Applesauce Spice Cupcakes

The greatest thing about these cupcakes (other than taste of course =), they are made using ingredients you likely already have on hand. I eat dessert everyday, I don't go a day without it. I sacrifice by having a low calorie breakfast and lunch so I can splurge at dinner and have dessert. I'd have to say I don't feel very guilty about eating 2 or even 3 of these cupcakes. They don't contain a whole lot of fat, because they get most of their moisture from the applesauce they contain rather than needing loads of butter. I'd say these cupcakes belong to the carrot cake family. They taste very similar but no extra time is needed to grate carrots, bonus! These may seem like fall cupcakes but to me they are perfect year round (I'll take one any day!), they don't require a fresh fruit that's in season.

The cupcake recipe I found in the amazing Martha Stewart Cupcakes book but I added my own frosting. The other changes I made were omitting cloves (they listed using 1/8 tsp), I omitted the 1 cup pecans they added to the batter (I prefer the nuts along with the frosting rather then in the cupcakes) and I used salted butter rather than unsalted. 

I forgot to mention my cheat to get eggs to room temperature quickly when I posted the coconut cupcakes a few days ago. All you do is gently place the eggs in a bowl, cover them with warm tap water and let them rest for about 10 minutes while you gather up the remaining ingredients for the cupcakes. It's a great kitchen cheat I use basically every time a recipe calls for eggs at room temperature.

Applesauce Spice Cupcakes

Yields 20 cupcakes


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

1 Recipe Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows

1/2 cup chopped pecans, for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, whip together butter, granulated sugar and light-brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 - 4 minutes. Add in eggs, mixing after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add in applesauce. Stir in flour mixture and mix just until combined. Divide batter evenly among 20 paper lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven, rotating pan once halfway through baking, for about 19 - 20 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting and sprinkle with optional pecans. Store cupcakes in an airtight container.

Cream Cheese Frosting 


4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer whip ingredients together until smooth and fluffy about 1 - 2 minutes. Note: if you want a lot of frosting you may want to double this frosting recipe, personally I thought the amounts listed were plenty.

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