Spiced Applesauce Cupcakes

If there is one thing other than tasty recipes that I would like for you all take away from this blog, it is that cooking with your kids around is not only doable, but can be extremely fun and a lot of times down right entertaining.

However, there are certain times when even I wish my kids weren’t in the kitchen.

Times like this past weekend when I volunteered myself to make roughly 60 cupcakes for a baby shower. I thought, “Hey, this will be no big deal. The Hubs can watch the girls and I will just knock those cupcakes out in a few hours.”

Ummmm. Yeah.

Here’s what really went down. That morning, The Hubs offered to help out with some home improvement at his boss’s house. So I was stuck trying to bake cupcakes while The Little Dude played on the computer (thank you, NickJr.com!) and The Monkey napped.  That wasn’t too bad, I managed to get all of the cupcakes baked before she got up. Woot!

I was starting to feel pretty smug about how well it was all going until it came time to frost and decorate the bad boys. Even though The Hubs was back home and doing his best,The Dude just seemed bored. So she looked to me for entertainment. You try explaining to a three year old, why she can’t have a cupcake. 

Me:  “Honey, I’m so sorry but these are cupcakes for my friend’s party.” (Holy crap! I can’t believe I just told her I was going to a party! What was I thinking?!)

Dude:  “Can I come to the party?”

Me:  “No baby. I’m so sorry. You can’t come to the party.”

Dude:  “Well, can I have a taste of frosting?”

And on and on it went.

Then The Monkey, who is normally one of the happiest babies you will ever meet, decided to pick this day to be super cranky, take short naps, and be mega clingy to Mommy.

Oh my.

So what should have been only a few hours worth of work, literally took me all day long.

All. Day.

Basically, I don’t really care if I never see these cupcakes again.

Oh wait. Yes I do. They are delicious.

Everybody really seemed to like them. Including my sweet pregnant friend. Which is all that matters in the end.

Wanna see what they looked like at the shower?

Cute huh?

I can’t take credit for the cupcake design, I saw pictures on the internet of  similar ones that fit this shower’s theme. The whole event was put together by one of my other sweet neighbors who is incredibly creative and crafty. She’s basically an all around know-it-all (in a good way), who I ask advice from on everything from fitness and nutrition tips, to fun fun things to do with my girls, to how to arrange pictures on my walls. I have been pestering her for some time now to start her own blog so she can impart all of her useful knowledge on the world (P.S. I think you should all leave comments telling her to get blogging!).

I mean come on, wouldn’t you like to know how to make stuff like this?

But anywho, lets get back to those cupcakes shall we?

I was kind of going for a mulled apple cider flavor. Something that had a nice fall feel to it. They are so so very moist and tender, and are rich with spices. They have an intense warm sweetness thanks to the molasses, which pairs quite nicely with the less sweet brown sugar cream cheese frosting.

They are the perfect autumn cupckae to bake up this week…and totally easy to do with your kids, so long as you aren’t baking a ton and trying to decorate them for someone else’s party.

Spiced Applesauce Cupcakes

(Adapted from Applesauce Cupcakes from The Lady and Sons, Too! by Paula Deen, and Spice Cake from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham)

Makes 12 cupcakes

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups applesauce

2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat oven to 350

Cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar.

Meanwhile in a separate bowl stir together flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cayenne, and salt. Set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, heat applesauce and baking soda together about 1 minute, until hot. Stir and set aside.

Stir egg, molasses, and vanilla into butter mixture until combined, scraping down sides of bowl once.

Fold in dry ingredients.

Add hot applesauce to the batter and fold in until just combined.

Place in muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

(Adapted from allrecipes.com)

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 tablespoon honey.

Combine cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla.

When mixture is smooth, add in honey.

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