Apple Cupcakes

apple cupcake recipesLast weekend, we decided that we were going to spend the entire weekend being lazies. We hang out in our jammies all day and watch movies (I think that we have seen Cars a million times). We take a big family nap and sometimes we make whatever the kids want to make. On this particular day, Ava and Will were leafing through my Martha Stewart Cupcake book and oohing and ahhing over the beautiful pictures. I told them that they could pick any cupcake that they wanted and that we would make it. This is what they picked. How cute are they?

apple cupcake recipeThis cupcake recipe is really easy to make and a really good recipe to make with children. We had everything that we needed to make them in the house. (We didn’t even have to take off our pjs.)  And aren’t they healthy since they have applesauce in them? Sure, why not?

applesauce cupcake recipe2 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 sticks butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cups brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups applesauce
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

applesauce cupcake recipeCream together both sugars with the butter until light and fluffy. (I totally made a mistake and only used 1 stick of butter. The recipe was great, but would have been even better with that extra stick. Oops.)

applesauce cupcake recipePut the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.

applesauce cupcake recipeI cannot stress enough what a difference freshly grated nutmeg makes.

applesauce cupcake recipeAdd the eggs one at a time. Look very serious while your sister is adding the eggs. Serious = adorable.

applesauce cupcake recipeAdd the applesauce.

applesauce cupcake recipeMix it all together.

applesauce cupcake recipeAdd in the dry ingredients. Fold in the nuts by hand. Put the cupcake batter into lined muffin tins. We used red liners to make them look even more like apples. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes.

applesauce cupcake recipe

For the Brown Sugar Buttercream:

1 stick room temperature cream cheese
1 stick room temperature butter
1 cup brown sugar

To decorate:

red jimmies or red sanding sugar
thin pretzel sticks
green Fruit Roll Ups

applesauce cupcake recipeBeat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and beat until combined.

applesauce cupcake recipeNow that I am thinking about it, a sprinkle of cinnamon in that frosting would have been a really good idea.

applesauce cupcake recipeUsing a sharp knife or a cookie cutter, cut some leaf shapes out of the Fruit Roll Up.

applesauce cupcake recipeFrost the cupcake with the Brown Sugar Buttercream.

applesauce cupcake recipeSprinkle the red sanding sugar generously on the cupcake. (I think that it works better to dip the cupcake in the sugar, it covers the cupcake better that way.)  Stick the pretzel in for the stem and add a leaf.

applesauce cupcake recipeThese are so adorable and would be perfect for back to school. Does your class do Apple Week? ‘Cuz these would be perfect for that too.

applesauce cupcake recipeAnd there you have your own little apple orchard. This was a great way to spend an afternoon with my babies.

applesauce cupcake recipeWhat do you like to cook with your kids? What are your favorite recipes to make with your babies?

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Apple Cupcakes


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 sticks butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups applesauce
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • For the Brown Sugar Buttercream:
  • 1 stick room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 stick room temperature butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • To decorate:
  • red jimmies or red sanding sugar
  • thin pretzel sticks
  • green Fruit Roll Ups

Instructions

  1. Cream together both sugars with the butter until light and fluffy. (I totally made a mistake and only used 1 stick of butter. The recipe was great, but would have been even better with that extra stick. Oops.)
  2. Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.
  3. I cannot stress enough what a difference freshly grated nutmeg makes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time. Look very serious while your sister is adding the eggs. Serious = adorable.
  5. Add the applesauce.
  6. Mix it all together.
  7. Add in the dry ingredients. Fold in the nuts by hand. Put the cupcake batter into lined muffin tins. We used red liners to make them look even more like apples. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes.
  8. Beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and beat until combined.
  9. Now that I am thinking about it, a sprinkle of cinnamon in that frosting would have been a really good idea.
  10. Using a sharp knife or a cookie cutter, cut some leaf shapes out of the Fruit Roll Up.
  11. Frost the cupcake with the Brown Sugar Buttercream.
  12. Sprinkle the red sanding sugar generously on the cupcake. (I think that it works better to dip the cupcake in the sugar, it covers the cupcake better that way.) Stick the pretzel in for the stem and add a leaf.

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81 Comments

  • These are adorable!! Can we come to your house this weekend and make fun cupcakes?! We have this cookbook and are now inspired to make some delicious and gorgeous cupcakes!

    Reply
    • Thanks, we like to cook together. It makes me happy to have everyone helping out.

      Reply
  • These are fabulous! ( I am so sad our schools have decided to ban home made treats and insist upon store bought, sugary, treats from the store – what i wouldn’t do to send a batch of these to school!).

    Reply
    • Thanks Dana. I don’t like that rule either. We are still allowed to bring homemade treats and I am very grateful for it.

      Reply
  • These are sooooooooooo pretty! I love the applesauce and butter combo. I bet it tasted like Apple Pie. YUMMY!

    Reply
  • These are SO cute! I teach preschool and we are doing an apple theme in a few weeks! I will be making these for my class for sure!!
    P.S. You have beautiful children!!

    Reply
  • These are fabulous Bree! Love use of the fruit roll ups for leaves. I’ll have to add this one to my list of items to make when I visit my niece.

    Reply
    • that is such a cute idea? A pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting… yum…

      Reply
  • These cupcakes are so adorable! I’m at college right now, and they make me wish I were at home with my mom and my well stocked kitchen to make these!

    Reply
    • Thank you Sarah! I remember college cooking all too well. I think that I lived off of Ramen and Mac and Cheese.

