1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a standard 12-cup
muffin tin and a 6-cup tin with paper liners. Sift the
flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and
cloves together into a medium bowl. Set aside.
Put 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, the granulated
sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar in the bowl of an electric
mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream
on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.
Mix in the eggs, 1 at a time. On low speed, mix in
the applesauce and then the flour mixture. Stir in
the nuts by hand.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling
each about three-quarters full. Bake until a tester inserted
in the centers comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.
Let cool completely in the tins on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, in the clean bowl of the electric
mixer, mix the cream cheese with the remaining 8
tablespoons (1 stick) butter and 1 cup brown sugar
on medium speed until smooth. Spread the cream
cheese frosting on the muffins. The muffins can be
refrigerated in airtight containers up to 2 days.