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Sexy Low-Fat Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

Sexy Low-Fat Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

You might think there’s no way you could possibly get any sexier with all the cupcake baking you’ve been up to by now, but sometimes you just need to fit into that particular pair of pants (or skirt or dress or tube top) that makes you feel sexy... Now you don’t have to, thanks to these vanilla-scented gems.

See all dessert recipes.


For the cupcakes:

  • ½ cup vanilla soy yogurt
  • 2⁄3 cup vanilla or plain soy milk
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the skinny confectioners’ icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1-3 teaspoons of soy milk or 1 tablespoon flavored syrup (like the kind used for flavoring lattes and Italian sodas)
  • ½ cup seedless, smooth spreadable fruit or other preserves
  • 1 cup fresh fruit or berries, washed, patted dry and thinly sliced if necessary


For the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, soy milk, applesauce, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Sift in flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix.

Fill cupcake liners three-quarters full. Bake 22-24 minutes until a knife or toothpick inserted through the center of one comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the skinny confectioners’ icing:

Mix confectioners’ sugar with soy milk or syrup, either with a fork or a small whisk. (Mixture will resemble a very thick paste or batter.) Carefully dribble in remaining soy milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, till mixture resembles a thin cake batter, adjusting additional soy milk by either less or more teaspoons till desired consistency is reached. If too watery, add in more confectioners’ sugar by the tablespoon.

To assemble, spread top of cupcake with a few thin layers of spreadable fruit at room temperature. Neatly and evenly spread the layers for the most attractive appearance. Spoon a small circle of skinny confectioners’ icing on top of jam, decorate with fresh fruit, and carefully drizzle tops of berries with more icing.

The Ultimate Healthy Vanilla Cupcakes

So as you may have heard, I’m a food writer. I love food a whole heck of a lot. The experience of eating can bring me endless joy.

I will happily traverse the glove for tagine. Delicata squash is a miracle. I have this ridiculous notion that homemade Nutella is better than the jarred stuff. Clafoutis makes me squeal. (A cute, endearing kind of squeal. But that goes without saying, right?)

Although cupcakes can be the most overrated thing since sliced bread, they can also be one of life’s great pleasures. People have been eating cake since long before the dark ages (i.e. when MySpace was still popular), and they won’t stop anytime soon. Not if I have anything to say about it.

And I do. I always do. (Kelly Morrison. No opinion left unexpressed since 1997.)

Since I hold cake in such high regard, it has taken me years of researching, travelling, testing, and eating (admittedly my favorite part) to find the one recipe to put all the other the ones to shame. I will gladly scale the highest points of the cupcake mountains to find it. And speaking of points, I’m about to get to mine!

My friends, this is the one. Italics and all. The ultimate recipe. The highest point of the cupcake mountain.

Fluffy yet rich and perfectly sweet, these vanilla infused beauties are a real winner. And they’re so easy to make! The batter (which by the way is the most fabulous cake batter you have ever sampled) takes one bowl and two minutes to throw together. Because anyone who says they like taking hours to make a cake and cleaning lots of dishes is probably in Egypt. (Haha da Nile sounds like denial see it’s so funny that is doesn’t even need punctuation.)

You don’t even have to put in any extra effort to make the frosting! All you do is save a bit of the batter, mix it with chocolate, and BOOM. Cake batter frosting for no work and no extra calories. It’s pretty flipping fantastic.

Oh, and they’re 50 calories each.

First, you whip up your simple batter (saving 1/2 cup for later!), bake it, and behold your handiwork.

While you wait, take your reserved batter and mix it with chocolate. Yes, you’re going to be eating straight cake batter. I love you too.

Now spread it on your cupcakes. Be careful not to eat all the frosting first.

Might I suggest a healthy sprinkling of sprinkles?

Bask in the glory of the last cupcake recipe you will ever need. Enjoy my friends!

