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Two Sisters, Serial #27 and Browned Butter Cupcakes

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Hello? Hello? You back with us now?

Yeah, Christmas is over (finally got the tree down; the needles–jeez!) and the fireworks of New Year’s have fallen silent (that pop you heard this morning was the neighbor’s old car backfiring in the cold). So it’s back to the business of ordinary life–and in the winter no less. What a bummer.

But not at Reading and Recipes! (Can you hear the kazoo band playing in the background?) We’re fired up to get back into the swing of things, launch our website into post-holiday 2015! 

And to do that we’ve got the perfect R&R recipe–Browned Butter Cupcakes. It’s a little bit trendy (brown butter is all the rage these days), a little bit healthy (applesauce and raisins and nuts), a little bit decadent (as in sweet and rich), and most importantly downright tasty and (pretty) easy. (O.K.–so the browned butter is a wrinkle. But you can learn this trick–got to stretch yourself in this great new year!)

Business as usual ain’t so bad–not with a little help from your friends at Reading and Recipes!

browned butter frosting topped applesauce nut cakes

Browned Butter Cupcakes


4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup applesauce

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped nuts, optional

1/4 cup raisins, optional


4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon milk

applesauce nut cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with 6 liners and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg until well incorporated. Stir in the vanilla and applesauce until all ingredients are mixed together. Slowly stir in the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon until everything just comes together, careful not to over mix the batter. Fold in the nuts and raisins, if using.

Divide the cake batter between the 6 liners. Bake in preheated oven for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by browning the butter over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Be careful not to burn the butter. When the butter is ready, it will become a dark caramel brown and be very aromatic. Remove the butter from the heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Stir in the vanilla, 1 cup powdered sugar, and milk until all ingredients are mixed together. (If you want a thicker frosting, add 1/4-1/2 cup more powdered sugar.) Frost the cooled cupcakes.

Makes 6 cupcakes.

applesauce nut cupcake with browned butter frosting

{Adapted from Mott’s Applesauce}

Click below to listen to or read Serial #27 of “Two Sisters”.

Two Sisters, Serial #27, audio © Jeffrey Anderson

Two Sisters, Serial #27, text © Jeffrey Anderson


About Elaine

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