Healthy Cupcakes: Key Lime Meringue

Continuing our healthy crusade, Rebecca has another recipe for cupcakes with fewer calories, less guilt, and a little bit of key lime.

I recently took a trip down to Savannah, GA to visit my best friend, and while out shopping, I came upon Key Lime juice! Being the Key Lime lover that I am, I knew I needed to figure out a recipe for a healthy Key Lime cupcake. I searched WeightWatchers.com, but ended up modifying a recipe I found for a Key Lime cake.

There are a few substitutions used to help cut the calories and fat in this cupcake, such as incorporating whole wheat pastry flour, yogurt (in place of some of the oil), and meringue (instead of frosting). That leaves these cupcakes at a friendly 4 Points Plus.

Key Lime Meringue Cupcakes Ingredients

CAKE

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons key lime yogurt

LIME FILLING

  • 8 oz nonfat sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup lime juice, preferably Key lime
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest, preferably Key lime

MERINGUE

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place baking papers in cupcake pan. Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour and salt in a medium bowl. Then, beat 4 eggs and 2/3 cup sugar in the mixer on medium-high (4-6) speed until pale yellow and doubled in volume. It will be very foamy. Drop the vanilla and lime juice in the cake mixture. Gently fold in oil and yogurt into the egg mixture. Add the flour mixture and gently stir until just incorporated. Scoop the batter into the cupcake tins. Bake for 16 – 18 minutes and cool completely (about 45-60 minutes)

For the lime filling, whisk condensed milk and lime juice in a medium bowl until combined and refrigerate until thickened. 30 – 45 minutes.

For the meringue, beat egg whites in the stand mixer on high until soft peaks form. Pour in ¼ cup of sugar in a slow, steady stream and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

I then piped in the lime filling with a pastry bag and spread a thin layer over the top of each cupcake. They were then topped with meringue and I lightly burned the meringue with a small kitchen torch. (The recipe I found online said to brown it in the broiler, but I was concerned with burning the cupcake wrappers.)

I was very impressed with the key lime flavor, but wasn’t in love with the texture of the cake. The filling helps to add moisture, but I believe the technique of whipping the eggs and sugar together before folding in other ingredients, could have something to do with it. Perhaps I over beat it or wasn’t gentle enough when mixing in the dry ingredients, but the bite of a fresh Key Lime Pie with meringue is there! These were also fun to make and because we didn’t have a kitchen torch, I enlisted my boyfriend, Jim, and his large propane torch from the garage to add the lightly toasted top to the meringue.

– Recipe by our Healthy Guest Crusader, Rebecca (Baltimore, MD)

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