Do your cupcakes need a makeover? Would you like to make healthier cupcakes for your family?

What makes any cupcake or cake unhealthy is the amount of fat, sugar and calories in the recipe. Butter, shortening and oil in cupcakes add a lot of calories and fat to your diet. Replacing these fats with fat-replacers such as applesauce, can make the cupcake much healthier to eat. Applesauce is the most common fat replacer but you can also use pumpkin, fruit puree(banana, prune, peach or pear), bean puree, low fat yogurt or shredded zucchini. Be careful with these fat replacers. Color is an important factor in each recipe. If you are making chocolate cupcakes, use black bean puree. If you have a vanilla cupcake recipe use white bean puree or applesauce. Spice cupcakes would be great with shredded zucchini or pumpkin.

How much of the fat can you replace in a recipe? Fats are used in a recipe for flavor, moisture and texture. So replacing all the fat may compromise your cupcakes. Use the following chart to replace fats in your cakes.

One cup Replacement


Yogurt – 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup butter
Fruit puree – 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup fruit puree
Bean puree – 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup bean puree(color match the recipe)


Yogurt – 6 Tbsp yogurt, 1/2 cup shortening
Fruit puree – 1/2 cup shortening, 1/4 cup fruit puree
Bean puree – 1/2 cup shortening, 1/2 cup bean puree(color match the recipe)


Yogurt – 6 Tbsp yogurt, 1/2 cup oil
Fruit puree – 1/2 cup oil, 1/4 cup fruit puree or use only 3/4 cup fruit puree
Bean puree – 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup bean puree(color match the recipe)

If you decide to replace the fat in your cupcakes you need to use low-gluten flours. When you mix the liquid in the recipe with the flour it creates gluten which can toughen your cupcakes. Fat tenderizes baked goods by interfering with the gluten formation. Use lower gluten flours in your recipe, such as cake flour and whole wheat pastry flour. Also, minimize stirring in your recipe. Add the flour mixture last and stir just until moistened.

The cooking time is also reduced with lower fat recipes.

 Angel Food Cupcake

Angel Food Cupcakes Recipe


  • 1 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 large egg whites ( 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoon extract, either lemon or vanilla

1. Put uncracked eggs in a bowl of warm water to bring egg whites up to room temperature. Separate eggs and put egg whites
in a large bowl.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. Measure the flour and sugar. Sift together with the salt.
4. Beat whites in the mixer until frothy. Once frothy, add in cream of tartar. Beat at medium speed until soft peaks form.
Then add the granulated sugar gradually, beating until the whites are thickened and form stiff peaks.
5. Beat in the extract.
6. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sprinkle one fourth of sifted dry ingredients over whites and gently fold in with a rubber
spatula. Fold in remaining dry ingredients, one third at a time.
7. With a cupcake scoop, gently fill cupcake liners 2/3 to 3/4 full with batter.
8. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and the cake springs back when touched lightly.
9. Allow to cool completely. Makes 36 cupcakes.


Chocolate Choc Chip Cupcake

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cupcakes Recipe

  • 2 cup cake flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 cup cold, strong brewed coffee
  • 2/3 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix well.
3. Cream butter with sugar in large bowl. Add eggs, applesauce and vanilla and beat well.
4. Add flour mixture and buttermilk/coffee alternately to granulated sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
7. Bake in the 350° oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed in the center, 18 to 23 minutes.
8. Allow to cool completely. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Check out sugar free frostings on my previous post!

Filed under: Cake Decorating 101Cupcakes