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


  • 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)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 oz . cream cheese , softened
  • 1/4 cup butter , softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. 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

  1. 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.


  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: You always have such cute cupcake ideas!

    I also have a dessert a day (actually it’s more like 5 desserts a day) but I don’t sacrifice anything. I run 6 miles a day but sometimes, I don’t think all the cupcakes balance out with the running! April 19, 2012 at 5:33pm Reply

  • Nupur: Ohh we all sweet tooth pickers.. Damn us :)

    I dont compensate my habit of having sweet daily, yeah and I also cheat by using the same method to get the eggs at room temp.. dont we all use these little cheat :P

    Cupcakes looks stunningly gorgeous :) April 20, 2012 at 3:22am Reply

  • Baker Street: Me too. I have dessert every single day. The reason i like cupcakes is that they are small individual treats. Cream cheese frosting makes these spiced cupcakes a total winner. April 20, 2012 at 6:18am Reply

  • Faith: These look delicious! Pinterest led me to your blog, and I have had such fun perusing your archives for great recipes! I really appreciate how well you photograph the food. April 20, 2012 at 7:06am Reply

  • Ashley @CenterCutCook: These cupcakes sound delicious, and I just love your photo! The cinnamon sticks… the apple… so beautiful! :) April 20, 2012 at 8:00am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Thanks so much everyone for your comments! I hope you love these simple cupcakes, I know I’m going to be making them all the time. April 20, 2012 at 8:46am Reply

  • Cathleen: Wow, I just found your blog via foodgawker, and I can’t leave! Everything looks so good! I want to bookmark everything! This looks irresistible! April 20, 2012 at 11:31am Reply

  • I love dessert too! Beautiful job photographing these lovely cupcakes. Can’t wait to try them. April 22, 2012 at 10:28am Reply

  • Sarah (a dash and a pinch): Not only do these cupcakes look delicious, but I am totally in awe of your food styling! May 18, 2012 at 9:15am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Sarah – thanks so much! I love your blog! Those biscoff cupcakes look a-maz-ing! You should send them on over to foodgawker. Aren’t cupcakes just the best? May 18, 2012 at 3:39pm Reply

  • Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden: Great cupcakes! I found your blog yesterday! I really like them! Lots of great recipes! I would really like to showcase some recipes on my cupcake recipes & ideas blog if you agree. Best regards September 2, 2012 at 12:52am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Vera Zecevic – yes of course, that would be great! Thanks so much for asking. Have a great week! September 3, 2012 at 10:26pm Reply

  • Natasha: Would this batter make enough for a 9×13 pan? Or would it need to be doubled.
    September 26, 2012 at 6:13pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Natasha – If I were to do it I would leave it as is for a 9×13, I think double would probably overflow =). I hope that helps and I hope you enjoy! September 26, 2012 at 6:53pm Reply

  • Anonymous: Baked these cupcakes this evening and I’m sure they will be delish! Just an observation: in the recipe directions you don’t mention when to add the spices (aside from the salt) I figured they should be whisked in with the flour mixture-but you might want to add “and spices” to your directions so no one forgets to put them in! Thanks for the great recipe! October 15, 2012 at 8:33pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous – Thanks! I will update that right away! That’s what happens when you are your own editor =), sorry! October 15, 2012 at 8:35pm Reply

  • Applesauce Spice Cupcakes | Cupcakepedia: […] source […] March 5, 2013 at 7:34am Reply

  • Jackie: Hi Jaclyn

    What brand of applesauce did you use in this recipe. April 9, 2013 at 11:59pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Probably gerber baby food applesauce haha, but really I always have it on hand for my kids and I like how it’s such a small amount so I don’t feel like I have to open a big jar of applesauce and use it within a few days or weeks or whatever it is. Plus I like how it’s always unsweetened. I like Mott’s though if you are looking for a brand specific. April 14, 2013 at 5:08pm Reply

  • Snow is extremely dangerous | Mothering Creativity: […] I found the wonderful cupcake blog I decided to have some fun last night. The applesauce spice cupcakes came out beautifully. And so so so tasty. So I hope you all […] February 19, 2014 at 7:29pm Reply

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