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Spice Cupcakes Recipe

Spice Cupcakes Recipe

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
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling YIELD: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


  • 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.

Nutritional Facts

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

Reviews for Spice Cupcakes

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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."

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!"

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."

Reviewed Dec. 10, 2013

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

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."

Reviewed Dec. 8, 2013


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 ."

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."

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"

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!!!"

Reviewed Dec. 8, 2013

"Great and easy."

Reviewed Dec. 8, 2013

"If someone can tell me how to make this without the raisins I'd like to try it. It sounds great, but my family doesn't like raisins soooo . Can you help?"

Reviewed Dec. 8, 2013

"Wondering if you couldn't just make a cake instead of cupcakes? Should work I would imagine."

Reviewed Jan. 19, 2013

"You do add the water with the raisins. It turned out great!"

Reviewed Dec. 3, 2012

"I haven't tried this recipe yet; however to address the raisin water issue, this is how I perceive the instructions:

The recipe gives you a specific amount of water to use when boiling the raisins. It also states not to drain the raisins instead of instructing one to reserve the raisin water. Based on this information, it can be concluded that when the recipe states to add the raisins, this would include the water as well. Otherwise the instructions would state to drain. Once I make the recipe, should I come across difficulties using this thought process I will correct my review."

Reviewed Feb. 19, 2008

"How can I adjust this recipe if I don't wnat to use raisins - do I still need the 2 cups of water? Thank You - LorrainePA"

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