Design to Dish: Applesauce Muffins with Caramel Glaze

Written by Melissa of  Lulu the Baker

fall autumn harvest party ideas

A few years ago, I read an article in a magazine about a family who planted espaliered apple trees around their garden fence and hosted a huge cider-pressing party each fall with their extended family. That’s pretty much the most perfect idea in the history of the world, don’t you think? I love autumn, I love parties, and I love apple cider, so a cider-pressing party really sounds like the perfect afternoon. Someday, I’m going to plant a big garden and with espalier apple trees all around the border and I’ll throw my own cider-pressing party, where you can all come drink fresh cider with me, eat delicious apple snacks, and enjoy the crisp, autumn air.

Speaking of apple snacks, these applesauce muffins coated in a luscious caramel glaze are ridiculously delicious. I made a batch for my kids’ after-school snack on their first day of school this year and I won’t tell you how many I ate (let’s just say it was roughly half the batch). The muffins are lightly spiced and lightly sweetened, and the buttery brown-sugar glaze is so good you’ll find yourself scraping the saucepan and eating it with a spoon! The applesauce muffins are sweet enough for dessert, but not so sweet that they can’t be perfect for breakfast or for a fall cider-pressing party! Keep reading for the recipe…

1. Tractor Pull Invitations from Minted: I did something a little different with the Minted invitation for this post’s inspiration board. I couldn’t find one that was exactly what I wanted, so I customized a really cute children’s birthday party invitation and changed the wording!
2. Fresh cider in a rustic serving jar, from
3. Twig caramel apples, from The Ardent Sparrow
4. Printable apple flags & tags, from Lulu the Baker
5. Applesauce Muffins with Caramel Glaze, recipe below

applesauce muffins cider pressing party autumn fall

Applesauce Muffins with Caramel Glaze
This recipe is a long-time favorite of my sister’s, who got it from a friend in college.

For the muffins:
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup applesauce

For the glaze:
2 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or spray with nonstick spray. Cream butter, sugar, and egg in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the applesauce. Mix until just combined. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin tins. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool completely before glazing.

To prepare the glaze, combine butter, milk, and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and boil vigorously for 1 minute. Remove from heat and beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Immediately pour hot glaze over cooled muffins. I used a spoon to pour some glaze on each muffin, but my sister just picks her muffins up and dunks the tops in the glaze. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Find more of Melissa on her blog.

  1. That glaze looks spectacular! Love these muffins and all the ideas for fall! 🙂

    • Melissa

      Thanks, Laura! I had such a fun time putting this board together! Happy Fall!

  2. I eat apples year-round, but this time of year warms my heart. I want to go to a cider pressing party!

    • Melissa

      I know! Doesn’t a cider-pressing party just sound so cozy and perfect?!