining the remaining red M&M candies around the cookie pop, to make it look like apples that have fallen into the grass.

Whether you intend to make these for a special gathering this autumn,  the first day of school, or for a family reunion, we hope you love creating and eating these apple tree cupcakes! And if you are looking for more fun and fancy cupcake decoration ideas, we also have recipes for these kid-friendly cupcakes on our site:

Please let us know if you re-create our apple tree cupcakes at home and how they turn out for you! We value your feedback!

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Gorgeous Apple Tree Cupcake

  • Author: Wendy Hilton

Description

This gorgeous apple tree cupcake decoration is simple and fun to create! Use Oreos, chocolate and Tootsie Roll to create gorgeous, edible apple trees for the top of your favorite cupcakes (or muffins). These would be perfect for autumn events, the first day of school, or family reunions!


Scale

Ingredients

12 Double Stuf Oreo cookies

1 (12 ounce) package green candy melts wafers

12 cupcakes

2 to 3 cups vanilla frosting in green (Used store bought canned frosting)

12 Tootsie Roll Midgies

Red mini M&M candies (5 to 9 for each cupcake)

You will also need:

Large open star tip (Wilton 1M Open Star Piping Tip)

Piping bag

White lollipop sticks, cut to 3 to 4 inches (one cut stick for each cupcake)


Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
  2. Gently press a lollipop stick into the cream center of the cookies. If the cookie cracks, press it back together.
  3. Melt candy coating according to package directions. If the candy is too thick to pour, add 1 teaspoon coconut oil or vegetable shortening. Stir well. Do not add water. You can add up to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil per bag of candy wafers.
  4. Dip each cookie into melted candy. Remove cookie, tapping gently against the side of the bowl, allowing excess candy to return to the bowl. If air bubbles form, pop them with a toothpick. Place the cookie onto the waxed paper.
  5. While it is still wet, apply 4 to 6 mini M&Ms on each cookie. Allow cookies to set completely.
  6. Once cookies are set, twist a Tootsie Roll around the top half (where the cookie connects) of the stem on each cookie pop.
  7. To decorate the cupcakes, pipe frosting over cupcake in a circular direction working from the center of the cupcake towards the outside.
  8. Press a cookie pop into the center of each cupcake.
  9. Sprinkle remaining M&M candies around the cookie pop.

About the author

Wendy Hilton

Wendy is one of the owners of Love These Recipes. She married her high school sweetheart, Scott, over 27 years ago, and they live in the South with their three children: Hannah, age 23; Noah, age 22; and Mary Grace, age 16. Wendy loves working out and teaching Training for Warriors classes at her local gym. She also enjoys learning along with her family, educational travel, reading, and writing, and she attempts to grow an herb garden every summer with limited success.

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