1958 Applesauce Peanut Cupcakes

In 2019, I did a post of vintage Halloween cupcake decorations ideas. It was one of my first Halloween posts on this blog. In it, I showed a pumpkin cupcake where the frosting is tinted orange and Spanish peanuts are used to create a face with a gumdrop used as a stem. I got the decoration idea from a 1958 article. It included a cupcake recipe called Apple Cakelets to use as a base but I did not choose to make them at the time.


Jump to three years later and I recently found the article saved in my recipe folder. Noticing I had everything on hand, I decided to finally give the cupcake a try. Man oh man do I wish I did this earlier. This cupcake cake ended up being such a moist and delicious affair. It is basically a spice cake made with applesauce with a nice salty crunch that is from mixing in chopped peanuts.


Now I think these cupcakes are perfect without frosting but I still included a recipe for a vanilla buttercream because….why not. Also, while I think the chopped peanuts are a nice little addition to the cupcake, they would be just as tasty without them. You can omit them entirely or substitute them with chopped walnuts or pecans. Even some raisins or chopped dates would be a welcome addition to this cupcake.


Applesauce Peanut Cupcakes

  • Servings: 1 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Apple cupcakes with crunch peanuts mixed in from the 1950s.


    • 1 stick or 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
    • 1/3 cup apple juice or water
    • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon allspice
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
    • Vanilla butter cream frosting (recipe follows)
    • Optional: extra chopped peanuts for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake/muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg and mix well.
  4. Stir in the applesauce and juice or water.
  5. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, allspice and cinnamon and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add to the wet ingredients.
  6. Stir in the peanuts.
  7. Pour batter into lined muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Let cool with whatever frosting you desire or the vanilla buttercream frosting that follows. Garnish with extra chopped peanuts if desired.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An easy chocolate frosting.


    • 1 stick or 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    • 3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • Up to four tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, half and half or milk


  1. Place butter into a large mixing bowl and add the confectioners sugar and mix until combined
  2. Add all of the vanilla and the cream or milk one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
  3. Frost the cupcakes and enjoy!


3 thoughts on “1958 Applesauce Peanut Cupcakes

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