Applesauce Pecan Buns

Applesauce Pecan Buns

These delicious buns are a great afternoon snack. I love individual desserts- cupcakes of course! - but also buns and tartlets – they’re easy to eat, and awfully cute on a plate. But you can also make a 2 layer 7-inch cake if you like - just double the icing amount, and increase the baking time to 40-45 minutes.

Makes one dozen buns

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Icing:
1/2 pound (one 8-ounce package) cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
Note: To toast the pecans, place on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant.

To make the buns:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and lightly flour one dozen bun cups.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the applesauce and the sugar, and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, and the vanilla, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in two parts. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully scoop the batter into the bun cups- a large ice cream scoop works great- filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the bun comes out clean.
Cool the buns in the bun pan for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

To make the frosting:
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and the butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, and beat well. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, beating continuously until smooth.
When the buns have cooled, ice with the frosting and garnish with the pecans.