Looking for alternatives to sugar-filled treats? Click here!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine Cupcakes (or anytime!)


Have your cake and eat it too!


Contrary to popular opinion, I am not the food police.  I am not looking around me in shock at what people choose to eat.  I really am an oblivious person.  I'm usually too absorbed in thought to notice others and make judgments.  I am just trying to take my babysteps and I recognize that everyone is at a different place with their babysteps.


I do enjoy my occasional desserts.  I try to stick to homemade desserts and forgo the store-bought or restaurant fare.  But sugar is sugar, right?  Well, most (if not all) store-bought (and restaurant) desserts are very high in trans fat.  You name it--cookies, cakes, pies, etc.  You will be much better off if you just make something at home to enjoy.  Use white flour and sugar, but PLEASE, please, please, use butter.  Your heart will thank you.  For more information on that, click here.


   Chocolate Cupcakes

This recipe is from a Pam Anderson cookbook.  I LOVE all her recipes!  (I have not attempted to cut back the sugar in this recipe.  Cake recipes are pretty delicate, they are not easily altered, like muffins or yeast breads are.)

I divided it in half to make 12 cupcakes.


Measure in a bowl:

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour (it probably wouldn't hurt to use all-purpose flour)

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/8 teaspoon salt (just a little over 1/4 teaspoon)

Whisk those ingredients together and set aside.


Melt 7 tablespoons butter and set aside to cool.


Boil 3/8 cup (6 tablespoons or 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) water and mix with 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (I use Hershey's).  Stir until smooth.  Let cool a bit and then add 1/4 cup sour cream and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.


In a separate bowl beat 2 egg whites to soft peaks.


With a hand mixer, mix melted butter into flour/sugar mixture.  Add cocoa mixture and beat until batter is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.  With a spatula, fold egg whites into batter until just incorporated.  Spoon into paper muffin cups.


Bake in a 350F oven 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Then let cool.


   Cream Cheese Frosting

Now this is where you can really cut back on the sugar.  The original recipe had 3 times as much sugar as this, yet this version tastes so good!  The extra sugar is not necessary.


Beat together 2 1/2 tablespoons softened butter with 4 ounces soft cream cheese, until smooth.  Add 2 drops red food coloring, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, and 1/3 cup powdered sugar.  Beat until thoroughly incorporated and fluffy.


Spread frosting on cupcakes.


   Chocolate Heart Decorations

I melted about 1 tablespoon chocolate chips and transferred to a ziploc bag.  I snipped off the tip of the bag and then piped hearts onto parchment.  I let them cool to harden and then placed 2 hearts on each cupcake.






  1. This cupcake recipe satisfies this chocholic--thanks for another good recipe!

  2. I hope I did not offend you by my comment last night. I meant no harm whatsoever!

    I do have a question for you. You know I have been trying to bake using whole wheat flour because I was under the impression that white flour was bad for me. Am I misinformed?

    What is the difference between processed white flour and unprocessed white flour?

    The cake sounds yummy, I may have to make it up Saturday.

  3. Shannon,

    Thank you so much for typing that all out. Growing up we ate junk. Never really anything healthy and it shows today. I am trying to take baby steps and change my eating habits as well as my families.

    I look forward to exploring your blog more and learning all I can to make the best choices for my family.

    Thanks again!

  4. Kristi,

    I thought of a much more concise answer for you! This recipe is not meant to be healthy, but BETTER than what most people will typically eat--boxed cake or store-bought cakes.

    So, certainly, this treat is not meant to be a weekly staple, but if you have a special occasion, a birthday or such and you would normally whip up a boxed cake with canned frosting or buy one from the local bakery, PLEASE consider making these at home instead.

    Boxed cake mixes contain trans fat and canned frosting is absolutely loaded with it (and so are bakery cakes).

    You can make this recipe into a cake instead of cupcakes, you'll just need to make a larger batch of frosting.


  5. Hi! How many calories does each cupcake have and would you make strawberry ones much healthier? Thanks!

  6. I'm not really sure how many calories are in each. I'm not in favor of counting calories, as every person's body actually burns calories at a different rate. I am more in favor of practicing moderation. I did lower the sugar significantly in the frosting. I suppose making strawberry cupcakes would be good because of the added fiber. Thanks for visiting!