Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes 
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1-1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 cup (about 4 ounces) toasted pecans, chopped (see tips)
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup (stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line standard muffin tons with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, 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 flour mixture, beating until just combined after each. Stir in pecans by hand.
- Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, eighteen to twenty minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to two months, in airtight containers.
To make the frosting:
- With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar until smooth. Use immediately, or refrigerate up to three days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth. Makes 2-1/2 cups
- To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. You can also use a piping bag with a large tip, fill and frost cupcakes. Frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated up to three days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before serving.
Makes eighteen cupcakes
Toasted Nuts: Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread nuts evenly on a rimmed baking sheet; toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, eight to ten minutes. (Watch carefully to prevent burning.) Transfer nuts to a plate; let cool completely.