TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur
1/3 cup butter, softened
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
6 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
2. Beat in applesauce and vanilla (mixture may appear curdled). Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with liqueur, beating well after each addition.
3. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
4. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in liqueur. Add confectioners’ sugar; beat until smooth. Pipe over tops of cupcakes. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 2 dozen.