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Posted on Thu, Sep 10, 2009 : 7 a.m.

“You Should Only Be Happy” … bringing applesauce cupcakes to work

By Mary Bilyeu

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It was a long day yesterday, preceded by many other long days and ahead of still more long days during our busy season at work. While others might be inclined to fall asleep in front of the TV to relax, my idea of stress relief is to bake. So bake I did, last night! (Sorry to sound so Yoda-ish there.) My co-workers are as stressed out as I am, and I thought they deserved a treat … therefore, there are cupcakes to bring to work today (rather than my gorging greedily upon them myself and destroying my pancreas!).
Bilyeu Applesauce Cupcakes.JPG
I put some of my very first jug of cider for this season to use both in the cake batter and in the frosting - why be stingy with something so wonderful???

As I’ve explained in my recent posts about biscotti and challah, food items that are pareve (PAHRv) are neither meat nor dairy; so those who keep kosher can eat them at any time of day and with any meal and not have to worry about mixing meat and dairy, which is forbidden. These cupcakes are pareve if you use the Earth Balance butter substitute, which doesn’t affect the apple-y taste of the frosting at all. My personal opinion is that butter is always better; but I am a noted feeder of people, and I can’t feed people who keep kosher or who have dairy allergies (all of the above are represented at work) unless I make things pareve. But truly, if I hadn’t told you that these weren’t made with real butter, you’d never know the difference … they’re THAT good!

Bilyeu Applesauce Cupcake on a Plate.JPG

Applesauce Cupcakes with Honey-Cider Buttercream Frosting

Cupcakes: 2-1/2 cups flour 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 cup applesauce 1 egg 1 cup apple cider 1/4 cup honey

Frosting: 1 cup Earth Balance butter substitute or butter, softened 4 tablespoons honey 6 tablespoons apple cider 4-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Make cupcakes: In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and brown sugar. In a small bowl, combine applesauce, egg, 1 cup apple cider, and 1/4 cup honey; pour liquid over dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Divide among the muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into them comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Make frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter substitute, 4 tablespoons honey and 6 tablespoons cider using an electric mixer. Add confectioners’ sugar bit-by-bit and continue to mix until the frosting is creamy. Frost cupcakes and serve.

Makes 16 cupcakes.

Mary Bilyeu has won or placed in more than 60 cooking contests and writes about her adventures as she tries to win prizes, feeds hungry teenagers and other loved ones, and generally just has fun in the kitchen. The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured next to the blog's title) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15, and is a wish for all her readers as they cook along with her ... may you always be happy here!


Mary Bilyeu

Thu, Sep 10, 2009 : 9:25 a.m.

Thanks, Jen! That was my goal -- offer another recipe that's perfect for Rosh Hashanah with the apples and honey, but also one that's just simply good for the Fall after trips to the cider mill. (By the time I'm done next week, anyone who wants to will be able to put on an entire R.H. dinner with challah, Cider Chicken being posted on Tuesday, cupcakes, and whatever I make this weekend.) These would also be a nice way to break the fast during Ramadan or after Yom Kippur....

Jennifer Shikes Haines

Thu, Sep 10, 2009 : 8:04 a.m.

These look soooooo good, Mary! Also, you've managed to hit apples and honey for a sweet new year, as you all prep for the holidays!