Crazy about Cupcakes

Is the cupcake craze over?? Geez...I sure hope not. A cupcake is a little treat that can satisfy and sweet tooth and even for someone with little self-control, having one can satisfy a craving.

As someone who prides herself on cooking from scratch and choosing healthier food options, I don't have a problem with making cupcakes now and again. Denying yourself a cupcake is just wrong. Once in a while, a sweet treat like a cupcake is not going to send you over the edge into obesity, unless of course you are just about there. Even so, one cupcake is not going to ruin you. A cupcake a day, yes, but once in a while, a cupcake can brighten your day.

Here are two delicious recipes from Momma Vicky for delicious cupcakes that actually are not bad for you. Still sweet enough to be considered a treat but healthy enough that you can sneak a second cupcake when no one is watching.

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt
14 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 egg white
1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp. skim milk
1 tsp. vanilla
8 mini muffin liners
2 tbsp. lowfat cream cheese (room temperature)
2 tsp. fat-free margarine
2 tbsp. confectioners sugar
2 tsp. nonfat plain yogurt
grated zest of 1 lemon

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
Mash granulated sugar and butter in another bowl until combined.
Stir egg white into mixture. Then add in pumpkin, milk and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.
Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Pour batter into lined muffin cups - 3/4 full.
Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until the cupcakes spring back when touched.
While cupcakes cool, make the icing.
Beat the cream cheese, margarine and confectioners sugar with a hand mixer until smooth. Add yogurt and remaining 1/2 tsp. vanilla and beat until combined.
Frost the cupcakes and garnish with the lemon zest. Yummy and perfect fall cupcakes!!!

These would make a nice treat for Thanksgiving dessert! (recipe can easily be doubled)  No one would even guess that these cupcakes only have 111 calories each with 4 grams of fat. Pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A which is good for your skin and hair.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 lb. carrots, grated
1/2 cup golden raisins
4 oz. light cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon,ginger,nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat brown sugar and canola oil for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in yogurt, carrots and raisins. Mix in the flour mixture until just combined.
Spoon the batter into lined cupcake pans.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool.
Using the electric mixer, whip cream cheese and sugar. Spread over each cupcake and garnish with chopped walnuts.

Yummy! This recipe will make about 18 cupcakes.
Each cupcake has 220 calories, 5 grams of fat, 41 grams of carbs,3 grams of fiber, 260 mg of sodium and 5 grams of protein.

Both of these recipes are tasty treats. If you are an experienced baker you can play around with these recipes, substituting egg substitute for whole eggs, etc.

Enjoy and remember, 1 cupcake can satisfy a need for a sweet treat! Indulge!!

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