Fireball cupcakes are filled with flavor… and alcohol. Fireball whiskey and hard cider are infused in this spiced cupcake recipe.

This recipe was originally published November 2013. It was last updated August 2020.

fireball cupcakes topped with icing and sauteed apples; cupcakes on wire cooling rack


Let me start by saying that I am a seasonal person—seasonal eater, seasonal drinker, and seasonal runner (I do not run in the cold, sorry). My go-to drink in the fall is hard cider (sometimes with a shot of Fireball!) I made the drink into a cupcake!

Why this recipe works: This spiced cupcake batter lends itself well to spiced whiskey and hard dry cider. The whiskey increased the flavor and the carbonation in the cider makes for a light, fluffy cupcake. The sautéed apples and buttercream frosting are flavored as well for ultimate seasonal taste.

photo collage with steps to make fireball cupcakes

Step by step instructions

  1. Make the cupcakes: Whisk together dry ingredients in one bowl. Beat remaining ingredients (except hard cider) together in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in hard cider last.
  2. Bake the cupcakes: Spoon batter into cupcake tin and bake at 350 Ffor 15 to 18 minutes. Let cupcakes cool completely.
  3. Sautée the apples: Whisk together cornstarch and whisk in a small bowl. Set aside. Add remaining ingredients to a sauce pan and cook over medium-low heat until apples are soft. Stir in whiskey cornstarch mixture. Let mixture cool completely.
  4. Prepare frosting: Beat butter for 2 minutes, then add remaining ingredients. Mix until light and fluffy.
  5. Assembly: Core cooled cupcakes and spoon apple mixture into the center. Frosting the cupcakes and top with more sautéed apples if desired.

Fireball cinnamon whiskey can be used in many recipes. I’m personally of fan of desserts like Fireball whiskey brown butter chocolate chip cookies (Cupcakes for Dinner blog) and Fireball whiskey caramel sauce – (The Gold Lining Girl blog).

However, you can use Fireball in more savory recipes such as candied Fireball whiskey nuts (The Lazy Mom Cooks blog) and smoked Fireball whiskey meatballs (Girls Can Grill blog).

spiced fireball cupcakes with frosting and sauteed apples on top

Hard cider and Fireball cupcakes are every bit of deliciousness you need in a dessert. Spiced with fall flavors and kicked up a notch with some alcohol, once you take a bite there is no turning back.

Did you try this recipe? Tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media so I can see your creation!

fireball cupcakes topped with icing and sauteed apples; cupcakes on wire cooling rack

Get the Recipe: Fireball Cupcakes

Fireball cupcakes are filled with flavor… and alcohol. Fireball whiskey and hard cider are infused in this spiced cupcake recipe.
5 (5 ratings)


Cinnamon Spice Hard Cider Cupcakes

  • cup butter
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • cup sugar
  • ½ Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup hard apple cider, room temperature*

Whiskey Caramel Apple Filling

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 large, or 3 small crisp apples peeled, cored, and diced (I used Gala apples)
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons whiskey**

Cinnamon Whiskey Buttercream:

  • 1 cup 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tablespoons whiskey**



  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat, whisking constantly.
  • The butter will start smelling sweet and brown specks will appear, remove from heat and continue whisking for 30 more seconds. Pour into stand mixer and let cool. Once the butter is cool, add the buttermilk, egg, sugars and vanilla, and mix until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add the flour to the wet ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  • Once the flour is fully incorporated, stir in the hard cider, being careful not to over mix. Scrape the sides and bottom to make sure there aren’t any clumps. Fill each prepared cupcake liner a little more than halfway.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.


  • Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the apples, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Cook for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and have released their juices. (It will smell delicious!)
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the whiskey with cornstarch. Then add to the pan with the apples and cook for another 3 minutes, until the liquid thickens. Set aside to cool.


  • Cream the butter for a minute or two. Add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until creamy.
  • Add the whiskey, start with one tablespoon and add more until you reach desired consistency (I ended up using 2 tablespoons). Beat on high for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy and whipped.


  • Core each cupcake with a cupcake corer (if you’re fancy like that) or a melon baller.
  • Fill the cupcake with apples, then top with buttercream frosting. Garnish with any left over apples and enjoy!


*I used Angry Orchard hard cider in the cupcakes. Regular cider works too.
**I used Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey. Again, if you don’t want alcohol in your cupcakes, replace with regular cider.
Serving: 1cupcake, Calories: 296kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Sodium: 400mg, Potassium: 51mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 32g, Vitamin A: 487IU, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 1mg

Recipe adapted from Veggie & the Beast

fireball cupcakes pinterest image with recipe title

Share This: