Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Mead Frosting and a Honey Swirl: Rosh Hashana Cupcakes for a Sweet New Year | Cupcake Project
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Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Mead Frosting and a Honey Swirl: Rosh Hashana Cupcakes for a Sweet New Year

One cupcake taster closed her eyes to savor every bite. Another chose to eat this as his first piece of cake in 3 months and did not regret the choice. I ate one fresh out of the oven and it was so good I was scared that frosting it would screw it up somehow. It didn’t. It just made it even better! This may be my favorite cupcake yet.

I had to get that part out of the way. I have lots to say in this post and I didn’t want anyone to not make it to the part where I expressed how much I loved these cupcakes!

This week’s cupcake was inspired by the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana). Could the holy connection have anything to do with how good they ended up being? On Rosh Hashana it is a tradition to eat apples dipped in honey praying that God will grant us a sweet new year. Apples with honey are delicious on thier own. Give it a try if you have never done so. I turned one of my non-Jewish friends onto this and it became her son’s favorite snack. The bride and groom are not Jewish, but they are getting married on the secular new year. Perhaps they would like it to be sweet with an apple and honey cupcake?

The Cake

I was recently loaned a copy of the book 500 Cupcakes: The Only Cupcake Compendium You’ll Ever Need. I take issue with the fact that there aren’t really 500 cupcakes in this book. Lots of the “cupcakes” are muffins and some of the items they count as unique cupcakes are simply a recipe they already listed, but with ingredient substitutions. However, since I liked the recipe I tried so much, I may have to think more positively about the book.
For the cake, I modified 500 Cupcake’s Applesauce Cinnamon Cupcakes. Their cupcake had apples on top and no frosting. I put the apples inside, created my own frosting, and did not include nuts or raisins.

The Frosting

I first discovered mead at The Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire. It is technically an “alcoholic drink made from diluted honey and water, fermented by yeast.” Essentially it is a honey wine and it is perhaps the 1st wine ever made. We happened to have an unopened bottle of mead sitting in our pantry and it seemed a perfect way to impart a honey flavor to the frosting without making it too sticky.

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5 from 1 vote

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Mead Frosting and a Honey Swirl

The apples inside keep the cake moist, and the frosting is just perfect!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Jewish
Keyword apple cinnamon cupcakes, mead frosting
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 16 cupcakes*
Calories 222kcal
Author Stef


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 C + 2 T sugar
  • 2 C Flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1.5 C Applesauce unsweetened
  • 1.5 t cinnamon
  • 1 C finely chopped apples I used Fuji

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/4 C butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 T soy milk I'm sure you could use milk. I just happened to have soy milk in the house.
  • 2 T Mead


Cupcake Instructions

  • Cream butter, sugar, flour and eggs
  • Stir in applesauce, cinnamon and apples
  • Fill cupcake wrappers.
  • Bake at 350 for 25 min.
  • Eat some hot out of the oven before proceeding to frost the others. I thought they tasted just like apple pie filling.

Frosting Instructions

  • Beat butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in soy milk and mead


*The recipe in the book was for 12 cupcakes. I doubled it and still ended up with only 16. That was my only complaint about the recipe. However, I filled my cups all the way to the top and from the picture in the book, it looked like they let theirs sit a bit lower.


Nutrition Facts
Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Mead Frosting and a Honey Swirl
Amount Per Serving
Calories 222 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 48mg16%
Sodium 44mg2%
Potassium 61mg2%
Carbohydrates 43g14%
Sugar 30g33%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 170IU3%
Vitamin C 0.8mg1%
Calcium 17mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!


The Honey Swirl

As I worked on creating my honey swirl, I began to feel like I was Goldilocks and had left my house to 3 bears. The bears, of course, were honey bears. When did honey start coming in bear format? Check these out! They even have bow ties.

  • One bear’s honey was too empty.
  • The next bear’s honey was also too empty.
  • And the last bear’s honey, well that was too empty too.

Why did Miss Goldilocks allow all her honey bears to reach such sad states? Probably, the same reason she left those 3 bowls of porridge on the table: she was in a hurry. It was too much work to get the honey out of the bottom of each bear. The problem with most of the bear shaped containers is that they can’t be easily stored upside down.
Anyway, to speed up the honey removal, all 3 bears went into the microwave. The warm, more liquidy honey was poured right out of the bear to a decorating bag with a small tip and piped onto the cupcakes. Unfortunately, because the honey was still toasty, it often just melted into the frosting as opposed to making a defined swirl.
The good news was that everyone did live happily ever after because even the ones that didn’t have the swirl looked neat and tasted great.
The moral of the story is to either
a) buy a new bear,
b) have more patience for the honey to come out of the bear, or
c) don’t use bear honey at all.

St. Louis Bloggers

The St. Louis Bloggers are hosting a blog carnival this month with the theme of apples. I happen to love carnivals. I particularly like the really small ones where the whole community comes together and everyone either has lots of fun spending money to win cheap prizes or gets dizzy and sick from spinning rides and cotton candy.

I’ve never worked a blog carnival before (Wikipedia has a great description of blog carnivals for those who have no idea what I’m talking about.). I wasn’t planning on participating in this one either, but I had already made an apple cupcake and was planning on writing about it. So… count this as my carny entry.

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20 comments on “Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Mead Frosting and a Honey Swirl: Rosh Hashana Cupcakes for a Sweet New Year”

  1. Garrettsays:

    Wow… I love the story and inspiration behind this cupcake and love how you turned all that into a delicious treat. A fantastic post and a fantastic recipe with a nice picture to boot. Props!

