To start, make cupcakes using your favorite box mix. You don't want the mounding over type of cupcakes, so divide the batter to make sure you get all 24 cupcakes. For optimum results, use a white cake mix with red liners. We like chocolate cake, so that's what we used — and I think they still look great. The trick to making Apple Cupcakes?
These by Entenmann's are PERFECT. Apparently, their donuts come in 3 sizes: Regular/Full size, Mini, and bite-size. Make sure to get the Mini size which are exactly the size of the top of a regular size cupcake, while the regular size donuts are too big & the mini are too small. Plus, they come in a 12 pack, which works out perfectly with one box of cake mix. Also, get the chocolate ones. I know, the powdered sugar ones are better, but believe me, I learned the hard way that they just don't work when it comes time to frosting them.
Cut all the donuts in half like a bagel.
Next, whether you make your own frosting, or purchase it, you'll need to dye it red with a gel food dye. Even when spreading the frosting on, I like to use a pastry bag to make it easy to apply. With your pastry bag, or a knife, put a dab of frosting on the top of the cupcake.
Top & smoosh down with one half of a donut.
Again, using your pastry bag, pipe out enough frosting on top of the donut to cover, then spread it all out with a knife.
To complete your apple, you need a stem & a leaf. I found these Rips in our grocery store's candy aisle and they are exactly what you need. Again, one bag is enough for 24 cupcakes, plus a few red ones for you to snack on while your making them. See? I'm here for you!
I found if you cut each rectangle in half on a diagonal, you can then cut 2 good sized leaves out of each piece of candy, like this:
To make them stem, you'll need Tootsie Rolls. Roll them out into snakes, and then cut into stem-sized pieces.
Insert into the indent of the donut, and Viola! You've got some amazingly cute apples!!