Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan and line with cupcake liners
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and butter. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute and then on high speed for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating the first for one minute, before adding the next and beating that egg for one minute before adding in the next one. Mix 1 minute.
Next you are going to alternate adding in the dry ingredients and applesauce into the wet ingredients. You should begin with the dry and end with the dry (so a cup of the dry, ¼ of the apple sauce, etc.). Beat on low speed until mixed together. Add in the water until well incorporated.
Fill muffin cups ⅔ with batter and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool 5 minutes before moving to cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Instructions for the Frosting:
In a large mixing bowl, add the butter. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute and then on high speed for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and milk.
Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Slowly add in the rest of the powdered sugar until the frosting forms stiff peaks. Put aside ⅓ of the frosting and add in the food coloring to the remining ⅔.
Prepare your piping bags and add the plain frosting to one piping bag and frost a thin layer on top of the cupcakes. Turn the ice cream cones upside down onto the cupcakes. Add the green frosting to the second bag and frost each cone in any pattern you like.
Decorate the trees with the candy decorations and enjoy! If you do not eat immediately, please note the frosting will make the cones be less crunchy but just as tasty!