Lightened carrot cupcakes perfect for a baby shower
By Elaine Magee
By Elaine Magee
Q. I am making frosted carrot cupcakes for a baby shower and really need your help — it's a Recipe Doctor emergency! The person I am throwing the shower for is a Martha Stewart fan, but she also is quite picky about recipes that have too much sugar, white flour and fat. I have picked out two recipes from Martha Stewart's Web site, Carrot Cupcakes and Divvies Vanilla Frosting.
A. Great choice for a baby shower dessert! To lower the fat and sugar in this recipe, I did the following: For the cupcakes, I used 2/3 cup sugar instead of 1 cup, decreased the vegetable oil from 1/3 cup to 3 tablespoons and switched to canola oil (which contributes plant omega-3s and is high in monounsaturated fat) and increased the orange juice from 2 tablespoons to 1/3 cup. Instead of 2 eggs, I added one higher-omega-3 egg and 1/4 cup egg substitute. I also used mostly whole-wheat flour instead of all white flour.
For the frosting, I cut the recipe in half because that's an easy way to bring down the calories and fat and it's usually too much frosting anyway. To trim the calories even further, I used whipped butter or spreadable butter with canola oil (Country Crock), both of which contain about one-third fewer fat grams than regular stick butter or margarine. These were incredibly delicious and beautiful cupcakes, worthy of a baby shower, and yet they had 39 percent fewer calories, half the total fat and more than double the fiber.
Original recipe contains 380 calories, 19 grams fat, 3.5 grams saturated fat, 43 milligrams cholesterol and 1 gram fiber per cupcake (if 10 per recipe).
CARROT CUPCAKES WITH WHIPPED VANILLA BUTTERCREAM
For the buttercream frosting:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, canola oil, orange juice, vanilla extract, egg and egg substitute by beating on medium speed.
In medium-sized bowl, combine the baking powder, cinnamon, salt, whole-wheat and unbleached white flour with whisk or fork. Add dry ingredient mixture all at once to orange juice mixture in mixing bowl and beat on low just to combine. Stir in the shredded carrots, walnuts (if desired) and coconut.
Divide batter evenly among the 10 muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 25 minutes). Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine powdered sugar, whipped butter or Spreadable Butter margarine, vanilla extract and fat-free half-and-half by beating on medium-low speed and scraping down sides of the bowl after about 10 seconds. When the mixture is fluffy, turn off mixer and frost the cooled cupcakes or store frosting in airtight container in refrigerator until needed and up to one week.
Garnish the tops of the cupcakes with a pecan half or an extra sprinkle of shredded or flaked coconut, if desired.
Makes 10 to 12 cupcakes.
Elaine Magee is a registered dietitian and author of "Food Synergy." Find out more at www.recipedoctor.com.