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Apricot Cupcakes with Almond Butter Frosting: One Way to Bake with Dried Fruit

These apricot cupcakes with almond butter frosting were inspired by the lamb and apricot stew I made for Taste and Create.

I’d hoped that I could use fresh apricots for the cupcakes, but I’m no farmer and didn’t realize that it’s not quite apricot season yet. I could have used chunks of dried apricots. However, I didn’t want little chewy bits in the cupcakes. I wanted a smooth and pervasive apricot flavor.

How to Turn Dried Apricots Into Apricot Puree

I decided to reconstitute some dried apricots and turn them into an apricot puree. I got the idea that I could use a pumpkin cupcake recipe and replace the pumpkin with apricot puree, adding some of the spices from the stew. This worked incredibly well.

You could use the same technique with any of your favorite dried fruits!

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Dump your dried fruit into a pot. For these cupcakes, I used 1/2 lb of dried apricots.
  2. Add liquid to the pot until the fruit is just covered. You can use any liquid – water, juice, wine, whatever flavor you like. I used mead (honey wine).
  3. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. The fruit should be soft and most of the liquid should be absorbed.
  4. Drain out any remaining liquid. You may want to save this. I had about 1/8 C of the apricoty mead left and I ended up just dumping that into the cake batter. I couldn’t let it go to waste.
  5. Put the fruit into the food processor and run it until it becomes one big sticky mush. It made about 1 C of apricot puree.

Note: I must point out that I took the two ugly pictures of the apricots to the right. Clearly the cupcake photo at the top is the work of J. Pollack Photography.

The Apricot Cupcake Recipe

To come up with the apricot cupcake recipe, I started off with the same recipe that I used to make my pumpkin chili cupcakes. However, I subbed the pureed apricots for the pumpkin, added some honey, used different spices, and added some of the mead. Basically, I changed it entirely.

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5 from 1 vote

Apricot Cupcakes with Almond Butter Frosting

I chose to rehydrate apricots and make a puree to give these cupcakes amazing flavor and texture.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword almond butter frosting, apricot cupcake recipe, apricot cupcakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 498kcal
Author Stef


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 C apricot puree see recipe above
  • 1/3 C vegetable oil
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 1/4 C soy milk
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 C flour
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder

Almond Butter Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/2 C butter softened
  • 1 C almond butter
  • 3 T milk or as needed (I used heavy whipping cream since that's what I had on hand. I'm sure milk would be tasty too, but I wouldn't recommend skim.)
  • 2 C confectioners' sugar


Cupcake Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, stir together apricot, oil, sugar, honey, soy milk, and vanilla.
  • Sift in the flour, spices, baking soda, and baking powder. Do not over-mix.
  • If you have some - add the extra liquid from the reconstituting process. Do not add more than 1/8 C of liquid.
  • Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 20 min at 350 F.

Almond Butter Frosting Instructions

  • Place the butter and almond butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer.
  • Gradually mix in the sugar, and when the frosting starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable.
  • Beat for at least 3 minutes for it to get good and fluffy.


Nutrition Facts
Apricot Cupcakes with Almond Butter Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 498 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 134mg6%
Potassium 222mg6%
Carbohydrates 65g22%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 48g53%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 305IU6%
Vitamin C 2.1mg3%
Calcium 101mg10%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!


The Almond Butter Frosting Recipe

I got the recipe for my almond butter frosting by modifying an allrecipes recipe for peanut butter frosting. I love this frosting! In fact, everyone loved this frosting! It was not too sweet and not too nutty (like frostings made using almond extract). It was just perfect.
At some point, I’m going to make it again with cashew butter. I think that would be yummy too!

What’s Poking out the Top?

The thing sticking out the top of the cupcake is simply a dried apricot.

Do the Apricot Cupcakes have a Shot at Being in Wedding 2.0?

Groom 2.0 said the cupcakes were contenders. The cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg combination blends really well with the almond butter and gave the cupcakes an earthy, Fall kind of flavor – perfect for their Fall wedding.

