Vegan Applesauce Spice Cupcakes With Maple Cinnamon Icing

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I have a love for apples in deserts. There is no other fruit out there (except maybe coconut) that I find myself wanting in my pies, cakes, and cobblers (also my peanut butter!). Applesauce spice cake is especially good to me because it’s so moist, it’s like eating a decadent pound cake…without all the pounds! Using apple cider vinegar in this recipe helps bring out even more of the apple flavor, but make sure that it is unfiltered and organic!

When I think of apples and desserts, I remember when I lived in northern California. Apple Hill was only a small drive away and any delicious apple treat that I could dream of, was there waiting for me to eat. I vaguely remember an applesauce spice bread that had a maple icing on top, and I used to stuff my face with it. I had to find a vegan version of that cake, and this tastes just like it!

I first made this cake in two Wilton bread pans for our potluck dinner with friends, and it turned out AMAZING! We all ate both loaves and pretty much licked the pan clean. I decided to make this for Silas for a Saturday morning breakfast cupcake, which is why they are in cupcake form! These cupcakes can be made sugar free by substituting maple syrup for the brown sugar (and omitting the icing).


Vegan Applesauce Spice Cupcakes

Serves 24
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 18 minutes
Total time 28 minutes
Dietary Vegan
Meal type Breakfast, Dessert



  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar (to make this cake sugar free, substitute 1 1/4 cup pure maple syrup for the sugar!)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Cupcakes (Optional)

  • 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)

Maple Cinnamon Icing

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1-3 tablespoon water


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Either grease your cupcake pan or line it with cupcake liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, salt, flax, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of your wet ingredients; applesauce, brown sugar, canola oil, apple-cider vinegar, and vanilla extract.
4. Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and whisk together until JUST mixed. Do not over mix. If you are adding the walnuts, gently fold them into the batter now.
5. Fill cupcakes 2/3 full and pop them into the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until you can stick a knife/toothpick into them and it comes out clean.
6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
Maple Cinnamon Icing
7. Whisk together powdered sugar, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Slowly add only 1 Tbsp. of water at a time, to the mixture until it is just right.
8. Drizzle the icing over the cooled cupcakes and enjoy!
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