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Salted Caramel Apple Spice Tea Cakes with a Surprise Center & Salted Caramel Frosting

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caramel apple tea cakes 2


My next door neighbor is just the sweetest!!! She’s always bringing me the COOLEST stuff to play with, as she knows how much I love to cook and bake, and of course, always share what I make with them. 😉 Smart lady! 😉 We ALL make out like bandits!

Anyways, this time she brought me the neatest tea!!!! Omg! It’s salted caramel flavored, and I’ve already used it twice already! (The second recipe coming soon! 😉 )

But the first recipe, this one, was so delicious, that she asked me to make more so that she could take them to her work for her co-workers!


caramel apple cakes ingrdnts


So I was looking at this box of tea, and wanted to come up with a super cool way to use it. During the summertime especially, I like to make lots of pitchers of sweet tea, and I start by making a concentrate. So I thought, why not make a concentrate with this, sweeten it with dark brown sugar, and use that in place of the plain water in a cake mix! And a plan was soon hatched! 😉


salted caramel tea


What goes well with salted caramel? Well, apples of course! And it being apple pickin’ time, the two seemed like the perfect pair! A nice Spice Cake would tie the two together nicely, so, spice-flavor it was! 😉


caramel tea concentrate


I’m not always very fond of boxed cake mixes, and think that they need a little help. So I also added a box of instant butterscotch pudding, real butter instead of oil, and some grated apple!


caramel apple cake ingrdnts 2


I used my old-fashioned box grater for this, as my old one works best using the large holes.


granny apple grated


I added one large Granny Smith apple, but in hindsight, it could possibly have taken a second one. So you could easily try adding two for even more apple flavor.


caramel apple cake batter


But I thought that they still needed a little bit more. They were sounding good, but not over the moon yet!

So I took the whole caramel apple theme to a higher level by adding a Rolo candy to the center!


caramel apple cake batter in pan


These babies baked up BEAUTIFULLY!!!


caramel apple cakes baked


I had planned on making a homemade caramel frosting of sorts, but when my hubby came home from the store with this new Salted Caramel frosting….it sounded perfect! And by then I was a little tired and very thankful that I wasn’t having to make any frosting! 😉


caramel apple cakes packed


This frosting was actually QUITE surprising!! It was really, really good I kid you not!


caramel apple tea cakes


The Salted Caramel Black Tea sweetened with dark brown sugar, the spice cake, apples, butterscotch pudding for extra moistness and flavor, chocolate and caramel Rolo center, and Salted Caramel frosting all came together like rock stars!


caramel apple tea cakes 3


And don’t forget to deck out the tops with a Rolo half and the best part….the kosher salt!!!

That salt on top of the frosting is to DIE for!


caramel apple tea cakes 4


I can’t wait to make these again! Thanks so much to my dear, sweet neighbor Phyllis, and to my wonderful hubby for bringing me such fun things to play with! Who says you can’t play with your food? 😉

So if you’re looking for a fall, Football or Halloween Party treat to make, I highly recommend that you print this one out, or save it on Pinterest or Facebook! It’s definitely a keeper! 😀

Enjoy, and be sure to make time for a drive in the country to check out the beautiful colors of the autumn leaves changing! They’re really breathtaking this year! 😀




Salted Caramel Apple Spice Tea Cakes with a Surprise Center & Salted Caramel Frosting
Yield: 25 cupcakes

Salted Caramel Apple Spice Tea Cakes with a Surprise Center & Salted Caramel Frosting


For Tea Concentrate:

  • 1 cup water
  • 5 Salted Caramel Black Tea bags (*I used Bigelow)
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar

For Cake:

  • 1 (16.5 oz.) box Moist Spice Cake mix (*I used Duncan Hines)
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) box instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1/3 cup melted butter, do not sub margarine
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated (can use two if not too big)
  • 25 Rolos candies, (unwrapped)

For Frosting:

  • 1 - 2 cans Salted Caramel Frosting (*I used Duncan Hines)
  • 13 Rolos Candies, unwrapped and sliced in half
  • kosher salt
  • paper cupcake liners


  • Make Tea Concentrate:
  • Heat water to boiling in microwave, remove, add tea bags, cover and steep for 25 minutes. Remove tea bags squeezing out excess water from bags using back of spoon, stir in dark brown sugar until dissolved, let cool down, then chill.
  • For Cake:
  • Preheat oven to 325º F.
  • In large mixer bowl, add cake mix, pudding mix, chilled tea concentrate, melted butter, and eggs. Blend on low until mixed, then beat on medium for 2 minutes. Scrape paddle, sides and bottom of bowl, beat again briefly to make sure everything is incorporated.
  • Fold in peeled and grated apple.
  • Place 1 Tbl. of batter into bottom of cupcake papers in muffin pan. Top with a Rolo candy, add 1/8 cup more batter to cover candy. (You will get 25 cupcakes.)
  • Pop into oven and bake for 25 - 27 minutes or until cakes spring back when gently touched on top in the center.
  • Cool for 5 minutes in the pans. Remove to cool completely on baking racks.
  • When cool, frost tops, top with a Rolo candy half, and sprinkle nicely with kosher salt.
  • *Tip: Since this makes 25 cakes, bake one first to know what your exact time is. Then bake the rest quickly and easily with minimal checking for doneness.
  • Notes

    *Tea Concentrate, eggs and butter amounts are in accordance to the amounts needed for Duncan Hines Brand cake mix.



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