Pecan and Apple Spice Cupcakes with Yogurt Glaze

Growing up, my favorite cake has always been the perfectly Autumnal carrot cake. Maybe having an October birthday just destined me to love all things with nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. This year, though, I thought I would try a lighter take on the fall spice cake. These cupcakes taste deceptively decadent, but come in at just under 200 calories each. The yogurt glaze is a light take on cream cheese frosting – it adds the tartness but doesn’t overwhelm the delicate apple flavor.


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 tsp baking soda
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons rum (optional)
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 medium Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, or Braeburn apples (any sweet, firm variety will do) – peeled, cored, and diced in 1/3 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 4 oz 1% fat Greek Yogurt (or drain plain yogurt with no preservatives or thickeners overnight in cheesecloth)
  • 1/2 tbs vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (measured, then sifted)
  • pecan halves (for decoration)


  1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°, then prepare 2 cupcake pans with liners.
  2. Whisk first 7 ingredients in medium bowl.
  3. Using electric mixer, beat the butter and yogurt in a large bowl until fluffy and smooth.
  4. Add both sugars and beat until smooth.
  5. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Beat in vanilla, then bourbon, if desired.
  7. Add flour mixture to egg mixture in 3 additions alternately with applesauce in 2 additions, beating until blended after each addition.
  8. Stir in apples and pecans.
  9. Ladle the batter into the cupcake pan, filling each mold about 1/2 inch from the top of the liner.
  10. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted into center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 22 minutes.
  11. Transfer cakes to racks and cool in pans 15 minutes.

Yogurt Glaze Directions:

  1. Beat yogurt and vanilla with an electric mixer in a small bowl until smooth
  2. Sift in powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  3. Keep adding powdered sugar until the glaze thickens and reaches the sweetness you prefer.
  4. Put the glaze in the refrigerator while you finish baking the cupcakes and letting them cool, for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Use a small spatula to spread each cupcake with about a tablespoon of glaze, then immediately press a single pecan half on top.
  6. After the cupcakes have cooled completely, transfer to the refrigerator until 1 hour before serving. The yogurt glaze will spoil if left at room temperature too long (but ours made it at least 4 hours without any trouble).

4 responses to “Pecan and Apple Spice Cupcakes with Yogurt Glaze

  1. Sounds and looks absolutely delicious ..
    Laila ..

  2. These look so tasty! I’ll have to try them. The most recent favorite recipe at our house is pumpkin bread…I made it as muffins, and they were just as delish!

    Have you worn your cute new coat? I heard it’s cold where you are!

  3. I just realized that I totally stole your layout a long time ago when I set up my site. I’m shopping for a new one now, and still haven’t found one to replace it…

  4. lea cavendish


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