05 November 2010

Cupcakes, Penguins and Bears, Oh MY!*

Applesauce Cupcakes w/ Caramel Frosting 

Makes 36 cupcakes
-3 cups all-purpose flour
-1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
-4 teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 1/2  teaspoons salt
-2 teaspoons cinnamon
-1 teaspoon ground ginger
-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
-2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
-4 large eggs, room temp
-3 cups unsweetened applesauce, room temp
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or 325 for convection oven).  Line cupcake pans with paper liners. 
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a separate mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at high speed until light in color and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.  On low speed, alternate adding in applesauce and dry ingredients, beginning and ending with dry, until just combined. The batter may look a little curdly and uneven.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake until a wooden pick inserted into center of a cupcake comes out clean or tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove from pans as soon as possible and place on racks to cool completely.  Frost with Caramel Buttercream (recipe follows).
Adapted from the always brilliant smittenkitchen.

Caramel Buttercream (Dark Penuche Frosting)
Makes enough to frost 48 cupcakes or one large 3-layer cake (i.e. you will have some leftover) 

-2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
-2 cups packed dark brown sugar
-1 tsp salt
-1/2-3/4 cup milk
-2 tsp vanilla
-6 cups confectioners sugar 

Melt together 2 sticks of butter, salt and dark brown sugar.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.
Whisking constantly, cook 5 minutes on medium.  Stir in half a stick of butter, one tablespoon at a time and 1/2 cup milk.
Boil 2 minutes more.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Beat in powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, adding more milk if necessary, 1 T at a time.  Beat until lighter in color and fluffy.  Frost cooled cupcakes immediately. 

Applesauce cupcakes, sans frosting.  
They were almost as tasty unadorned as they were covered in frosting.

A very happy penguin!

An ornery cupcake, impatiently waiting for her first "real" Trick Or Treat, was not in the mood for pictures.

A growing boy, enamored with his sister, listens to a story.  She's a fantastic storyteller.

And it was a pretty hilarious tale.

How sweet as pie is this wee face?
*Apologies for the corny title.  I couldn't help myself.


  1. I have SO seen that face before! (The one Olivia's sporting;) Cute cute cute kiddos.

  2. I love your blog and all of the healthy recipes on it! I am definitely going to make a few things starting with these cupcakes :)