Autumn Harvest Cupcakes Recipe

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix (with pudding)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup Mott's® Natural Applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Frosting:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds removed and set aside
  • Candy:
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Mott's® Natural Applesauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Combine cake mix, pumpkin, applesauce, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice in a large bowl. Using electric mixer, combine until thick cake batter forms.
  3. Portion into prepared cupcake tins, about 2 tablespoons each. Bake for 15-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean and the tops begin to brown.
  4. For the Frosting: With an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip cream cheese and butter until well combined, scraping sides of the bowl as necessary. Add vanilla and whip until incorporated.
  5. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar, one cup at a time, whipping the frosting to incorporate each cup fully before adding the next. Add the vanilla seeds and whip one last time. Spread or pipe onto cupcakes.
  6. For the Candy: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and pecan pieces, if desired.
  7. Combine sugar, water, Mott's(R) Natural Applesauce, cinnamon, and nutmeg to a large saucepan. Heat on medium until mixture starts to boil. Stir regularly until candy reaches hard-crack phase (300 degrees F on a candy thermometer, or until the candy audibly crackles when dropped into a cup of cold water).
  8. Pour prepared candy over powdered sugar and pecan pieces. Allow to completely cool and harden before breaking into pieces. Sprinkle onto frosted cupcakes.