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)

Exploring Healthier Cupcakes

We are excited to share the following post from fellow cupcake lover Rebecca. Below, Rebecca shares how and why she started creating healthier cupcakes, while not skimping on texture or flavor.

I have always loved cupcakes. When I joined Weight Watchers 2 years ago, I knew that I wanted to find a way to keep them in my life without ruining my goal of losing 50 pounds by my 30th Birthday. Sometimes the best way to get tips and tricks is the online Weight Watchers network and this is where I learned the multiple ways to bake at home, without all the calories (and guilt) of bakery items. I tried many suggestions, from cake mix baked with diet soda to cake mix baked with applesauce. They were alright, but never offered that moist, indulgent taste I was looking for.

When I discovered that canned pumpkin can also be used in place of oil and eggs, I had to try it, and it was exactly what I had been searching for. Not only can you make pumpkin flavored items, but when mixed with chocolate cake mix it makes a dense, moist cupcake.  As I explored scratch baking, it was good to know I could always go back to my can of pumpkin puree and a box of cake mix for a reduced Weight Watcher’s point value treat.

I then started exploring flavors to mix with the chocolate cake mix, and I made everything from Black Forest to Chocolate Coconut to Mint Chocolate to Peanut Butter. So, here is one of my 1st recipes for Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Delight Cupcakes.

Cake Ingredients:

1 box of chocolate cake mix

1 can of pumpkin puree (make sure to use plain pumpkin)

1/3 cup chocolate chips

Frosting Ingredients:

1/2 can WHIPPED frosting

2 tablespoons of whipped peanut butter

Instructions:

Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees.

With a standing mixer, blend the pumpkin and cake mix together on stir for about 2 minutes and then whip at level 1 for an additional 2 minutes. (You can add egg substitute if you want a lighter cake). Once the batter is mixed, add the 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. The batter will be very thick.

Then place in cupcake wrappers to a little over half full. There will be enough batter for 24 cupcakes. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until they are firm to the touch. Let them cool and prepare the frosting.

Whip the 1/2 can of frosting with the peanut butter and let sit. (I now like making my own frosting, but wanted to share how I started)

After frosting, I finished this batch with a dark chocolate peanut butter cup shredded on the micro plane.

4 Weight Watchers Points Plus, and ALL the indulgence!

– Review by Guest Crusader, Rebecca (Baltimore, MD)

Can “Skinny” Taste Good? Oh Yes It Can.

I hope everyone had a very tasty and happy Thanksgiving! I wanted to take a few moments to share a fantastic recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes that I made for Thanksgiving. They even claim to be “skinny,” so it was an added bonus to this minimal ingredients and easy-to-make recipe.

To make the cake, you start with four simple ingredients:

  • Betty Crocker Golden Vanilla Super Moist Cake Mix
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers.

Combine cake mix and pumpkin spice in a large bowl. Add pumpkin puree and water, mix about 2 minutes.

See? Super easy.

I decided to make mini pumpkin cupcakes. I find that a small scoop like this one here, works really well to make the perfect size mini cupcakes that are all about the same size. After baking for about 15 to 20 minutes (25 seemed to be a bit too long in my oven), out came these beautiful little gems:

I even decided to add some fall fun with these cute mini cakes:

Next up, the deliciously simple pumpkin cream cheese frosting. That actually required a few more ingredients, but was still easy to make:

  • 8 oz Philadelphia 1/3 fat cream cheese (do not use fat free)
  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (canned is fine)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 tbsp packed brown sugar

For the frosting, combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar until smooth. I had to use my hand mixer (since I don’t have a standing mixer) to get a smooth consistency on this. If you don’t have one, you may have to make sure the cream cheese is extra soft at room temperate and blend for a while. Good luck. I hope you succeed though, because the results were fantastic:

A army of mini cupcakes that pack a big pumpkin punch. Yum.

Click here to read the full recipe from SkinnyTaste.com.

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Stacy (Baltimore, MD)