These moist, spicy cupcakes with creamy caramel frosting are a delicious treat. The recipe has been in my family for years. When I was growing up, it seemed these cupcakes were always in the freezer, just waiting to be snitched one at a time! —Carla Hodenfield, Ray, North Dakota
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon each ground allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup half-and-half cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- Coarsely chopped walnuts, optional
- In a large saucepan, bring water and raisins to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature (do not drain).
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Stir in raisins. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture until well blended. Stir in walnuts.
- Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack.
- For frosting, in a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cream and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat; cook and stir until smooth. Stir in butter and vanilla. Remove from the heat; cool slightly. Stir in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Frost cupcakes; top with nuts if desired. Yield: 14 cupcakes.
Originally published as Spice Cupcakes in Reminisce May/June 1998, p49
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