Skinny Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 cup spelt flour, or white flour, or Arrowhead Mills gf mix (140g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ener g powder, or 1 tbs ground flaxmeal
  • 4 tbsp xylitol or sugar (54g)
  • 2 Nunatural stevia packets (or 2 extra tbsp sugar)
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt of choice (Silk or SoDelicious both work) (230g)
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (60g)
  • 3 tbsp coconut or veg oil (can omit, but the cupcakes will be a bit gummy) (36g)
  • add 1/2 tsp xanthan gum if using the gf mix

Preheat oven to 350 F, and grease muffin tins. Combine all wet ingredients with the energ or flax, and stir vigorously. In a separate bowl, combine all remaining dry ingredients, and mix very well. Pour wet into dry, and mix until just combined (don’t overmix). Cook 18-20 minutes, then let sit at least 10 before removing from muffin tins.

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Published on June 13, 2012

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Fox, The Huffington Post, and ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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Top tips for making cupcakes

How can I make sure all of my cupcakes are the same size?

To make sure your cakes are even, use an ice cream scoop to fill the cupcake cases with the mixture. This will make sure you have an even amount of mixture in each case and that they should rise to the same height. It's also best to make these cupcakes in a bun tray so the cupcake cases can be held in place when baking.

Can I change the flavour of these cupcakes?

It’s easy to turn this basic cupcake recipe into chocolate cupcakes, delicate rose cupcakes, zingy lemon cupcakes or even rich coffee cupcakes just follow the method below and add drops of your chosen extract to add flavour to each cupcake. Try a few drops of vanilla extract for a sweet vanilla flavour or swap the milk in this recipe for orange or lemon juice for citrusy cupcakes. If you want to make chocolate cupcakes just swap 1-20z of flour for cocoa powder instead.

Have Fun • Do Good

It really doesn't get much more have fun and do good than vegan cupcakes. That's why I requested a review copy of Vegan Cupakes Take Over the World, and I haven't been disappointed. Last week I made vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting, and tonight I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Both were tasty! They aren't the healthiest vegan desserts--the frosting is made from margarine and shortening and they use refined sugar, but I'm not complaining.

If you don't want to use refined sugar they have a recipe for Simple Vanilla and Agave Nectar Cupcakes, and if you can't have gluten there are Vanilla and Chocolate Gluten Freedom Cupcake recipes. After eating cupcakes this weekend, and last weekend, I'm thinking that the Sexy Low-Fat Vanilla Cupcake with Fresh Berries recipe might be a wise next choice.

If you want some healthy vegan dessert recipes without refined sugar, I've made a lot of good ones from How It All Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer. The Ginger Snaps and Banana Oatmeal Cookie recipes are especially yummy.

I wish I could say I was a virtuous vegan, but I'm not, I just like to cook vegetarian and vegan food when I can. Long ago I was a vegetarian, and then a vegan, and then a macrobiotic, but now I'm more of a believer in the, "Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants," school as described by Michael Pollan in his New York Times article, "Unhappy Meals" (which is a great read).

If you are a cupcaketarian like me, you might also enjoy the Vegan Cupakes Take Over the World and Cupcakes All the Time blogs.


To make the compote, put the fruit, sugar, orange juice and zest in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cook at a gentle simmer for 25–30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has softened and reduced to a thick pulp.

Remove from the heat and strain the fruit through a sieve, using the back of a spoon to push as much through as possible. Taste and adjust the sugar or orange juice if necessary. Leave to cool, then store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.

For the cakes, preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3. Grease and line the base and sides of three 20cm/8in loose-bottomed sandwich tins with baking paper.

Put the eggs, sugar and vanilla bean paste in a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Beat together using a whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has reached 40–45C (it should feel like a hot bath). Remove from the heat.

Pour the mixture into a standing mixer and whisk at maximum speed for 15 minutes, or until the batter is cool and thick and has tripled in volume. (If you don’t have a standing mixer, use an electric hand whisk.) Gently fold in the flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, using a metal spoon or rubber spatula, until fully combined. Pour the batter into the tins and bake for 25–30 minutes, or until the cakes are risen, golden brown and spring back when pressed. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Turn the cakes out of the tins and leave to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the Italian meringue. Heat the sugar, glucose and 4 tablespoons water in a saucepan over a medium–high heat, stirring gently. Using a sugar thermometer, check when the solution reaches 80C and then stop stirring. Continue to heat the mixture, without stirring. When the sugar syrup reaches 110C, put the egg whites in a clean glass bowl and start whisking on full speed. When the sugar syrup reaches 119C, remove the pan from the heat and add the syrup to the egg whites in a slow, steady stream, while continuing to whisk them. Once all the syrup has been added, whisk until the meringue has cooled completely.

