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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Skinny Mud-Colored Velvet Cupcakes

 Well, these aren't supposed to be mud-colored cupcakes.  However, I somehow misread my handwriting and did not add enough red food coloring.  Oopsy.  Now, you'd think that I might've decided to add more food coloring once I realized the color wasn't correct while I was mixing it in the bowl.  Of course, this thought did not occur to me until after they were in the oven.  I've been working on an outline all morning and it gave me a headache.  Blame law school for lack of concentration (because law school must always be blamed).

Anyway.  Who said dessert has to be terrible for your waistline?  Granted, the best desserts tend to have that effect, but it is absolutely possible to mix up something that tastes good and doesn't pack on the pounds.

These cupcakes are a perfect example!  I found them from a Weight Watchers blog and they sounded promising because I had worked with the ingredients in the past.  I made some slight adaptions and made them even better.  Now, I can eat all 6 and it would still be less than your standard red velvet cupcake!  (I probably won't, but it's nice to know that I can.)  With my changes, the caloric intake for one of these cupcakes is, wait for it, a mere 105 calories!

It is Valentine's Day, so these cupcakes seemed entirely appropriate.  My original plan was to make a dark chocolate base with a peanut butter middle and mixed chocolate ganache and peanut butter frosting.  But, I will save those for another time.  :)

I only made 1/4 of the Red Velvet cupcake recipe to yield 6 cupcakes.  It took a little bit of time to cut down the measurements, but it worked.  I had a lot of strange measurements but it was manageable.  Cutting an egg in half can be tricky, but it can be done.  To do this:  Crack the egg into a measuring cup with markings.  Use a fork to lightly beat the egg and mix egg whites/yolks evenly.  Determine how much egg you have and pour half of that into the bowl.  Or, you can use an egg substitute to make it easier.  (Some people have problems with egg substitute.  I don't.)   For reference, 1/4 cup of egg substitute = 1 whole egg.  2 egg whites = 1 whole egg.

Another tip (I need to learn how to heed my own advice):  When cutting recipes in half, cross out the old measurements and sub in the new measurements in a big red pen!  Otherwise, you may get all the way done with the prep when you realize that you messed up (hence the mud-colored cupcakes)!  This could be a no-brainer, but trust me, I am speaking from many terrible experiences...  At least this one only resulted in a coloring mishap.

These cupcakes were very good and I could not tell that they were a "skinny" version.  Like I said, I made 1/4 of the recipe, but I've included the full recipe here and reflected the few changes that I made in red.  If you need something sweet and you want to satisfy a cupcake craving, try these out!  They really are pretty damn good!
Skinny Red Velvet Cupcakes
adapted from Gina's WW Recipes
Yield:  26 cupcakes
Nutrition:  With my changes, caloric intake is about 105 calories.  (No, I am not lying.  An entire cupcake for 105 calories & a small amount of fat/sugar.)  Original recipe resulted in about 141 calories.
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup sugar
    • I used Splenda Granulated Sugar.  
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg*
  • 2 egg whites*
    • [Instead of using 1 egg + 2 egg whites, I used 1/8 cup of egg substitute.]
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup light buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp red food coloring
Low Fat Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz 1/3 fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Cool Whip Frosting
adapted from Hungry Girl 
Yield:  Frosting for 18 cupcakes
  • 2 1/2 cups Cool Whip Free, thawed 
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. Jell-O Sugar Free Fat Free Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix 
  • Red Food Coloring
  1. Preheat oven to 350.  
  2. Line cupcake tins with liners. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flours, salt, cocoa, and baking powder. 
  4. In another large bowl beat sugar, applesauce and butter; Beat in eggs and vanilla. 
  5. In a separate bowl mix baking soda and vinegar. 
  6. Add half of the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, mix well. 
  7. Add buttermilk, red food coloring and mix well.  
  8. Add the remaining dry ingredients and fold in vinegar and baking soda.  
  9. Pour in prepared cupcake liners 3/4 of the way. 
  10. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  
  11. Cool, then frost with low fat cream cheese frosting or cool whip frosting.
    1. Cream Cheese Frosting; Beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. 
    2. Cool Whip Frosting; Mix together cool whip, SF/FF jello mix & food coloring.  Cover with plastic wrap and store in fridge until ready to use.  


  1. These look really beautiful AND healthy! I should start trying some of these healthier substitutes. :)

  2. Thanks guys! I did notice that they were a bit dry the next day, so I would suggest eating them the day they are made. We had left ours in the fridge overnight (not sure why) so this could've had something to do with it.