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Lightened Up Red Velvet Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Serving Size: 1 cupcake

Calories per serving: 190

Fat per serving: 9g

Nutritional Info Per Cupcake: 190 Calories, 9g Fat (1.8g Saturated), 25.2g Carbs, 14.5g Sugar, 145.1mg Sodium, 1.2g Fiber, 3.3g Protein


For the cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour, sifted
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp red gel-paste food coloring
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp distilled white vinegar

For the frosting

  • 8 oz low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • *Optional: red sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, cocoa and salt.
  3. In another large mixing bowl, beat sugar, applesauce and oil until combined. Add eggs and egg whites, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food coloring and vanilla.
  4. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk (a half a cup each time), and whisking well after each.
  5. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix until combined, about 10 seconds.
  6. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Mix frosting ingredients together in a bowl (you can use a beater to speed it up).
  7. Let cupcakes cool completely, then frost with low-fat cream cheese frosting.
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