Today I want to share with you a recipe that I hold close. My Applesauce Cupcakes with Browned Butter Frosting is an adaptation from a recipe that my grandmother shared with me years ago. She frequently made an applesauce sheet cake with a browned butter icing when I was a child. While I love the recipe as is, I decided to try it out as a cupcake with fluffy buttercream frosting. Try these cupcakes for your next picnic or potluck, they make a great serve-yourself dessert. I like to think of this recipe as an alternative to an apple pie, with no slicing needed!
For me, everything about this recipe gives off a cozy and homemade feel. The taste of apples and cinnamon will fill your home while you bake. The browned butter gives a nutty and toasted flavor to the frosting. I think these cupcakes are great year round, although they make fantastic desserts especially for the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
If you’ve never browned butter before, don’t be scared of this additional step. It’s as simple as warming butter in a saucepan. If you’re not familiar with the process, this article will help with photographs of each step. Once your butter is completely melted, you will want to stir constantly as small flecks of brown develop at the bottom of the pan. This will only take you 5 to 7 minutes.
When filling the cupcake liners with batter, I like to use a large cookie scoop (amazon affiliate link) which is the perfect size to fill a cupcake liner with a single scoop. This ensures that your cupcakes will all turn out the same size! It makes scooping batter a breeze.
What tastes and smells remind you of childhood?
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.
Cream together the sugar, butter, and egg until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add applesauce and vanilla, mix to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.
Add dry ingredients to applesauce mixture, half at a time, until just combined.
Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling each 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir constantly. Butter will begin to foam and boil. After 4 to 5 minutes you will see brown flecks appear in the bottom of the pan. Continue to stir until butter is golden and flecks are a medium brown color. Watch closely, butter will brown quickly. Process will take about 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove butter from heat and pour into a small bowl. Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes, or until butter is cool and begins to solidify.
Whisk confectioner's sugar in a bowl. Add cooled butter, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of milk. Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add more milk if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time until desired texture is reached.
Pipe or spread frosting with a knife onto cupcakes and serve.