These applesauce spice cupcakes are so easy and tasty. They also date back to a much simpler time, when Halloween and autumn celebrations were low-key affairs.
When we were kids, our mom used to make these cupcakes every Halloween and deliver them to friends. This was at a time before cupcakes “had” to have artistic designs or towers of fluffy frosting. For these cupcakes, it was just a powdered sugar icing and a smiley face made of chocolate chips and raisins.
Why are we bringing them back now? It’s due to be a different kind of Halloween this year, with limited gatherings and more home-centered activities. So maybe instead of hosting that big Halloween blowout, you can celebrate by delivering cupcakes to your nearest and dearest.
Applesauce Spice Cupcakes
Applesauce Spice Cupcakes
A simple spiced cupcake, perfect for Halloween or fall celebrations
- 1 1/4 cup flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (ground)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tbsp flour (additional)
- frosting of choice
- chocolate chips, raisins, or other garnishes for decoration (optional)
Icing (or use your favorite frosting)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp apple cider, orange juice, or water
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the shortening and sugars. Add the egg and mix until well combined.
Alternately add the flour mixture and the applesauce to the mixing bowl.
In a small bowl, toss the raising with the 1 tablespoon additional flour. Stir the flour into the batter.
Spoon the batter into cupcake liners until about 2/3 full. Bakes at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Icing or Frosting
When the cupcakes are cool, whisk together the powdered sugar and apple cider or other liquid. It should form a slightly stiff icing. Frost the cupcakes and decorate with chocolate chips or raisins to form a face (we used strawberries for the mouth). Alternately, use your favorite frosting and pipe it onto the cupcakes.
A few notes on these cupcakes:
First, why do you toss the raisins with flour? It keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the cupcake.
Second, if you have a favorite frosting and some frosting tips, you can go to town and pipe away your signature cupcake design. But we offered a recipe for icing here, and if you’re keeping it simple, you can just spread some icing on top and call it a day.
Third, can you just skip the frosting? Sure! Call it a muffin. That’s what our son apparently thought it was when he grabbed one from the pan before we had a chance to frost it. (Ha!)
And last but not least, if you’re making these cupcakes for Halloween, you’ll want to add some decorations. Try creating a fun face or message using chocolate chips, raisins, maraschino cherries, or other cut-up fruit. (We used strawberries for the mouth in the photo above.)
P.S. Looking for more Halloween treats that don’t involve wild and unnatural colors? Check out our post on Halloween Without Food Coloring.
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