Monday, January 28, 2013

Lightened Up Carrot Cake Cupcakes

As I embark on 2013, I am continuing the journey that I began in 2012. Last January, I decided to get healthy. I joined a gym. I stopped eating fast food and opted for healthier choices when I ate out. I started cooking healthier meals, and I stopped baking every Sunday. A year later, I'm still at it and very proud of myself. I only bake once in a while now, and I try to lighten up recipes, so I can still enjoy treats without the guilt. This month's What's Baking theme fit perfectly with my healthy lifestyle: Baking Healthier. I decided to modify my grandma's carrot cake cupcake recipe to lighten it up. And honestly, I couldn't even tell the difference. They were still light, fluffy, and flavorful. I topped them with a tangy cream cheese icing made with low-fat cream cheese.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Source: adapted from my Grandma

2 cups flour
1 and 2/3 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of salt
2 (3.5 oz.) containers carrot baby food 
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 whole eggs

2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line cupcake tins with 24 cupcake liners.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside.

In another bowl, beat together sugar, applesauce, whole eggs, egg whites, and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix well. Stir in carrot baby food.

Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake for 17–20 minutes.

Cool completely on a wire rack. 

"Light" Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 oz.) block neufchatel cream cheese (room temperature)
1 stick butter (room temperature)
4–6 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. 
Add powdered sugar one cup at a time. Beat well until spreading consistency.

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