Friday, February 19, 2010

Sweet Cuppin' Cakes

I love cupcakes. They’re tiny little desserts made just for you. You don’t even have to share! (Clearly, I didn’t win any “sharing is caring” awards in Kindergarten). The cupcakes from Crumbs Bakeshop are my favorite. They’re so huge; you can quarter one and have dessert with every meal of the day. This is dangerous territory for a true frosting fan like me. Sometimes I make cupcakes at home, but a typical recipe makes 24 cakes. What’s a family of two supposed to do with 24 cupcakes? I always end up bringing them to work and subjecting my coworkers to a distracting sugar rush to spare myself the temptation. For the record, no one looks cool balancing a Tupperware full of treats on their lap for the hour train ride to NYC. I’ve learned this from experience.

Joe came home from an office party with a recipe for Weight Watchers chocolate muffins to try. Someone brought them to the pot luck and he knew I would like the idea. I made the muffins and although delicious (and only three points if you follow Weight Watchers jargon), they tasted an awful lot like cake to be having for breakfast. Cake?!!! I like cake. Why couldn’t this become a diet cupcake? I was a woman on a mission. A Diet It Up cupcake was in order. I recruited my friend Diana as co-baker. Di just happens to be a dessert aficionado and one of my all-time best buds. She makes the most beautifully decorated cakes and I knew she’d have some clever ideas.

We whipped up the Devil’s Food Cupcake batter in no time. Don’t be turned off by how thick and sticky it is. Although these are denser than a typical cupcake, they’re plenty moist. Instead of adding oil and eggs to a box cake mix, you replace it with a can of pumpkin puree. This saves quite a bit of fat and cholesterol. While the cakes were cooling, we tried out a few toppings. I think we came up with some tasty alternatives to the classic sugar-packed butter cream frosting. The Chocolate Brownie flavor is drizzled with melted dark chocolate and sprinkled with chopped walnuts. The Devil’s Shortcake is topped with whipped cream and fresh berries. Feel free to substitute fat-free cool whip for the cream if you prefer. I stick to the real stuff because my husband has an obnoxious aversion to “tub topping.” I’ve tried to fool him, but that man knows his whipped cream! Di made a strawberry puree for the Strawberry Jam cupcake that worked out perfectly.

Then it was time to taste test…all three. When you’re in need of a chocolate fix, these really do the trick. Just add some girl talk and a few forks.

* Get cooking. Let me know what you think. Love it? Hate it? I’m interested in hearing your feedback and suggestions.

Cupcake on Foodista


  1. Thanks for the shout-out love! These cupcakes really taste good. Believe me, I tried all three! The whipped cream gives the cupcake a hint of creamy sweetness without the guilt. Plus, I'm a berry addict, so raspberry topping would work too. Plus, the chocolate brownie cupcake was decadent... chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. These are definitely worth it. :)

  2. Mmm. Pumpkin puree in place of oil! Perfect! I love the look of the whipped cream / strawberries on choco. perfect combo. GREAT PHOTOS!

  3. These look amazing, and I couldn't find two more perfect individuals to execute them. :) Love the pics too!

  4. Those look redonkulous. Would you be able to do the pumpkin/cake thing with any flavor of mix, or does it have to specifically be Devil's Food? Just curious if it would work for a white cupcake.

  5. Good thought! The concept would work, i'm not sure if the flavor of white cake mix would be strong enough to camouflage the pumpkin taste. It would be interesting to go with the pumpkin flavor and spice it up with cinnamon and nutmeg. Maybe make a frosting from light cream cheese. I'll have to try it!