These vanilla-infused cupcakes are made with applesauce as a fat-replacer for butter that's traditionally part of vanilla cake batter. Thickened evaporated milk works as a great base for the rich and creamy chocolate frosting. Dark chocolate lovers, be sure to use bittersweet chocolate.

Stacy Fraser
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2010


Recipe Summary

3 hrs




Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with paper liners.

  • Whisk whole-wheat flour, cake flour, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.

  • Beat granulated sugar and oil in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Scrape the black paste out of the vanilla bean into the sugar mixture. Add applesauce, egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. With the mixer on low, alternately mix in the dry ingredients and 1/2 cup evaporated milk, starting and ending with dry ingredients and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until just combined. Divide the batter among the prepared cups (they will be full).

  • Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

  • To prepare frosting: Meanwhile, whisk 2/3 cup of the remaining evaporated milk, all-purpose flour and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan until no flour lumps remain. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it looks like a thick, stiff paste, 2 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and continue whisking for about 30 seconds to cool slightly. Whisk in chocolate until completely melted. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add confectioners' sugar, cocoa and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate the frosting until thickened and cold, about 2 hours. Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, if desired.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the frosting (Step 5) for up to 3 days. Beat cold frosting with an electric mixer to make it more spreadable, if desired. Store cupcakes airtight at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Equipment: Muffin tin with 12 (1/2-cup) cups, paper liners

Ingredient Note: Look for whole-wheat pastry flour in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.

Tip: If you don't have a vanilla bean, use 1 tablespoon vanilla extract in Step 3 instead.

DIY Muffin Cups: Make your next batch of muffins or cupcakes the ultimate grab-and-go treat by lining your tin with muffin liners. No liners? No problem. Use 5-inch squares of parchment paper, coat each muffin cup with cooking spray, and push each square into the cups using a small can or bottle, pressing the paper up the sides. (It's OK if some of the paper is sticking out over the rim.) Fill each cup as directed.

Nutrition Facts

294 calories; protein 5.1g; carbohydrates 52.5g; dietary fiber 2.2g; sugars 32.4g; fat 7.7g; saturated fat 1.5g; cholesterol 35.3mg; vitamin a iu 134.2IU; vitamin c 0.1mg; folate 44.4mcg; calcium 78.7mg; iron 1.2mg; magnesium 7.8mg; potassium 133.1mg; sodium 252.5mg; thiamin 0.1mg; added sugar 30g.

Reviews (2)

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5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 2 stars
Liquid Frosting I made only the frosting part of this recipe putting it on a vanilla cake. It had a rubbery gooey texture making it somewhat difficult to spread. The cake had to be kept in the fridge and served cold (and hard). At room temperature the frosting liquefies. Pros: Easy Cons: Messy Read More
Rating: 1 stars
Terrible These came out terrible. I followed the instructions exactly even bought the special flours instead of just using all purpose. The cupcake was dense and gluey the frosting tasted like paste. Overall this was terrible I couldn't even finish one. My husband who will usually eat anything said this was quite possibly the worst cupcake he has ever had. Will definitely not be making this again. Pros: There is nothing good I can say about these Cons: Expensive ingredients gluey texture Read More
Rating: 2 stars
More like a huge muffin Made these yesterday and they baked up beautifully nice high domed tops however they seem way too large for a cupcake. The texture was good... for a muffin not at all cake-like. The frosting as made was not good until I whipped in 3 tablespoons of butter. Thad addition made the frosting one of the best I've ever tasted like milk chocolate frosting. Pros: Very filling Cons: Very large texture of a muffin icing dull Read More
Rating: 4 stars
kids love it Great recipe! Me and my kids did this for snack and my kids asked for us to make some more! We used to have the Banana Fritters we found on but it's nice to try new things. I often check it out for recipes and cooking information including this website for different moods and occasions. Thanks for this appetizing recipe! By the way here's the link to the mentioned recipe: Pros: tasty smooth easy to make taste is easily adjustable and of course loved by my kids Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I made these cupcakes for my husband to take in to work and the cake tasted more like muffin rather than cake. The frosting did not turn out as it looks in the turned out as more of a glaze. Overall these were OK but not really worth a second try. Read More