Nutmeg Cupcakes or Muffins

Reader Contribution by Staff
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These nutmeg cupcakes with lemon-cream cheese frosting are a delicious winter dessert, but they’re also great served warm without the frosting for breakfast.

Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes

To make the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground or 1/4 tsp freshly grated 
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground 
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1/3 cup applesauce 
  • 1 cup raw sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 cup yogurt, buttermilk or kefir 
  • 1 cup ripe bananas, smashed (from about 2 bananas) 
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and grated (The large holes on a cheese
    grater work well for this job.) 


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a muffin pan or line
    it with cupcake holders.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients, and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla, then beat the eggs in one at a time.
    Fold in the yogurt, followed by the dry ingredients, mixing until just
    combined. Fold in the bananas and apples. Fill each cupcake cup about 2/3 full.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, checking every couple of minutes afterward,
    until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to
    a wire rack to cool.
  5. Serve as muffins or top with the following frosting to serve as
    cupcakes. Add a fresh grating of nutmeg over the top.

To make the lemon-cream cheese frosting:

  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, softened 
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 cup powdered sugar 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • Zest of one lemon 
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice 


  1. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar.
  3. Stir in the vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice.

To assemble the cupcakes:

Frost each cooled cupcake with a butter knife or piped through a frosting bag. Assemble the cupcakes on a serving tray or plate. Hold a
nutmeg grater or microplane over the cupcakes and grate a dusting of fresh nutmeg
over the tops.

Photo by Tim Nauman Photography