5 Cupcakes That Are Secretly Lighter

By: Emily Lee

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Winter is behind us, and that alone is cause for celebration. If you’re planning a coming-out-of-hibernation party, be sure to fill your spread with festive dishes that give comfort-food season the sendoff it deserves. As Julia Child once said, “A party without cake is just a meeting,” so don’t even think about skimping on dessert. To make hosting easier, skip labor-intensive layer cake and whip up a few quick batches of cupcakes instead. That way, you won’t have to deal with cutting and serving. Portion control is yet another benefit of serving cupcakes, especially for the host if there are leftovers. We’ve got devil’s food, red velvet, carrot cupcakes and more — all of which happen to be lighter than your average cupcake recipe, thanks to a few clever modifications.

Gluten-Free Yellow Cupcakes

This recipe makes two dozen gluten-free cupcakes that are perfect for a kid’s birthday party or a fun weekend baking project. You can even adapt the recipe to prepare a lovely two-layer cake for a more formal event.


Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Red Velvet Mini Cupcakes

The baking experts in Food Network Kitchen made several modifications to classic red velvet cake in order to produce these lightened-up minis. The batter is prepared with whole-wheat flour, and oil takes the place of butter, resulting in a moist crumb that’s also lower in fat. For the frosting, they’ve simply combined reduced-fat cream cheese with confectioners’ sugar.

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

Devils Food Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing

The swirl on top of Ellie Krieger’s chocolate cupcakes makes them look store-bought, but they’re free of preservatives and made with whole-grain flour, so you can snack like you’re a kid again, without the debilitating sugar crash moments later.

Mascarpone Mini Cupcakes with Strawberry Glaze

The secret ingredient in these moist cupcakes? Boxed white cake mix. Adding only egg whites instead of whole eggs ensures that the mix becomes extra fluffy and also stays low in cholesterol. And because they are made in mini-muffin tins, these cupcakes are portioned so you can indulge without going overboard.

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ellie’s classic carrot cupcakes are studded with fresh carrots, and spiced with warm cinnamon and nutmeg. Made with whole-wheat flour and reduced-fat cream cheese, this dessert is on the lighter side too.

For more comforting cakes, check out these recipes from our friends:

Homemade Delish: No-Bake Mascarpone Cheesecake in a Cup

Creative Culinary: St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Three Cake Recipes To Get You Through Till Spring

Red or Green: Spiced Gingerbread Cake

In Jennie’s Kitchen: Dark Chocolate Brownies

The Mom 100: Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake with Sweet Vanilla Drizzle

FN Dish: 5 Stunning Cakes with Sky-High Fan Reviews

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