Baking is the art of measure, the science of cookery magic, a delicious alchemy, and proof that precision can be liberating. I am learning to like swiftly whisking dry goods all together, spooning in spices, softening butter with droplets of vanilla, noting then forgetting the difference between baking soda and powder, and pouring batter into a pan, watching the cakes rise up golden in the oven, cooling on the counter, awaiting their peaked frosting caps. I found this recipe at the wonderful Smitten Kitchen. It was easy to follow and made the most delightful little cakes for our family’s Christmas Eve.
Applesauce Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 stick softened, unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple sauce
- 5 oz cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350. Butter cupcake tins (18). Combine with a whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Beat together butter, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, then beat in applesauce. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined. Pour into greased pan. Bake for thirty minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes up clean. Cool completely.
For Frosting: Beat cream cheese, softened butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy. Sift confectioners sugar and cinnamon over mixture, then beat until incorporated. I’m not one to advise licking all the frosting from one of your cakes, but in this instance only, it is highly recommended.
Baking is becoming a kitchen ritual I really enjoy. It seems to make your house a home. Happy Holidays from all of us here at From Away! The End.