Spice Cupcakes Recipe
Spice Cupcakes Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Spice Cupcakes Recipe

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4.5 16 20
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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
Recommended: Top 10 Cupcake Recipes
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:14 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES: 14 servings


  • 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

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 357 calories, 12g fat (4g saturated fat), 25mg cholesterol, 257mg sodium, 61g carbohydrate (46g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.


  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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riverwoman User ID: 7667256 239011
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2015

"Delicious cupcakes and frosting, and easy to make. I baked and iced these a week before Thanksgiving and put them in the freezer. They were just as good after freezing as the day I baked them. I actually boiled the raisins late in the afternoon and then decided not to bake that day so I stored the raisins & juice in the refrigerator overnight. The next day I brought this to room temperature and continued with the recipe. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I did spices just as they were written and it was perfect. Thank you for sharing your recipe."

buecm8 User ID: 8552971 233741
Reviewed Sep. 30, 2015

"My 3-year-old son and I just made these and they are wonderful! Satisfies the sweet tooth without being too sweet, great texture, and very easy to make with a young one. We didn't have raisins on hand, so to get the batter moist enough, we substituted with 1 cup of his Mott's for Tots apple juice, which is kind of like watered-down traditional juice. It worked beautifully. We didn't even add icing, they were good on their own. I'm saving this recipe!"

stephmat User ID: 7983341 23639
Reviewed Sep. 11, 2014

"Made these today and they were very good but next time I'm going to try wolfmommy's idea and soak the raisins in rum first."

a2zpair User ID: 3693271 47227
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2013

"Can this be made in a loaf instead of cupcakes? It sounds awesome!"

wolfmommy User ID: 6325648 202664
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2013

"Made these today with a small variation. I soaked the raisins in spiced rum then added water to the rum to reach the 2 cups. Finished the cupcakes as written. Then added a teaspoon spiced rum instead of vanilla to the frosting. My husband raved and wants me to make these often."

Leigh111999 User ID: 7485283 23285
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2013


amusick911 User ID: 527494 52109
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2013

"If you don't want to use the raisins, substitute 3/4 to 1 cup of applesauce....or enough applesauce (to your liking) to make the batter moist ."

LynnieV User ID: 4421751 48315
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2013

"I haven't tried this yet. But for those of you who don't like raisins, you could grind them in the blender and then cook them with the water. That way, you have the moisture with the raisins, but not the texture that so many people don't like with cooked raisins. I've done this with cookies and it turns out great."

cdgalin User ID: 1685949 27876
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2013

"to all who want to make this without can't, find another recipe...

or you could use craisins or dried cherries instead"

silverfox2951 User ID: 6536833 27866
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2013

"People are making a mountain out of a molehill about the raisin-water thing. It says, in parenthesis , do not drain. How much more clearer could she have been! Btw Carla, I can see why this recipe has remained in your family for years. It is delicious!! Thank you!!!"

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