To serve, place one cake on a stand and spread with half the compote. Attach an open star nozzle to a large piping bag, then fill with the meringue. Pipe a third of the meringue in a large circle from the centre outwards. Place the second sponge on top and repeat the process.

Once the third and final sponge is in place, finish with the remaining Italian meringue. Use a blowtorch to colour and caramelise the meringue on top and that is peeping out of the cake. Serve the day you make it.

Vanilla Cupcakes

An easy recipe for vanilla cupcakes topped with a simple vanilla buttercream frosting. These cupcakes are perfect for any occasion!

I can’t even begin to tell you how many cupcakes I’ve baked in the last few weeks. I’m talking dozens upon dozens of cupcakes trying to find the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe. I know there are a million vanilla cupcake recipes out there, but I was on a mission to create a recipe that was easy to make and tasted good.

Vanilla cupcakes may seem a little boring, but I think it’s good to have one in your recipe collection that you can use over and over again. This recipe is the one I will be using all of the time from now on!

The base of the recipe is simple ingredients, most of which you probably have at home right now. You’ll start with some all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. When you’re measuring your flour don’t pack it into the cup. Be sure to stir the flour around first, spoon it into the measuring cup, then level if off with the back of a knife.

I always measure my flour with the spoon and level method to ensure that I’m measuring it correctly. Too much flour and you’ll end up with dense cupcakes, or muffins. I use a food scale when measuring ingredients too, which isn’t necessary, but it helps to know that I’m getting the exact measurements I need for a recipe.

Then come the wet ingredients, softened butter, granulated sugar, two large eggs, two teaspoons of vanilla, and sour cream. Yes. Sour cream!

I’ve tried milk, buttermilk, a mixture of different things and I love using sour cream. Not only does it add moisture to these cupcakes, but they’re sturdy enough to hold up to a nice pile of frosting yet light like a cupcake should be. I always use full fat sour cream when baking these cupcakes too.

And of course you have the vanilla frosting to go on top too. I like a lot of frosting on my cupcakes, so I use two full sticks of softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and just a bit of heavy cream. If you want just a little frosting, you can easily cut the recipe in half to make less.

One last thing when making these cupcakes is to only fill the liners just a little over halfway full. It may not seem like much batter, but they rise quite a bit in the oven and you end up with perfect cupcakes that aren’t overflowing the liners. I always get exactly 14 cupcakes with this recipe.

Ok, I think I’ve talked about cupcakes enough. Let’s get to baking!

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

These super simple and festive Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes are perfect for Valentine's day! They are sugar-free, fat-free, oil-free with a gluten-free option. Also super low-calorie - only 95 calories each!

Valentine's Day is around the corner!!

I've always loved Valentine's Day.

I can feel the love in the air, and it's just beautiful!

I know some people think that if you really love someone, you should show them EVERY day, not just on Valentine's day (which I totally agree with), but it's still fun.

Also, I love an excuse to eat chocolate, candy, cupcakes, and pretty much any other sweet treat that exists.

If all of that deliciousness is involved, sign me up!

Anyway, these cute lil' Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes are perfect for your sweetie this Valentine's Day.

They are super yummy, and SO easy to make.

The recipe will take you 5 minutes to prep.

Easy AND delicious cupcakes?!

Sounds like a win-win to me!

Happy Valentine's Day, loves!

  • For the fat free cupcakes:
  • 1 green tea bag
  • 140 g (5 oz) sultanas
  • 115 g (4 oz) pitted soft dates, chopped
  • 140 g (5 oz) dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 225 g (8 oz) wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • For the green tea icing:
  • 250 g (9 oz) fondant icing sugar, sieved
  • 3–4 tbsp green tea, hot or cold
  • 2 tbsp each sultanas and chopped dates
  • You will also need
  • :
  • Silicon moulds or non-stick paper cases

To make the cupcakes, put the tea bag in a large measuring jug and add 300 ml (1⁄2 pt) plus 3–4 tablespoons of hot, but not-quite-boiling, water. Set aside for 10 minutes, then remove the bag and pour 300 ml (1⁄2 pt) of the tea into a mixing bowl (the rest is for the icing). Stir in the sultanas, dates and sugar. Leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4. Beat the eggs into the tea mixture in the bowl and stir in the flour and ginger until evenly combined.

