Chocolate Applesauce Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Delicious chocolate cupcakesSome of my back-to-school memories are from my own school days but most come from putting my children on the bus after their summer holiday. Back in the day, my kids took their lunches to school, which for a conscientious mom is always a challenge. I frequently wondered what they actually ate from their lunch boxes and what they traded.

One time I was sending hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows in my son’s Superman thermos throughout the winter, then one day Brian asked. “Mom, can you make the chocolate milk in my school thermos into hot chocolate?” So it goes for the efficiency of a super hero thermos.  All boys seem to love cookies, so I often sent cookies in Brian’s lunch. I learned later that he was eating the cookies before getting on the school bus.

I suspect the same thing happened with many of the homemade goodies I put in his lunch, including another back-to-school favorite, Chocolate Applesauce Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting.

Chocolate Applesauce Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

½ cup margarine, softened
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2-4 tablespoons powdered cocoa (optional)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups unsweetened applesauce
1 cup nuts, chopped fine

Preheat oven to 375°. Using an electric hand mixer, cream together margarine, sugar and cocoa; add eggs and beat for 1 minute. Add salt, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, flour (no sifting necessary) and applesauce, beat for approximately 2 minutes, or until ingredients are well blended. Stir in chopped nuts (peanuts are best). Fill cupcake liners ¾ full and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Frost cooled cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting (recipe below). Makes 14 cupcakes

Peanut Butter Frosting

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 to 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Blend together first 3 ingredients in a medium-size mixing bowl until smooth and creamy; beat in vanilla. Makes frosting for 14 cupcakes or for one 11” x 13” sheet cake.

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