Healthy Cupcakes: Pumpkin Cider

Continuing with her healthy crusade, Rebecca has another recipe for cupcakes with fewer calories and less guilt then their original recipe.

I love pumpkin everything in the Fall! This season, I was thrilled to try the new Pumpkin Hard Cider from Woodchuck. (Also try Harpoon Pumpkin Cider!) This 6.9% cider is not too sweet, nicely spiced, and has turned into one of my favorites of the season. I could go on about Pumpkin Cider/Beer for paragraphs on end, so I will cut to the baking.

I wanted to try and bake with the cider, so I decided to try mixing it into my basic “healthy” cupcake recipe. The recipe is simple: 1 box spice cake, 1 can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling), and 1 bottle Woodchuck Pumpkin Hard Cider. I used Guinness in a recipe like this around St. Patty’s day, so I was hopeful for success!

The batter smelled delicious, with notes of apple and spice, and distributed evenly into 24 cupcake wrappers. As those were baking, I got to work on the cinnamon spice cream cheese frosting.

I also made this portion of the recipe “semi-homemade” and mixed an 8oz tub of light whipped cream cheese with 1/2 tub of whipped cream cheese frosting. Since tub frosting tends to be extremely sweet, I wanted to cut it with a rich creamy flavor. After I whipped those together in the mixer, I added a TON of pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. The texture was thick, rich, and full of spice.

The finished product tasted of pumpkin, apple, and cinnamon; I also added a sugar-free caramel drizzle to finish 1/2 the batch. They come in at 5 WW points, for those of you tracking. Give this easy recipe a try if you want to indulge in the season, without all the indulgence of extra fat and calories!

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

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