This week I am happy to make an announcement. My recipe for Applesauce Carrot Cupcakes won third place in the Our Family Garden Applesauce recipe contest. Now, you might not think 3rd place is a big deal, but this contest was such a joy to participate in for so many reasons other than winning.
First of all, this is a real family business headed by a man named Darvin. Everyone including the children are involved in making the best applesauce I have ever tasted. The applesauce, made from a variety of apples, comes unsweetened or with a touch of honey +/or cinnamon. Darvin sent each participating contestant 6 full size jars plus a gift of jam. His is a kind and generous business. I already felt like I won and my recipe testing had not even started, yet.
Inspired by such kindness and the perfect balance of fresh applesauce sweetness I went on to create 12 new recipes. (These days for most contests I only create 1 or 2 recipes at most.) Truth is this applesauce is so good on its own that it’s almost a crime to transform it into something else. However, it did make every recipe I developed taste not only fantastic, but so much healthier to eat. I eliminated sugar and lots of fat without sacrificing any flavor in everything from baked goods to soups to a Korean style BBQ sauce. Win-Win-Win!
The icing on the cake is that one of my recipe photos was chosen to dress the cover of the cookbook Darvin and his family are putting together. I am just thrilled the family liked my food photography and styling, too.
Here is my winning recipe which was a huge hit at Easter dinner. It’s a healthy carrot cake cupcake makeover utilizing a touch of honey for sweetness and some white whole wheat flour for a wholesome boost in nutrition. Try them for Mother’s Day.Print
Winner of the Family Garden applesauce recipe contest
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3-cup white whole wheat flour
1-teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon fine salt
½ cup canola oil
1-teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2/3-cup Our Family Garden Applesauce Touch of Honey
1 1/3 cups finely grated fresh carrots
1 (8 oz) container mascarpone cheese or cream cheese
¼ cup honey
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 14 muffin cups with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk all purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
- In another large bowl whisk the eggs until lightly beaten. Add honey, oil and lemon juice; whisk until slightly thickened. Stir in the applesauce and grated carrots.
- Add wet ingredients to dry mixture blending until dry ingredients are moistened and well mixed.
- Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter.
- Bake about 20 – 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack, and let cool completely before frosting.
- For frosting, beat mascarpone, honey and vanilla until well blended. Pipe or spoon the frosting on the top of each cupcake.
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate the cupcakes until serving time.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: dessert
- Method: baking
Keywords: applesauce, muffins, mascarpone, carrot cake, honey, snack, cupcakes, frosting