Saturday, May 8, 2010

Apple Spice Cupcakes

1 pkg (18 1/4 ounces) spice cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
3 eggs
1/3 cup applesauce


1 pkg (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar
Red paste or liquid food coloring
24 pieces black licorice (3/4 inch)
12 green spice gumdrops

In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, water, eggs & applesauce on low speed for 30 seconds. Then, beat on medium for 2 minutes.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350° F for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

While cupcakes are cooling, in a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter & vanilla until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until smooth. Stir in food coloring.

Frost tops of cupcakes. Insert licorice into centers for apple stems. Cut gumdrops in half; flatten & pinch to form leaves. Place one leaf next to each stem.

Makes 24 cupcakes.
TIP: Without the frosting, you can use these cupcakes as a quick breakfast if desired.