Applesauce Cupcakes with Browned Butter Frosting are an easy fall dessert to make from scratch. These cupcakes are moist, filled with apple and cinnamon flavor, and topped with a rich browned butter frosting.
For me, everything about applesauce cupcakes 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.
I also have a great recipe for Applesauce Spice Bars with Browned Butter Icing. Obviously, it’s one of my favorite combinations!
How To Make Applesauce Cupcakes
First, preheat your oven, line your cupcake pan with liners, and grab your ingredients.
For this recipe, you’ll need unsalted butter, an egg, all-purpose flour (or cake flour for a fluffier, more tender cupcake), unsweetened applesauce, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
First, add your butter and sugar to a large bowl. Beat until creamed together. Then, add your egg and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together all of your dry ingredients. Then, add half of your dry ingredients, mix until just combined, then add half of your applesauce, mixing until just combined. Repeat once more until all ingredients are incorporated.
Your batter will be thick, as pictured.
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.
When checking your cupcakes for doneness, try sticking a toothpick into the center of one cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, or with crumbs – your cupcakes are done.
If the toothpick comes out with wet batter – your cupcakes need a few more minutes of baking.
How to Make Browned Butter Frosting
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 until it begins to caramelize.
Simply melt your butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Once your butter is completely melted, you will want to stir frequently while small flecks of brown develop at the bottom of the pan.
When your butter begins to brown, it will happen quickly. You’ll see deep golden flecks covering the bottom of your pan. Remove your pan from the heat and allow your butter to cool to room temperature.
To speed this process up, I pour my browned butter into a small bowl and refrigerate it for 15-20 minutes, or until the butter begins to solidify. You’re looking for room temperature butter, not cold butter.
Once your butter has cooled, whip it in a large bowl until creamy. Then, add your confectioner’s sugar, half at a time, until combined.
Last, add your vanilla extract and heavy cream and whip until fluffy. This recipe will make enough frosting to pipe frosting onto all 18 cupcakes as shown in the photos. Or, spread onto the top of each cupcake with a knife.
Applesauce Cupcake Troubleshooting
Cupcakes can be tricky if you’ve never made them before. Here are a few tips for success!
When making cupcakes, the most important thing to remember is do not over-mix your batter. When you beat the batter, you’re slowly whipping air into it, making it fluffier. This can cause several issues:
- You will end up with more batter than you think you should. So, after you fill your cupcake papers, you’ll have “extra” batter. In reality, your cupcakes will be under-filled once they bake.
- When you bake an over-mixed batter, it will rise rapidly, then fall and sink in the middle due to the excess air being released.
To avoid this, simply mix just until the ingredients have been combined into your batter. If you’re worried about over-mixing, just use a spoon instead of a mixer.
Also, room temperature ingredients are important when creaming together your wet ingredients. This ensures that your ingredients incorporate completely, leaving no clumps of butter or egg unmixed.
Looking for more cupcake and frosting recipes? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Easy White Cupcakes
- Whipped Buttercream Frosting
- Homemade Classic Vanilla Cupcakes
- Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Classic American Buttercream Frosting
Applesauce Cupcakes with Browned Butter Frosting
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup applesauce
Browned Butter Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add butter and sugar and cream together. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir until just incorporated. Add half of the applesauce and mix until just incorporated. Repeat once more until all ingredients are incorporated into batter. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling each 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 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.
Browned Butter Frosting
- 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 has cooled to room temperature and beings to solidify.
- Add browned butter to a large bowl and whip until creamy. Add confectioner's sugar, half at a time, mixing slowly to incorporate. Increase speed and whip for 2 minutes until fluffy.
- Then, add vanilla extract and heavy cream. Whip another 2-3 minutes, or until frosting is fluffy.
- Pipe or spread frosting with a knife onto cupcakes and serve.