Spiced Caramel Apple Cookie Cups — Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Spiced Caramel Apple Cookie Cups

There’s always been a debate over which fall flavor reigns supreme — apple or pumpkin. If you’re anything like me, you probably have a whole lot of love for both!

Spiced apples always make me feel so warm and cozy this time of year. What makes them even better, though, is caramel of course!

This caramel apple cookie recipe highlights the delicious fall flavors of fresh apples, warming spices, caramel, and a cream cheese based whipped caramel frosting

The flavor palate doesn’t stop there, though. The cookie cups themselves that serve as the base of this recipe are soft and chewy homemade gingerbread cookies. The gingerbread with just a bit of molasses has a delightful sweet warmth to it that perfectly compliments the caramel apple filling.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

And long past the fall, gingerbread is just wintery enough to really tie fall and winter together without totally overpowering that signature fall flavor from the spiced caramel apple filling.

Every bite of these cookie cups is perfect from bottom to top. Between the homemade gingerbread cookies, the sweet and spiced caramel apple filling, and the fluffy whipped cream cheese caramel frosting on top, there’s a whole lot to love about Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups.

The various components of the cookies including the gingerbread cookies, apple filling, and icing are all so easy to make with simple and inexpensive ingredients

Whether you want to make these caramel apple cookie cups as a fall treat, as a festive dessert on your Thanksgiving table, or start ringing in the Christmas baking season thanks to the gingerbread, this fast and easy dessert has you covered.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Ingredients in Spiced Caramel Apple Cookie Cups

To make the caramel apple gingerbread cookie cups, you’ll need some basic fridge and pantry ingredients. You likely already have most, if not all, of these inexpensive ingredients in your kitchen right now! Get out the following items:

Gingerbread cookie cups

  • Unsalted butter
  • Brown sugar 
  • Egg
  • Molasses
  • All purpose flour 
  • Baking soda 
  • Ground ginger 
  • Cinnamon 
  • Nutmeg 
  • Ground cloves 
  • Salt
  • Granulated sugar, for rolling

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Caramel apple filling

  • Unsalted butter
  • Apples
  • Light brown sugar
  • Lemon juice 
  • Cinnamon 
  • Ground nutmeg 
  • Ground cloves 
  • Ground ginger 
  • Kosher salt 
  • Caramel tidbits or caramel candies

Frosting

  • Cream cheese 
  • Caramel ice cream sundae topping 
  • Whipped topping

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

How to Make Spiced Caramel Apple Cookie Cups

These perfectly portioned caramel apple spice cookie cups come together in no time at all. We’re going to be baking those cookie cups, making the apple filling, creating the fluffy caramel whipped frosting, and assembling. 

If you follow these super simple steps, you should only need about 30 minutes of prep time from start to finish. Now that’s a quick dessert recipe! 

Step 1: Prepare your kitchen. Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Step 2: Make the gingerbread cookie dough. Combine the softened butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer and beat until creamy. You can use an electric handheld mixer for this step if you’d prefer. Beat in the molasses and egg until combined.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Step 3: Mix the dry ingredients. In a separate small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and then add it to the wet dough and mix until just combined.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4: Form the cookie dough balls. Use a medium cookie scoop to roll the cookie dough into evenly sized balls, roll them in sugar, place them in the muffin pan, and repeat.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Step 5: Press the cookie dough cups. Using a spoon, scoop, or your fingers, form cookie dough cups with the dough.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Press it all the way up the sides of each cavity of your muffin pan.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Step 6: Bake the cookie cups. Bake the cookie cups for 10 minutes.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Note that they will puff up during baking. Use the back side of a spoon to push the puffy parts back down to create cookie cups with nice open centers that you can fill with apple filling.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Step 7: Make the caramel apple filling. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, salt, and stir. Cook the apples until they’re fork tender, which should only take about 5 minutes. 

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Step 8: Add the caramel tidbits. Stir and allow them it to melt into the apples.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Step 9: Make the whipped frosting. Use a stand mixer (or electric handheld mixer) to whip the room temperature cream cheese until it’s fluffy before stirring in the caramel ice cream topping and then folding in whipped topping.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 10: Assembling the cookie cups. Evenly divide the caramel apple filling between all of the baked gingerbread cookie cups.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Step 11: Frosting. Pipe or spoon the whipped frosting onto the apple filling. Top off your cookie cups with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a drizzle of caramel and enjoy!

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Kind of Apples Should I Use to Make the Filling?

This is an easy, flexible recipe — you can use almost whatever type apples you prefer including Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, and more if you like sweeter apples.

With that being said, I used Granny Smith apples. They have a natural tartness that helps balance out all of the sugary sweet ingredients in this dessert recipe. Braeburn is another tart apple that works well.

Whatever you’d use for an apple pie will work great here.

Peel them and keep them diced quite small, about 1/2-inch cubes.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

What Kind Of Muffin Pan Do I Need?

Use a mini muffin pan for this easy cookie cup recipe. These caramel apple gingerbread bites are meant to be eaten in just about two bites — or less, for those of us who just can’t help ourselves!

