Applesauce Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

Okay, so my dad had made a bunch of apple sauce this August because we have way too many apple trees in our backyard and my mom and I were not there to eat them all. So when I got home from my travels I saw a good gallon of applesauce in the fridge and my mom told me to get rid of. So, light bulb, applesauce cupcakes!

After the cupcakes were baked I made some caramel butter cream and candied some apple peels to use as garnish. They turned out really cute and the texture was really wonderful and moist.

The buttercream recipe calls for you to incorporate the caramel fully into the buttercream, but, I like the way it tastes and looks when you leave a little of the caramel un-melted into the buttercream and you are left over with thin strands of caramel that you can see and taste in your frosting 🙂

I think these cupcakes would also taste yummy with walnut and raisins. I’d say about 1 cup of each.



2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 stick butter
1 large egg
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. applesauce

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Stir together the flour, soda, baking powder, and spices.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and then slowly add a portion of the dry ingredients, then a little of the applesauce, and continue alternating wet and dry ingredients, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Add the vanilla at the end.

Pour into lined cupcake tin. Fill the cupcakes 2/3 of the way. Let bake for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out perfectly clean.


[From Martha Stewart’s Cupcake book]


Makes about 4 cups

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Bring 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar and the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Wash sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Cook, undisturbed, until caramel is dark amber. Remove from heat, and slowly add cream, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth. Let cool.
  2. Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Place whites and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.
  4. Remove from heat, and attach bowl to a mixer. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add beaten butter, cup at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla.
  5. Switch to paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, add caramel, and beat until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Use immediately, or cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)


apple peels


Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Lightly roll the apple peels in sugar. Put the candied apple peels onto the wax paper,turn the oven off and leave in oven overnight or until completely dry, at least 6 hours.

To assemble:

Pipe Caramel buttercream onto cupcakes and place a few peels onto the caramel as garnish. Enjoy 🙂

I’m pretty sure I put my oven on too high because the peels burnt slightly. But they still looked pretty as a garnish and tasted alright.

I ran out of buttercream, as I said, I like to high hat the frosting on my cupcakes. So, I made some simple glaze out of cream, vanilla and powdered sugar and dipped the rest of the cupcakes in the glaze.

Hope you had a good Labor Day weekend!




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