Set the silicone cases on a baking sheet and spoon the mixture into them. Bake for 12–15 minutes or until a skewer pushed into the centre of a cake comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before icing.

To make the icing, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in enough green tea to make a spreadable icing. Coat the tops of the cupcakes with the icing and decorate with a few sultanas and chopped dates.

21 Healthy Low-Calorie Snacks

1. Parmesan Carrot Fries Recipe (83 calories)
Deep fried ‘taters might be tempting, but these carrot fries taste just as good. Roast your carrots and top them with some fresh Parmesan and basil for a sweet and savory treat that packs only 83 calories per serving. Want more options? Try these seven other French fry recipes you’ll love. Photo and recipe: Alexa Schirm / Life by Daily Burn

2. Mini Peanut Butter and Apple Sandwich Recipe (200 calories)
This finger food is packed with granola, cinnamon and raisins, which add an extra flair to the classic apples and peanut butter snack. Bonus: You can make the granola up to two weeks ahead of time. Store it in an airtight container to save you time in your busy, grown-up life. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

3. Raw Rainbow Collard Greens Wrap Recipe (113 calories)
While this wrap may feel substantive, it definitely clocks in at a snack-sized serving with just 113 calories. Packed with hummus, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers and more, this leafy roll-up will leave you satisfied. (You’ll also meet your daily veggie requirements!) Photo: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

4. 3-Ingredient Homemade Larabars Recipe (199 calories)
Sweet dates, nuts and fruit come together to perfectly mimic your favorite grocery store snack bar. Even cooler: You can create your own custom flavor combos by adding a little bit of cinnamon, vanilla or raw cacao powder to your base ingredients. Mix and match to satisfy your cravings! Photo and recipe: Renee Blair / Life by Daily Burn

5. Amaranth “Popcorn” Recipe (180 calories)
Popped like a corn kernel, amaranth offers a nutty flavor and a satisfying crunch with every bite. Even better: This unique ‘popcorn’ is packed with nutrients that make it more comparable to a leafy green than a grain (or a buttery, movie-theater treat). Just a quarter-cup of these seeds houses seven grams of protein and seven grams of fiber, making it the perfect snack for when you want to fill up fast. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

6. Banana Nutella Protein Muffin Recipe (165 calories)
Yes, a banana nutella muffin can be low-calorie (major win). Made with two scoops of protein powder, flaxseeds and Greek yogurt, these pastries are delicious and full of antioxidants and fiber. Grab one post-workout, or just when you’re craving a sweet snack. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

7. Spicy Baked Chickpeas Recipe (153 calories)
Flavored with cayenne and chili powder for a kick, these bite-sized crunchies are as chewable as chips and are sure to be a hit with any crowd. Plus, the prep is so easy you’ll be mixing up more batches before you know it. Photo and recipe: Emily Miller / Life by Daily Burn

8. Vegan Artichoke Dip Recipe (73 calories)
Order artichoke dip at Applebee’s and you risk gorging on over 1,000 calories. But with this vegan version, you can consume a quarter-cup serving for just 73. A puree of artichokes, white beans, green chilies, shallots and spices, this mix takes just minutes to make in a food processor. Photo: Pertty Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

9. Peach Homemade Greek Yogurt Recipe (100 calories)
Whipping up your own Greek yogurt blend will ensure you avoid the mega-dose of sugar packed in most fruit-flavored grocery store brands. With just six ingredients, you won’t have to worry that this snack contains any hidden additives or sweeteners. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

10. Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes Recipe (134 calories)
Bake these cakes on Sunday night and you’ll have veggie-packed patties you can snack on all week. This recipe yields 18 little pies chock-full of all your favorite healthy ingredients (yes, including kale). Serve with a side of ketchup mixed with Sriracha. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

