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Apple Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 24 cupcakes

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp apple pie spice

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

½ cup light brown sugar, packed

4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups applesauce, unsweetened

 

Preheat oven to 350.  Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.  Whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, apple pie spice, nutmeg, and cloves.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  Reduce speed to low, add applesauce and then the flour mixture.  Beat until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarter full.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Transfer tins to a wire rack to cool completely before removing cupcakes.  Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in an airtight container.

 

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

·         1 package (8 ounces) organic Neufchatel cheese, room temperature

·         ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

·         1 cup confectioners’ sugar

·         1 ½ vanilla extract

·         ¼ to ½ tsp cinnamon

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth; beat in vanilla and cinnamon.  Top each cupcake with 2 tbsp of frosting and spread to cover.  You can also pipe the frosting onto the tops of the cupcakes.

Frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated up to 3 days in airtight container; bring to room temperature before serving.

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