  2. I love how the frosting looks-almost like frothy apple juice or something.

  3. Freyasays:

    I have an amazing chocolate & cinnamon cake recipe, but it’s a bit long to make: you have to bake it layer by layer, but the visual result is simply amazing, and it tastes really good too. If you want it, just e-mail me (see web page).

  4. Jordisays:

    i made these last night and they came out tasting delicious, but very dense. i followed the recipe exactly, so i am wondering what went wrong. is it supposed to be 4 eggs? maybe it should just be 2?

  5. Kafkasays:

    How do you tell someone what you think about their cupcake when they tell you that they are the best they ever made and are fantastic? I doubt any answer would be correct except agreement.

    With that being said, I thought this ‘cupcake’ was very good. Tasty and delicious. My biggest issue was how dense it was. A little much for my taste for a cupcake. It felt more like a heavy muffin or pound cake then a cupcake. But to be fair, I tend to sway towards the light and fluffy cakes. It was very good, but felt more like a breakfast food to me. All of the tasters with me agreed, but all thought it tasted great.
    Cake: A-
    Icing: A-
    Overall Taste: A-
    Appearance: B+
    Overall: A-

    Great item and super tasty

  6. Stefsays:

    Garrett and LittleIvy – Thanks so much!!

    Jordi – I’m glad you liked them! I don’t think you did anything wrong, they were just very dense cupcakes. I enjoyed the texture because it seemed like pie filling in cupcake format. If you like it lighter, I’m sure you could achieve that. I think you would have to use less apples though. I think with all those apples in there, it is bound to be heavy.

    I do disagree with Kafka’s muffiny comment though. Muffins tend to be more crumbly. This was really moist, just not light and fluffy.

  7. Karensays:

    Hi Stef
    These look fantastic. I love that honey swirl. These look like cupcakes to bake on a cold Autumn evening and eat by the fire with warm apple cider. A very comforting recipe.

  8. Alyshasays:

    I was really excited to try these cupcakes, especially after reading how good people thought they were. However, I used the exact ingredients you posted but these were so moist they ended up being impossible to eat as cupcakes. They had to be eaten with a fork, haha. Still delicious though. I know you wrote how they were moist, but mine had a layer of juice on top (bubbled up because of the oven) that I had to mop up. Eek!

  9. Stefsays:

    Alysha – Hmm… sorry that happened to you! Extra cleaning is no fun. I wonder why that happened: type of apple? oven temp? liners filled to high? Don’t know.

  10. kristinsays:

    hi! i just made these cupcakes, with several modifications, so that might be my problem…but…i was wondering if there’s supposed to be any leavening in them. your other cupcakes have salt, baking soda and baking powder in them, but not these. i’m not familiar with all the customs of rosh hashana, though- are leavening agents not allowed?

  11. Stefsays:

    You know, this was a recipe that I took directly from the book 500 Cupcakes. It definitely has a different texture than lots of the other cupcakes that I’ve made – super dense. You’re right that some leavening would make it more fluffy. And no, there is no rule against it for the holiday.

  12. ellinorsays:

    Thanks for posting this recipe!
    I just made these as mini-cupcakes, and echo others’ opinion that they are very dense, which I think of as a good thing in this case. I made some variations to the recipe that I thought you might enjoy knowing:

    (1) I found that they stuck very powerfully to the cupcake paper, so for the second half I added about a cup of flour and baked them directly in the muffin pan without papers. It worked well.

    (2) For the frosting, I didn’t have mead, so I used hard cider and honey. To cut the sweetness of having both honey and confectioners’ sugar, I beat in some cream cheese. It’s still powerfully sweet, but tasty nonetheless.

  13. Stefsays:

    Ellinor – Thanks for sharing your tips! Glad you were happy with the results!

  14. Laurasays:

    I have the 500 Cupcakes book and it calls for self-rising flour instead of just all-purpose or cake flour. I wonder if that might be why some people’s cupcakes didn’t turn out well.

  15. Anonymoussays:

    i agree with the last poster, these definitely were not right and need a leavening agent so i’m glad you posted about the self-rising flour. that explains alot! they were dense but they were eggy almost and not really a nice texture if you’re expecting cupcakes. muffins maybe but not cupcakes (cake being the operative word).

  16. Hollisays:

    I made these today for Halloween. They were incredible. I used cake flour with a little salt, but no leavening. They are dense, but just lovely. I used a white chocolate cream cheese icing and a caramel sprinkle. Wonderful! Thanks for your recipe.

  17. Im sorry, I made these the night before my daughters second birthday party, Lets just say im glad I made them the night before I had to throw them away. They tasted good but they did not have the consistency of a cupcake and the bottoms were greasy. Its like all the butter gathered at the bottom. I guess we all have different taste because I would not make these again.

  18. Yinsays:

    I literally just finished making these twenty minutes ago. Pulled them out of the oven and let them cool just enough to not scald my mouth. They are fantastic! We didn’t have Mead or a place to buy some, so we substituted 1 T honey and 1 T water. Turned out great! Later tonight I’m going to try one in a bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

  19. Karensays:

    I don’t see any instructions on the frosting or how to achieve the Honey Swirl. Can you give me some tips, please?

  20. Stefsays:

    Karen – Sorry for the delayed response. For the swirl, I just drizzled some honey over the frosting and used a toothpick to stir it around.

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