      Reply
  • Looks SO delicious and terribly cute too!! This may be a crazy ? but I never had any idea nutmeg was sold in whole pieces. Would I be able to find them in the regular spice section as well? This is just another reason I love your blog, I’m ALWAYS learning something new!! Thanks, Bree!

    Reply
    • Freshly grated nutmeg is the so much better than the kind that is already grated. It is night and day. Yes, usually whole nutmeg is next to the ground nutmeg on the shelf. Bulk bins usually have them too.

      Reply
    • thanks Bentley! A super smart reader gave me the adorable idea to use orange and make pumpkin ones.

      Reply
  • Love these! Was looking for the perfect apple cupcake that would be good for my daughter 2 year old apple birthday. Do you think they will taste as good without pecans? One of her little friends has a nut allergy and I’d hate to mix anything up.

    Reply
    • Absolutely. Only half of mine had nuts, because my kids do not like them. They were still wonderful.

      Reply
  • I’m a bit confused. In the recipe for the cupcakes it says 2 sticks of butter, but in the picture it looks like you used a half stick of butter. Can you specify the exact measurement you used in the cupcakes?

    Reply
  • So IF you get this before I actually get started (yesterday things came up as they always do with young kids!) Do you think a carmel buttercream or diff brown sugar frosting would be good? I don’t love cream cheese which I know is horrible since most people love it. So selfishly I was thinking about changing it but don’t want to ruin the overall taste/texture. btw love the hot choc cookies will be making those after party!

    Reply
  • How many cupcakes did this make? I want to make these for my daughter’s birthday party!

    Reply
  • i feel so out of place; but, i absolutely love these cupcakes. I’m going to be baking up a batch and sending them in the mail to my girlfriend as a surprise birthday gift. Her favorite fruit is apples and i just thought this was great. I love baking and i love my cupcake~ …so why not mix the two?

    -i guess a little extra looking around and you really can find the perfect gift, what do you think?

    Reply
    • Be careful sending cupcakes. I don’t know how to package them so they don’t get smooshed. Let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  • I made these haven’t eaten any supposed to be a for a school function i omitted the nuts obviously. I used the two sticks of butter but they were very greasy when I took them out of the pan and didn’t raise very well, are you sure it’s only a 1tsp of baking soda? Almost didn’t make 24 but started off very generous with my first few. A printer friendly version of the recipe might be helpful as well.

    Reply
    • The original recipe comes from Martha, and that is what she says. There is a print friendly button on the bottom of each post.

      Reply
  • omg these are too adorable! my friend and i are studying to be teachers and she is obsessed with apples. i think i’m going to make these for her half brithday 😛

    ps, i need to know where you got those measuring cups!

    Reply
    • I used to be a teacher, I taught 5th and 6th grades. The measuring spoons and cups came from World Market.

      Reply
  • I’m going to try and make this dairy-free for my son’s first birthday. The only thing giving me pause is a substitute for the cream cheese in the frosting. I was thinking I could use two sticks of Earth Balance Buttery spread, or one stick earth balance and some silken tofu. Thoughts or other suggestions?

    Reply
    • Isn’t there a dairy free cream cheese? If not, I would use Earth Balance with some Tufutti sour cream for a little tang.

      Reply
  • What do you mean by 1 stick of cream cheese? One 8-ounce block? Want to make sure I get the measurements correct because that buttercream sounds fab!

    Reply
  • I love how creative you are with the decorating! I recently discovered fruit to bake with and have been on a kick lately with pumpkin, peach and apple. For my last round of apple cupcakes, I didn’t use apple sauce – instead I simmered apples diced into small pieces, hoping for a little more texture in the cake. I didn’t get as much texture as I’d hoped, but the flavor of the apple was more prominent.

    Reply
  • I was just wondering if you think it would be ok to halve the recipe as I only need one dozen of these. Thanks

    Reply
    • I cannot say, I have never done it. Sorry! You can always freeze half.

      Reply
  • These are so easy and yummy! These are the perfect cupcakes for fall.I was happy that these did not require grated apples, which take a lot of time. Great flavor and the brown sugar icing is really unique and easy. I didn’t add the pecans and used 2/3 cup of butter instead of 1 cup. I made mixed both the batter and the icing by hand- not hard to do at all. I loved the decorating you did with your cupcakes bree! I didn’t have colored sugar so I topped mine with auttunam sprinkles instead.

    Reply
    • I love these little cupcakes, I have not made them in awhile. I need to!

      Reply
  • So I also followed the 2 sticks of butter in the batter instructions and also got greasy cupcakes. I got a nice rise, but can tell something is off. Luckily, I have all the ingredients to make a second batch and will only put one stick of butter in the batter! I wish I had read the comments before I went ahead and did a batch of 12… That’ll learn me!

    Reply
    • Sorry, I made these so long ago that I don’t really remember how they turned out. But from the pictures, they don’t seem like they did. Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

      Reply
      • One stick of butter was perfect and they came out so well! The icing is incredibly tasty, too. I am so glad I stumbled onto your site from Pinterest. Will definitely be trying more recipes!

        Reply
  • Hi, tomorrow’s my birthday and i want to make these good looking cupcakes. But i have a question. Does the salt have to be unsalted or salted? >_<

    Reply
  • i live in the uk and have different names for the ingrediants needed what would be suitable to use cake flour = plain flour or sef raising. buttermilk not sure please can you help

    Reply
    • These call for all-purpose and buttermilk is sour milk. Add a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to milk and let it stand for a few minutes. It will curdle a bit and then you have buttermilk.

      Reply

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