Apple Butter Frosting is an easy way to add pure & natural apple flavor to cupcakes and cakes! It is smooth, creamy and deliciously apple-y! The best fall frosting recipe!
Apple Butter is a delicious spread alone, but has become one of my favorite ingredients to use in fall baking recipes. Apple Butter has a concentrated cinnamon and tart apple taste. This makes it the perfect thing to add to recipes for a new layer of flavor.
While coming up with some new recipes for this season, I thought it would be great to incorporate into frosting. Plus, I know a lot of you might make homemade apple butter and this is a great recipe to use it in!
| Looking for more apple recipes? Check out my latest Dulce de Leche Apple Tart |
Frosting (I’m talking about American Buttercream specifically) is so easy to experiment with. This recipe is very versatile. If you add too much liquid, you can balance it out with more powdered sugar. Added a little too much sugar? Thin it out with more liquid. You can very easily control the taste and texture of this frosting.
Making Apple Butter Frosting couldn’t be any easier! It starts out by blending together the butter and shortening and then gradually adding the remaining ingredients.
Why add vegetable shortening to frosting?
Some frosting recipes call for all butter and no shortening, but I have always had better luck with the recipes that include some shortening.
I find that shortening adds more stability to frosting, therefore making it easier to work with. Shortening also whips up lighter than butter does and has a higher melting point. The benefit to using a combination of butter and shortening is, you get all the flavor from butter and all the good stuff from shortening.
Using 100% shortening in frosting can be done (most bakeries probably do this), but it can leave an unpleasant “clinging” feeling on the tongue. In my opinion, the ratio for this recipe is perfect!
Back to making Apple Butter Frosting…
Once the butter and shortening are whipped, you can start adding the rest of the ingredients; powdered sugar, apple butter, vanilla bean paste and half and half.
Vanilla bean paste is really an essential ingredient for frostings. I replaced vanilla extract with paste for my frostings years ago and never looked back. Vanilla bean paste is much cheaper than using raw vanilla beans and provides such a better flavor than extract alone.
Milk can be used in place of the half and half, but I prefer using this as half and half gives the frosting a little more richness.
Frosting is best made in a stand mixer. It is a much more powerful appliance and is way better at whipping up the ingredients. You always want to make sure you use a paddle attachment when making frosting in a stand mixer
Once all of the ingredients are added, I crank up the power to 7 or 8 on my KitchenAid and let it go for a minute or two. This makes the frosting whipped and airy.
I hope you love this frosting!! It really is the perfect touch of fall to a vanilla cupcake!
Apple Butter Frosting
- ¼ c vegetable shortening
- ¾ c unsalted butter softened at room temp
- ¼ c + 1 Tbsp apple butter
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 4 c powdered sugar
- ¼ c half and half more or less for desired consistency
- 1 pinch salt
- In the bowl of a stand up mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the shortening and butter until incorporated.
- Add 2 cups of powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until mostly combined.
- Add the apple butter and vanilla bean paste and mix well.
- Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and add the remaining powdered sugar and salt.
- With the mixer on low, begin to add the half and half until the frosting becomes light and fluffy. Your spatula should move through the frosting easily but the frosting should hold peaks well.
- Run the mixer on high for 1 last minute to fluff up the frosting a little more.
- Will frost about 24 cupcakes or two 9" cakes.