As many of you know (and as you can probably tell from my recipes, I’m not really a baker. But this past weekend, while I was feeling a bit sluggish and gloomy – partly because of the weather, but mainly because I was sick – I decided to make some fun treats that would make me feel better. I was also inspired by a friend’s comment about making “healthier” desserts, so I started looking for more guilt-free versions of desserts we all love. And I came across a great recipe from Hungry Girl for guilt-free chocolate cupcakes, and decided to give it a shot.
Now, in general – I’m not a fan of processed ingredients, fake sugars, ingredients I can’t pronounce, etc. But I figured I’d follow Hungry Girl’s suggestions for this recipe and see how it turned out. Once in a while – a slightly processed but lower calorie dessert is probably not the worst thing in the world – especially if it comes in the form of a cupcake. That would be my only disclaimer in this recipe – that it’s not really an all-natural cupcake. But – disclaimers aside, it tasted AMAZING. Just like any other cupcake I’d get at a bakery! And it was really easy to make. AND the best part – each large cupcake is only ~120 calories! (More notes on how the low calorie-goodness is achieved later in the recipe).
First – The Ingredients
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a tall glass, combine cocoa mix with 2 oz. hot water. Stir until cocoa dissolves. Add 6 oz. cold water and stir well. Set aside.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, egg substitute, sweetener, and salt. Add the hot cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth.
The mixture might be slightly thinner than your normal cupcake batter – but don’t worry – it’s supposed to be that way.
Look at all that chocolatey goodness Ok on to Step 3: Line a 12-cup muffin pan with foil baking cups and/or spray with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute cake mixture among the cups.
Step 4: Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes (mine took about 18 min), until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.
I loved how much the cupcakes rose – they looked so cute while they were cooling.
Step 5: To make the glaze, put marshmallow creme in a small dish. Add soymilk and mix well. I had to use a small whisk to get the glaze mixed properly because the marshmallow creme is really sticky.
Step 6: Once cupcakes have cooled completely, drizzle marshmallow glaze over them. Top each cupcake with 1/4 tsp. chocolate chips and 1 mini marshmallow. (Note – I used probably a 1/2 tsp or 1 tsp chocolate chips and no mini marshmallow)
How delicious do those cupcakes look?? And the best part is, each cupcake only has ~120 calories, 13g sugar, and 2g fat. My husband couldn’t even tell the difference between this cupcake and any other cupcake – and to tell you the truth, neither could I. This was an amazing guilt-free dessert.
Decorating the cupcakes was pretty fun too. And now the million dollar question: what makes Hungry Girl’s recipe so low in calories and guilt free? My guess is that – there are a few secrets:
- There’s no added oil in the recipe
- The added sweetness is mainly from the 25 calorie hot chocolate and the 1 Tbsp of sugar – which is only 45 calories (so a total of 70 calories in the ENTIRE recipe)
- The normal 1-2 eggs you add to prepared cake mix is replaced with egg substitute – which is mainly egg whites and …
- You don’t even use all the cake mix!
Pretty ingenious – I have to give Hungry Girl credit for making such a delicious and guilt-free cupcake – thanks Hungry Girl!
I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the cupcakes – I was proud to have one of my first successes as a baker! Meanwhile, my husband devoured the cupcake below right after I took a picture of it. Yum!