Monday, October 11, 2010

Applesauce-Spice Cupcakes


Our visitors left a couple of days ago and we are trying to get back into a routine. It is a weird time for me since I loved having my German family around and the first couple of weeks after they leave I always feel a little lost. We had a wonderful time and I'm already counting the months until I'm able to see everyone again. I'd also like to thank all of you for your nice comments and well wishes regarding my sisters wedding and my new profile picture, you guys are too kind and know how to make a woman feel good. So, the first order of business in trying to get some normality back into my life is to start posting and cooking again. I did cook most of our meals during the visit since I was able to control the ingredients for my sister who has celiac disease, but there just never seemed to be enough time to take pictures or write up posts.

First up are these wonderful Applesauce-Spice Cupcakes that are out of my favorite cupcake book; Martha Stewart's Cupcakes. I actually did make those the very first week I had visitors (but never got around to writing a post) and they were a huge hit with everyone. Wonderfully moist, with just the right amount of spice and with a great frosting, they are a fantastic fall treat. They come together pretty fast and make for a great presentation. The cupcakes, while very tasty on their own, would not be as good without the amazing frosting that tops these little treats. It is good enough to eat by the spoonful. In fact, I made double the amount of frosting and used it to frost some gluten free chocolate cupcakes as well and my sister loved the combination.


To make the cupcakes, you start by measuring flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves into a bowl. Butter, sugar and brown sugar are beaten until pale and fluffy before adding eggs and applesauce. The flour/spice mixture is then incorporated and finally, toasted chopped pecans are folded in before filling the batter into lined muffin tins. After the cupcakes are baked, they are frosted with the most divine brown-sugar cream-cheese frosting which isn't too sweet, and has more flavor depth than an ordinary cream cheese frosting that calls for confectioner's sugar.

Definite bulls eye with these delectable fall inspired cupcakes. They would be perfect for any bake sale or a casual get together with friends and family. I thought they were especially tasty when enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea and so did my visitors. These did not last long in our house and were gone within the day and I already had give out the recipe to several people. I hope you'll give them a try during this fall season and love them as much as we did!


Applesauce-Spice Cupcakes
(makes about 18 cupcakes)

Ingredients:

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
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 cup pecans (about 4 ounces), toasted and chopped
Brown-Sugar Cream-Cheese Frosting (Recipe to follow)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 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 center 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 2 months, in airtight containers.

To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting or for a fancier look pipe on frosting with a pastry bag fitted with a big tip. Frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before serving.


Brown-Sugar Cream-Cheese Frosting
(makes 2 1/2 cups)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup packed light-brown sugar

Preparation:

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar until smooth. Use immediately, or refrigerate up to 3 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth.

(My sister and her husband)

29 comments:

  1. Welcome back. It is really hard to get back into a routine after a vacation! I'm still struggling with that.

    I can't wait to try these.

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  2. They look sooooo good! This will be a very fun project to do with the kiddos! And can you teach me how to frost cupcakes? They look beautiful, I am not so good at it haha. And your sis looks beautiful! What a gorgeous couple!! Good luck with getting back into a routine! Looking forward to more posts and inspiration from you :)

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  3. I read you through google reader, so until you mentioned it I hadn't realized that you had a new profile picture. How beautiful! You look so young, I no longer believe you have teenagers.

    This recipe looks great. The pictures are wonderful.

    Was that your sister's wedding dress? Did she get really get married in brown? I love that! It's stunning and so unique!

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  4. Holy cow! What a perfect little treat for fall, and that frosting! I bet I could like the bowl clean!

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  5. I will be making and canning applesauce this week. I will then use some of it to make these delicious sounding cupcakes. Welcome back!

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  6. Sounds like a wonderful visit with your family. It's so nice to have them with you and it is always hard to say goodbye. Getting back into the kitchen is a great way to make yourself feel better.

    These cupcakes look absolutely wonderful. I've never had a brown sugar cream cheese frosting before and I have to admit that it sounds WAY better than regular cream cheese frosting(which I love).

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  7. Wow, das Kleid Deiner Schwester ist ja himmlisch! Was fuer eine huebsche Braut.
    Thanks for the great recipe. My kids will love these cupcakes in their lunch box (without the frosting).

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  8. They look PERFECT, My mom gets here in 2 weeks! I can't wait.

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  9. These are so beautiful! Almost too pretty to eat... almost. Love the pic of your sister! I'm so glad you posted it!!

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  10. Welcome back :) these cupcakes are beautiful. The frosting is so creamy and yummy looking!
    Beautiful wedding photo of your sis too. My mom is coming to visit in two weeks too, so, I can relate and counting days!!!!

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  11. These cupcakes look fabulous! So do your sister and her husband :-)

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  12. So glad you had a nice time- family time together is so special. That frosting is gorgeous! I have plenty of applesauce in the freezer that will be perfect for these. Your sister and her new hubby look so happy- Congratulations to them!

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  13. I'm so glad you had such a lovely time with your family...these things are so very important! And I love your cupcakes today! I'm such a fan of apple flavored baked goods...especially with fall spices thrown in. I want to purchase that Martha Stewart Cupcake book...I've only heard good things! Thank you for sharing.

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  14. Those cupcakes look luscious! I am so glad you had such a nice visit with your family. Your sister looks beautiful and so happy.

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  15. Awww, the happy couple looks, well, happy!

    So glad you enjoyed your family time.

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  16. Las Vegas.... love it and this great recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. Yay!!! You're back! I really missed you Susi! I absolutely love your baking and cooking. These look, of course, amazing.

    Your blog makes me drool...seriously, wiping it off my keyboard right now;)

    Okay, enough silliness. I wanted to thank you for your extremely sweet comment. I would love to have tea and petit fours with you! Or in the words of Dumb and Dumber, "tea and scrumpets!"

    So glad you're back! hugs!

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  18. These look absolutely delicious Susi! I was missing your beautiful baking treats! I love the sound of the frosting with the warm spiciness of the cupcakes. Your sister is gorgeous! And so are you - love your new picture.

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  19. You have such happy memories to think about until the next time you see your family. Fantastic cupcakes. I love the way you've topped them. So pretty!

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  20. Welcome Back Susi! I've missed you and your recipes! These cupcakes look sooooo good, I LOVE apples and spice cake so these sound perfect. Not to mention the brown sugar cream cheese frosting is making me drool!
    Thanks for sharing the picture of your sister and her husband, they both look wonderful and so happy! And I have to say I LOVE your new profile picture, you're absolutely beautiful Susi!

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  21. Wow, these are gorgeous, I bet they were delicious. I always feel that funny mix of relief to have my routine back but sadness that my family/friends are gone too.

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  22. These are beautiful! The frosting looks absolutely heavenly! Thanks for visiting my blog :)!

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  23. Wow, those look absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for sharing the recipe as well as the happiness!

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  24. These look just perfect for fall! They are so pretty too!

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  25. I just got back from a vacation myself... and a wedding also! These cupcakes looks delicious and I can't wait to try them! I love the flavors of fall!

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  26. These are so pretty! I like the idea of brown sugar in a cream cheese frosting.

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  27. I know just how you feel - I live in Austria but when my friends visit from New Zealand I feel a bit bereft for a few weeks...Beautiful cupcakes, a bit of sugar always helps the blues I find!

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  28. The cream cheese frosting got my attention!!

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  29. These cupcakes look delicious. Thank you so much for sharing!

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