11. Healthy Green Goddess Dip Recipe (128 calories)
Your crudité plate has officially met its new partner in crime. This light, tasty topping is made with avocados, Greek yogurt, watercress and other good-for-you ingredients. It pairs perfectly with any seasonal assortment of veggies — and will make your plate look that much prettier, too. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

12. Apple Pie Granola Bar Recipe (155 calories)
Ditch the store-bought granola brands (which are often packed with artificial ingredients) for this delicious DIY bar. Made with chunks of dried apple, pecans, toasted oats and cinnamon, each bite will satisfy your apple pie cravings. The other good news is that it serves up only five grams of sugar. Make a batch ahead of time and then stash some in your desk so you’ll always have something to nosh on. Photo and recipe: Carmen Sturdy / Life by Daily Burn

13. Ham and Egg Sweet Potato Toast (114 calories)
If you’re looking for a post-workout snack with a little more staying power, try this delicious sweet potato toast recipe. Sweet potatoes provide filling fiber and carbohydrates, and ham and egg offer protein to help build muscle. Spinach is a good source of magnesium, which often gets lost in sweat, and carbohydrates for replenishing glycogen stores. Photo and recipe: Carmen Sturdy / Life by Daily Burn

14. Peanut Butter and Jelly Breakfast Muffin Recipe (61 calories)
One batch of these mini muffins will yield enough to nosh on all week. Mashed bananas and Greek yogurt cut the fat found in regular muffins. Peanut butter adds a satisfying dose of protein to the mix. Feel like going crazy? Drizzle warm peanut butter on top for an extra-decadent twist. Photo and recipe: Emily Miller / Life by Daily Burn

15. Healthy Baked Peaches and Cream Recipe (153 calories)
Swap heavy whipped cream for a refreshing honey-mint Greek yogurt topping in this light dish. With just 10 minutes of prep time and 10 minutes of cook time required, this dessert-like snack is a no-brainer. Photo and recipe: Evan Thomas / Life by Daily Burn

16. Sweet and Savory Rosemary Pecans Recipe (108 calories)
Hosting a dinner party? Whip up a batch of these for your guests to snack on before your meal is served. Pecans are a solid source of healthy fats and protein — and the salty-sweet combo of flavors will ensure you please every palate. Photo and recipe: Emily Miller / Life by Daily Burn

17. Gluten-Free Breakfast Cookies (184 calories)
These cookies are so guilt-free you can even eat them in the a.m. Combine almonds, walnuts, flax and a few other good-for-you ingredients to form bite-size bowls you can fill with almond milk, Greek yogurt or seasonal berries. Pop one in your mouth for just 184 calories — and feel your hunger melt away. Photo and recipe: Alexa Schirm / Life by Daily Burn

18. Mini Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins (83 calories)
Can’t get enough fall flavors in your life? You’ll dig these bite sized treats. (Plus, did you know pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A?) Cranberries add a dash of tart and fruity flavor to the mix. And because these muffins are made with Greek yogurt instead of butter, each mini muffin contains just three grams of fat. Photo and recipe: Emily Miller / Life by Daily Burn

19. Homemade Beet Hummus Recipe (145 cals)
Not only is this hummus a shocking shade of pink — it’s also packed with protein. You’ll get six grams per quarter-cup serving, plus a dose of antioxidants, thanks to the phytochemicals in beets. Serve this snack with some pita chips or some veggies if you’re feeling extra virtuous. Photo and recipe: Renee Blair / Life by Daily Burn

20. Vegan Baked Apples Recipe (103 calories)
Take this fruit to the next level by roasting it with cinnamon, peanut butter, light brown sugar and some savory spices. Drooling yet? The oh-so simple prep will be complete in just 10 minutes. Just be sure to take your apples out of the oven once the skin starts to wrinkle. Photo and recipe: Emily Miller / Life by Daily Burn

21. Zucchini Bread Recipe with Chocolate Chips (128 calories)
Who says a healthy snack can’t include chocolate? This bread is made with applesauce to keep each bite moist — and low fat! The half-cup of chocolate chips adds the gooey goodness you’re craving. Cutting back on sugar? Sub the chocolate for walnuts instead. Photo and recipe: Emily Miller / Life by Daily Burn