A regular sized muffin pan technically could be used however it’ll truly be a mouthful of a dessert.

If you do use a regular sized muffin pan, you’ll yield about 10 to 12 cookie cups and the baking time will extend to likely 15 to 18 minutes, but this will vary so keep an eye on things.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

What Kind of Caramel Should I Use? 

Caramel is used in both the apple filling to create a tasty caramel apple mixture. And then again in the caramel cream cheese whipped frosting. Optionally, you can also drizzle more over the top for serving.

In the apple filling mixture, I used Kraft Caramel Bits. I chose them because they don’t melt quite all the way and give a chewy texture to the apple filling.

However, if you prefer a smoother and creamier texture, use Kraft Baking Caramels or your favorite caramel candies. Unwrap and dice them into pieces for easier melting. You’ll want a heaping 1/2 cup after you’ve diced them.

For the frosting, I used caramel ice cream topping sauce. I used ice cream topping sauce, or sundae sauce, because it’s thinner and creates great frosting consistency and texture.

As much as I love thick salted caramel sauce, it’ll be too heavy for the frosting, which is counterproductive to a whipped frosting. But feel free to drizzle it on afterwards! 

Plus, it’ll be more difficult to pipe if you using a piping bag and tip. Bottom line is to use ice cream sundae topping for this easy whipped frosting recipe.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Why Is My Whipped Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting Flat?

If your frosting is a little flat and lifeless, that’s likely because you weren’t gentle when folding the whipped cream into the caramel and cream cheese mixture.

When you’re combining that final ingredient with the others, try to do so carefully. If you’re too quick or stir it in too much, your frosting will likely fall a little flat.

The goal of the whipped cream is to make the frosting fluffy. Don’t take away from that element by over-mixing.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Do I Have to Pipe the Frosting?

No, you don’t need to pipe on your whipped cream cheese caramel frosting and can instead simply dollop it on with a spoon.

I only used a piping bag and star tip because it looks more festive for the photos but if I was just making these for my family, I wouldn’t bother.

Serving Suggestions 

I think the best way to enjoy these caramel apple cookie bites is to grab one in each hand and just dig in. Kidding… Kind of!

If you want to add a little sweet and salty topping to these treats, you need to make The Best Salted Caramel Sauce! A little drizzle of that homemade sauce atop each of your Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups is a surefire way to make them even more mouthwatering.

Otherwise vanilla ice cream or your favorite flavor, or just some Cool Whip, are great.

Oh, and if you want to sneak one of these little treats into your morning routine, pair it with a Copycat Pumpkin Spice Latte! That way, you won’t have to decide between pumpkin and apple – you can have the best of both worlds to kickstart your lovely fall morning.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

How to Store Leftovers

In an airtight container in the fridge, any cookie cups that don’t get gobbled up immediately will stay fresh for up to 5 days.

I don’t recommend freezing these Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups.

These caramel apple cookies are best enjoyed when they’re slightly warmed.

Tip: Pop a cold cookie cup into the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds before enjoying for the best taste!

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Tips for the BEST Caramel Apple Cookie Cups

Here are just a few tips and tricks I’ve noted to make sure that you have the very best caramel apple cookies, every single time!

Butter and Cream Cheese: Both of these ingredients need to be softened to room temperature prior to usage. Do NOT try to whip either of them if they’re still cold from the refrigerator. To play it safe, I recommend leaving both the butter and cream cheese on your kitchen counter about an hour before you know you’ll be using them.

Use brick-style cream cheese in a block. Do nut use any type of lite, whipped, or “spreadable” cream cheese product. Use a good ‘ole fashioned block.

Molasses: I use Grandma’s Unsulphered Molasses. This is an easy-to-find molasses that gives great results. I don’t recommend blackstrap molasses because it’s too strong-tasting for me in most dessert recipes.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Sugar: The white granulated sugar in the cookie recipe is used to roll the cookie dough around in. There’s nothing better than a crunchy coating of sugar on the outside of a perfectly baked gingerbread cookie, You can use a coarse sugar instead of plain white granulated sugar for even more of a crunch if you’d like. Or mix in a couple teaspoons of cinnamon for a cinnamon-and-sugar vibe.

Apples: Make sure they’re peeled. You don’t want to be chewing on tough apple peels when you enjoy these cookies. Also, when dicing them into small cubes, make sure all of the cubes are relatively the same size, about 1/2-inch cubes. Also, if the apples dry out while cooking, stir in a teaspoon of water as needed.

Caramel Bits: These don’t melt all the way, so they give the filling a delicious gooey added texture. If you want the caramels to be more melted in the caramel apple filling, use soft caramels instead of caramel tidbits. 

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Flour: To measure the flour, be sure to use a spoon to fill the measuring cup. If the measuring cup is overfilled, just run the back of a butter knife across the top of the measuring cup to brush off any extra. Keep in mind that if you scoop your measuring cup directly into the flour bag, this can actually cause the flour to pack. Packed flour means too much flour.

