Whole wheat flour and Greek yogurt keep these cakes flavorful and moist while adding fiber and protein. Each cake gets 1 teaspoon of sweet cream cheese glaze-far fewer calories than the multiple tablespoons of frosting piled onto your typical cupcake.
For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray twelve 4-ounce mini loaf pans or a 12-cup regular muffin pan with pan release spray.
Spread the pecans out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until toasted, 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool and then pulse in a food processor until very finely chopped but not ground.
Combine the chopped pecans, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the brown sugar, yogurt, oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest and eggs in another bowl. Stir the carrots into the egg mixture. Fold the carrot-egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Divide evenly among the prepared pans. (Don't be alarmed if the batter seems skimpy; the cakes will rise once baked.)
Bake until the center of the cakes bounce back when pressed and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for a few minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
For the glaze: Mix together the confectioners' sugar, cream cheese, lemon juice, vanilla extract and salt in a medium bowl. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the glaze onto each cake and use the back of the spoon to spread. Garnish as desired.
This recipe has been updated and may differ from what was originally published or broadcast.