Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting do not sound that healthy, but it is, after all, supposed to be a treat. Still, every recipe, no matter how unhealthy it might start out being, can be made healthier by a few substitutions. I took this Paula Deen recipe for red velvet cupcakes and substituted applesauce for vegetable oil. Then, instead of using her cream cheese frosting recipe, I made the low fat cream cheese frosting featured on skinnytaste.com.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (I used the applesauce substitution here.)
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
For the Low Fat Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 oz 1/3 fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
*Note: The raspberry topping pictured is simply a cilantro leaf with a raspberry on top.