I felt like making cupcakes. That’s pretty much the reason for the post.
So, I was flipping through my cupcake cookbook (impulse buy, of course. Sigh.) and found this recipe for Applesauce Spice Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting. (Aren’t you glad I didn’t make all of that the title of the post?) The only reason I paused was because I noticed that it called for unsweetened applesauce and I just happened to have some in my cupboard. Not something I’d normally have hanging around but when I made my Applesauce Cake a few weeks ago, I didn’t look closely at the recipe before going shopping. When looking at the choice between unsweetened and sweetened applesauce, I figured it was only logical that the applesauce cake would call for unsweetened because there was sugar in the recipe.
This is why I need to be more explicit with my lists.
I came home to find I bought the wrong kind and had to go back to the grocery store for the right kind of applesauce. I would have returned the unsweetened but was too lazy to go all the way back to the store where I bought it (there are none of that chain close to me; I had picked it up while running other errands). Plus, I guess I figured at some point I would find a way to use it up.
And, lo, I did.
Like every other time I’ve made a Martha Stewart cupcake recipe, I ended up with way more than she predicted. I don’t know if my muffin tin is much smaller than hers or if I’m underfilling the cups, but I ended up with 21 or 22 cupcakes, where she said I would end up with 18. And, people, this was after consuming some batter. (*Hangs head in shame.*)
But having extras was no big deal, really, because they were good and they all got eaten anyway.
The cupcakes are not overly sweet, which is nice against the cream cheese icing. But I think I actually preferred my mum’s recipe for Applesauce Cake. It just seemed . . . I don’t know. Lighter? Better? And it could be just as easily converted into a cupcake recipe by putting the batter into muffin tins and decreasing the baking time. (Start checking at about 15 minutes. They should probably take about 20.)
One more thing. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened applesauce. That’s 375 mL. A can or jar of applesauce here in Canada is 398 mL, so I just dumped the whole thing in. And it was totally fine, so if you’re worried about that last little bit, just chuck it in.
Applesauce Spice Cupcakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (I didn’t have any and the recipe was just as tasty)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (I didn’t put these in because my friend is allergic and I really wanted her to eat one)
Preheat the oven to 350. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add applesauce and then flour mixture, beating until just combined after each. Stir in pecans by hand.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to two months, in airtight containers.
To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated up to three days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before serving.
Brown-Sugar Cream-Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
With an elecrtic mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Use immediately, or refrigerate up to three days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth.