for the cupcakes
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
for the frosting
1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup store-bought caramel sauce / 1ce cream topping
2 and 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
additional caramel sauce to drizzle, optional
You will also need: fondant stems and leaves. If you are planning on making a “bouquet”, you will need twigs or wooden dowels.
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a mini-muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Beat in applesauce, vanilla and orange peel. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, place the butter and cream cheese into a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes on med-high speed. Add in the caramel sauce and beat for one minute more. Add in the sifted confectioners sugar and, starting on low, mix until the mixture starts coming together, then turn the speed up and beat until light and smooth. Fill a piping bag and pipe a swirl on each cupcake. Drizzle with additional caramel sauce, if desired. Then place in your stem and leaf fondant decorations. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
To make your bouquet, insert twigs or dowels in the base of each minicake.