Preheat oven to 375 degrees Celsius. Prepare a muffin tin by lining with paper liners or lightly greasing with non stick spray.
In a bowl beat the butter until soft and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and beat again until fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat in until combined, one at a time. Add in the applesauce and mix until just combined.
In a small bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat just until combined.
Divide evenly among the 12 muffin cups. Place in the oven and bake for 17-19 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and cupcakes are beginning to turn golden.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes before removing and placing on a cooling rack.
Make sure you measure just slightly under 1 C of applesauce, especially if using a thinner store bought applesauce. I use a full cup of my homemade applesauce since I like mine a little thicker than typical store bought applesauce is.