2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 cup light brown sugar 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup milk 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Using mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
Alternate adding flour mixture and milk to batter, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in apples.
Divide batter evenly into liners. Bake 18-20 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely.
Make buttercream by creaming butter until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar alternately with cream. Beat in dulce de leche and salt.
Pipe or spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with caramel sauce and sea salt flakes if desired.