Gracie and I made these this last fall, she was 3 years old. We had so much fun here in Nana's kitchen baking these muffins. Gracie really enjoys helping in the kitchen.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups store-bought applesauce
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
We added just a little bit of ground allspice also.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin and a 6-cup tin with paper liners. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves together into a medium bowl. Set aside.
Put 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, the granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs, one at a time. On low speed, mix in applesauce and then flour mixture. Stir in nuts by hand.
Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely in tins on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, in the clean bowl of electric mixer, mix cream cheese with remaining 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter and 1 cup brown sugar on medium speed until smooth. Spread cream-cheese frosting on muffins.
Muffins can be refrigerated in airtight containers up to 2 days.