Robustly Flavored: If you’re like me and really love the flavor of intensely flavored desserts, feel free to double the amounts of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. I wouldn’t double the nutmeg though because 2 teaspoons would be a lot. 

Spiced Caramel Apple Cookie Cups — Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Baking The Cookie Cups: When you’ve got the dough made, rolled into balls and dredged through granulated sugar, make sure to press it well into each cavity of your mini muffin pan, including up the sides. I like to make a little lip at the top that extends onto the flat surface of the pan so the dough can “grab” onto something as it bakes. 

After baking it will have puffed up and so don’t be shy about using the back side of a spoon to mold the recently baked and warm cookie cups but pressing them down and creating a nice open space in the center of each to fill with the caramel apple filling.

Cool Whip: The frosting uses Cool Whip and while you could whip your own heavy cream, the stabilizers in it will help it stay fuller and fluffier longer than real homemade whipped cream. Whipped topping is the way to go here.

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!
Yield: 24

Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cookie Cups

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are shaped into bite-sized mini cookie cups and filled with a scrumptious warmly spiced caramel apple filling! A final touch of whipped cream cheese caramel frosting makes these cookie cups an instant FAVORITE! An EASY dessert that everyone LOVES!

Ingredients

Gingerbread Cookie Cups

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, well softened to room temp
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Granulated sugar, for rolling

Caramel Apple Filling

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 cups apples, peeled and diced into small cubes about 1/2-inch*
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup caramel tidbits (or caramel candies, unwrapped)

Frosting

  • 8 ounces brick-style cream cheese, well softened to room temp
  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream sundae topping or sauce (don't use a thick sauce)
  • 2/3 cup Cool Whip or whipped topping, thawed
  • Caramel sauce, Cool Whip, ice cream, all optional for serving

Instructions

  1. Gingerbread Cookie Cups - Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 24-count mini muffin pan very well with cooking spray; set aside. Tip - I do not recommend making this in a full-size muffin pan because it's just simply too big and too much. However, if you do, you'll yield about 10 to 12 cups, and should bake them for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they're done.
  2. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and handheld electric mixer), add the butter, brown sugar, and beat on high speed until smooth and creamy. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the egg, molasses, and beat to incorporate until smooth; set aside.
  4. In a separate large bowl, add the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the dry ingredients mixture to the wet, and mix on low speed until just combined, don't overmix.
  6. Use a medium cookie scoop, form dough balls of approximately 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons each.
  7. Roll each ball generously through granulated sugar before placing in the prepared pan.
  8. Using your fingers or the back of a spoon, press the dough balls into and around the edges of the cavities of the muffin pan, creating cookie cups. Tip - Press a bt of dough over the top of each cavity to form a bit of a lip.
  9. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until set and done.
  10. The cookie cups will puff up as they bake, this is normal. Use the back of a spoon to smoosh them down and create space in the center of each cookie cup where the apple filling will be placed. Allow the cookie cups to cool in the pan. While they're cooling, make the apple filling.
  11. Caramel Apple Filling - To a large saucepan, add the butter and heat over medium-high heat to melt it.
  12. Add the apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, salt, and stir to combine.
  13. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until apples are soft and fork-tender. If they dry out while cooking, add 1 teaspoon of water or as needed. Stir frequently while cooking.
  14. Add the Caramel Bits or Caramel Candies and cook for a couple of minutes, or until they melt slightly. Note - Bits don't melt as smoothly and retain a bit of texture which I love. If you like a smoother melted caramel, then use candies. I don't recommend using caramel sauce here. Set caramel apple mixture aside.
  15. Frosting - To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and handheld electric mixer), add the cream cheese and beat on high speed until fluffy. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  16. Add the caramel sauce and beat to just incorporate.
  17. By hand, fold in the Cool Whip (don't use a mixer because you'll overwhip and cause it to deflate) until just combined and smooth.
  18. Optionally, transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a star tip (or your favorite tip) - or don't and just dollop the frosting on by hand.
  19. Assembly - Add a small amount of caramel apple filling to each of the cookie cups, divided evenly.
  20. Pipe or spoon on the frosting.
  21. Optionally drizzle with caramel sauce, salted caramel sauce, or serve with ice cream, Cool Whip, or as desired. Cookie cups will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days, noting the frosting will deflate a bit as time passes and the cookie cups will soften from the apple filling resting inside them. I like to zap cold cookie cups from the fridge in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds before enjoying. I don't recommend freezing this recipe.

Notes

*You can use almost whatever type apples you prefer including Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, and more if you like sweeter apples.

With that being said, I used Granny Smith apples. They have a natural tartness that helps balance out all of the sugary sweet ingredients in this dessert recipe. Braeburn is another tart apple that works well.

Whatever you’d use for an apple pie will work great here. Peel them and keep them diced quite small, about 1/2-inch cubes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 245mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 3g

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Caramel Apple Bar — It's caramel apple season and this caramel apple bar is a FUN and festive quintessential fall treat! EASY to prep and it's a wonderful family family-friendly activity for kids and adults alike!

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