Winner of an Applesauce



This week I am happy to announce that I won third place in the Our Family Garden Applesauce recipe contest. Now, you might not think 3rd place is a big deal, but this contest was such a joy to participate in for so many reasons other than winning.


First of all this is a real family business headed by a man named Darvin. Everyone including the children are involved in making the best applesauce I have ever eaten. The applesauce, made from a variety of apples, comes unsweetened or with a touch of honey +/or cinnamon. Darvin sent each participating contestant 6 full size jars of his well-made product plus a gift of a jar of jam….just because his is a kind and generous business. I already felt like I won and my recipe testing had not even started, yet.





Inspired by such kindness and the perfect balance of fresh applesauce sweetness I went on to create 12 new recipes. (These days for most contests I only create 1 or 2 recipes at most.) Truth is this applesauce is so good on its own that it’s almost a crime to transform it into something else, but, my oh my, did it make every recipe I developed taste not only fantastic, but so much healthier to eat. I eliminated sugar and lots of fat without sacrificing any flavor in everything from baked goods to soups to a Korean style BBQ sauce. Win-Win-Win!


The icing on the cake is that one of my recipe photos was chosen to dress the cover of the cookbook Darvin and his family are putting together. I am just thrilled the family liked my food photography and styling, too.

Here is my winning recipe which was a huge hit at Easter dinner. It’s a healthy carrot cake cupcake makeover utilizing a touch of honey for sweetness and some white whole wheat flour for a wholesome boost in nutrition. Try them for Mother’s Day.

Honey Frosted Carrot Cupcakes

  • Servings: 14
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup all purpose flour

1/3-cup white whole wheat flour

1-teaspoon baking soda

1-teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon fine salt

2 eggs

1/3-cup honey

½ cup canola oil

1-teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2/3-cup Our Family Garden Applesauce Touch of Honey

1 1/3 cups finely grated fresh carrots


1 (8 oz) container mascarpone cheese or cream cheese

¼ cup honey

½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 14 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk all purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside. In another large bowl whisk the eggs until lightly beaten. Add honey, oil and lemon juice; whisk until slightly thickened. Stir in the applesauce and grated carrots. Add wet ingredients to dry mixture blending until dry ingredients are moistened and well mixed. Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter. Bake about 20 – 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack, and let cool completely before frosting. For frosting, beat mascarpone, honey and vanilla until well blended. Pipe or spoon the frosting on the top of each cupcake. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate the cupcakes until serving time. Can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.


My favorite jelly bean and now taste tester in her Easter dress


15 thoughts on “Winner of an Applesauce

  1. Congrats again Sis!
    Great recipes, pictures and the cutest jelly bean taste tester!
    Luv ya, 💞

  2. So that carrot cake photo and recipe hijacked my thoughts, but Annabelle’s photo stole my heart!<3

  3. Great job with the 3rd place finish. Always good when you can reduce fat/calories without sacrificing deliciousness!

  4. I’m so happy for you Lisa! Congrats! I find so much joy looking at your food photography and reading about your applesauce recipes that it makes me want to bake and you know how much I don’t like to bake!! ❤️

  5. Lisa, I love this post about Darvin and the wonderful applesauce contest. I also created and sent in several recipes, which was unusual for me because of the photography involved. (Still working on my picture-taking skills!)
    I htink I can speak for many of us who love to enter recipe contests when I say this one was truly memorable in the most postive way. Congrats on the win, sweet friend.
    BTW, your beautfiul Annabelle is certainly starting to look like a little girl instead of a baby!

    • And big congrats with your second place win with those luscious looking brownies. I look forward to trying those, too. The is her birthday month. Can’t believe she is two already.

  6. Congratulations on your win! The cupcakes sound good, and look beautiful! I agree this contest was a winner all way round. Darvin was not only generous, but caring for all. Delicious applesauce, too!

    • Really a pleasure to witness that this type of business man exists. A great product from a great person.

  7. Congratulations Lisa! Great pic’s, great recipe and that little dollie is so darn cute! Thinking of making this as a Bundt cake instead…anything I need to do different besides longer bake time?

  8. You are such a great recipe creator, Lisa that I wasn’t surprised that you placed in the applesauce contest! I enjoyed my applesauce too and creating recipes. I sent in 3……a hummus, a dip and a Hawaiian chicken. Your cupcakes look so good! I think I’ll have to make them soon, but it will have to be with store bought applesauce!!!! And Annabelle is getting to be such a little lady! I love seeing photos of her!!!! ❤

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