I tried to find out if Bride 2.0 felt the same way. Could they actually agree on a cupcake? She texted me with: “Had the cupcake a couple of minutes ago. It was good. Liked the moistness of the cake.” She knows that this leaves me in great suspense. Good? Does good = contender? She didn’t use the word “great.” I guess we’ll all have to wait and see.

What Did Everyone Else Think?

Jonathan thought the cupcakes were some of the best ones yet. My dad loved them, too. He was a bit tentative at first about the combination of flavors but he was really happy with how they turned out. I also thought they were fantastic. I love the fall flavors, even in the Spring.
The only naysayer was Jonathan’s mom. She thought they were too heavy.

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21 comments on “Apricot Cupcakes with Almond Butter Frosting: One Way to Bake with Dried Fruit”

  1. Gigisays:

    Where do you come with your flavor combos? Seriously, I am constantly checking to see what new and exciting flavors you dream up. Love it!

  2. divasays:

    excuse me but that almond butter frosting looks divine. love it when cupcakes are frosted ‘fat and fluffy’ style…yum!

  3. Ooo This sounds delish. I might try them out, the husband is an apricot fan. :o)

  4. Deborahsays:

    What a great idea! I am now thinking of all of the different dried fruits you could use!

  5. Those look delicious! Great idea! :)

  6. hi…i love your blog! i am not much of a baker and i’ve just tried baking muffin once.

    i love love loveeeeeeee cupcakes and wanna be able to bake good ones myself…i will be roaming around your blog and plan to bake my first batch of cupcakes soon :) thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Stefsays:

    Gigi – Thanks Gigi. I probably spend way too much time thinking about cupcake ideas.

    Diva – Thanks! It was really good and yes, quite fluffy.

    Michelle – Let me know what you think if you try them.

    Deborah – My mom had this bag of mixed dried fruits. I’d be curious to try it with something like that to see how it ended up.

    Wheeler’s – Thanks so much!

    Mocha – Good luck! Feel free to email me if you need help!

  8. Sophiesays:

    Yay! It’s the cupcakes I was looking forward to seeing! You know, I like how you pureed the dried apricots. I had to do something similar a few weeks ago when I had to use dried figs to make fig jam…except, I’m not as inventive as you are, so I didn’t think to use anything but water! I love the idea of using mead, I didn’t even know what that was until I read your post :P. Thanks for enlightening us all!

  9. Stefsays:

    Sophie – I’ve never made jam. I’ll have to try it some time. Fig jam sounds great. I just bought some fig ice cream and it was amazing! Glad you liked my mead tip. Have I mentioned how much I like anything honey?

  10. Hey, I’ve only now had the time to have a look and see the cupcake recipe you came up with based on my lamb and apricot stew.

    These look incredible. You’ve made some amazing cupcakes! Love how you pureed the apricots.

    I’ll have to go hunting for almond butter to have a go at making these now.

    Did Bride 2.0 ever elaborate on what she thought?

  11. Stefsays:

    Ruth – Thanks and thanks again for the inspiration! Nope, she never did elaborate.

  12. You’re welcome Stef! Looking forward to seeing where your next inspiration comes from!

  13. Sorry that last comment was me lol

  14. Hopesays:

    I just used this frosting recipe. I cut it in half and it made enough to cover a 9×13 pan of brownies. I don’t use dairy milk so all I had was plain unsweetened almond milk or rich dark chocolate almond milk. Naturally I decided to use the chocolate so I also added about a 1/4c of unsweetened baking cocoa to the mix. It made a lovely cocoa-almond butter frosting. I think I added a bit too much milk though, because I couldn’t get it very fluffy.

    I frosted my brownies with this and then made a drizzle with melted almond butter, honey and butter. It looks great. I love that it’s not too sweet either, gives a good almost savory contrast to the sweet brownies. Also I put lightly salted almonds into my brownies so this should be a lovely sweet salty dessert (for my bf to take to his office pot luck tomorrow, that he only told me about 2 hours ago)

  15. ロンシャンパリ本店

  16. Desiree Reyessays:

    Love apricots… I’m intrigued. I definitely want to make this my first cupcake bake. But I see no eggs in the recipe. Really? why?

  17. Desiree Reyessays:

    can i use regular milk for soy? full fat or skim?

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