Applesauce Spice Cupcakes

Happy birthday to my friend, Rachel!

On October 21st, Rachel celebrated her birthday. I wasn’t able to go out for the delicious dinner that was planned for that evening so we met up with our boyfriends (who are best friends and this is how we met) on the following Tuesday for mini pizzas and cupcakes.

1. I will always make cupcakes for your birthday if a) I love you and/or b) if you ask. Keep that in mind, friends! You can always get baked goods from me. Also, if you don’t want cupcakes but I love you, you will also still get them. This seems like a win-win situation for everyone.

2. I decided to make these cupcakes because I had debated making them for my own birthday. I know that seems slightly selfish but when it was my birthday, I had run the possible cupcake flavours past Rachel and she was intrigued by both the pumpkin and the apple, so I am a good friend, I promise!

3. These cupcakes were sweet, moist and had a warm blend of spices. I would have liked a stronger apple flavour. The recipe used applesauce rather than real apples but still used butter. This is interesting because typically recipes use applesauce so they can be vegan, but this recipe just used it for the flavour. This is valid but I am always on the lookout for a good vegan recipe because I have yet to find one for cupcakes and it is just good to have in your baking arsenal.

4. My favourite part was the icing. It was cream cheese icing but it was made even better by the addition of brown sugar, rather than icing or white sugar. This icing was unbelievable, you don’t even know. With my new mixer I can whip cream cheese and butter into submission and make velvety smooth and light icing. The brown sugar added a spicy, sweetness and it worked perfectly with the cake base. I would never think of adding a sugar that wasn’t icing sugar to an icing but this worked amazing. It piped out perfectly and held its form nicely.

These were a hit and made the birthday girl happy, which in the end, is all the matters on someone’s birthday. Happy birthday, Rachel! Hope it was a great one and that the upcoming year is great!

Recipe is below the cut. Happy munching!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups store-bought applesauce
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped (omitted)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin and a 6-cup tin with paper liners. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves together into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Put 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, the granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs, one at a time. On low speed, mix in applesauce and then flour mixture. Stir in nuts by hand.
  3. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely in tins on a wire rack.
  4. Meanwhile, in the clean bowl of electric mixer, mix cream cheese with remaining 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter and 1 cup brown sugar on medium speed until smooth. Spread cream-cheese frosting on muffins.

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