Did someone say healthy cupcakes? Yes we did. But is there really such a thing as a healthy cupcake or is it just bake news… (sorry). Okay, let’s be honest, no cake is without its calories but with a few crafty culinary tricks, it’s possible to conjure up something that’s a little better for you than the average sugar loaded treat.
So you want to take part in National Cupcake Day AND stick to your goals for Healthy Eating Week? We think we’ve found the answer with our ultimate cupcake countdown.
Fire up the Cake Factory, it’s time to get baking.
Kicking things off at 5 – use a secret (and healthy) ingredient
A soft, moist sponge normally requires an alarming quantity of butter, but it is possible to achieve mouthwatering results with something far less calorific. The marvellous miracle-worker in question here is Greek yogurt. Beautifully soft sponge, less calories and a boost of protein to boot – what’s not to love?
These Healthy Blueberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are bursting with juicy blueberries (rich in vitamin C and manganese) and contain white whole wheat flour for extra goodness. We’ll take two please.
In at 4 – cutting the cane sugar
Using fruit to sweeten a bake is nothing new, but replacing the white stuff with fresh fruit, dates and coconut sugar has got to be worth a try.
We had to include these sticky, fruity Pineapple Upside-down Cupcakes because they’re topped with chunks of fresh pineapple. They also contain coconut sugar and dates in place of refined sugar. Just be sure to use a good blender for a smooth mixture.
Third place goes to – veggy bakes
We’re not trying to sneak in a savoury snack here – these gorgeous Courgette Cupcakes are flavoured with vanilla, cinnamon and ginger and topped with a crème cheese frosting that’s simply sweetened with maple syrup and crushed pineapple.
No, it’s not the first thing we would think of when dreaming of a sweet fix either. But trust us on this one – adding veg to cakes can be a good thing. Courgette in particular is a bit of a wonder stuff in the baking department. Not only does it produce a lovely moist sponge, it counts towards your 5-a-day too. Oh, go on then!
In 2nd place – go twice as nice with fruit and veg
For a delicious double whammy, it’s time to mix things up a bit. And by that we mean combining the benefits from our third and fourth placed bakes. Throw in the moisture-retaining benefits of veg and lose some refined sugar by swapping it for fruit.
Carrot and banana might not sound like the most moreish flavour marriage but add in almonds, vanilla and mixed spice and you’ve got yourself a pleasing taste combo. Whip some up with this Banana and Carrot Cupcakes recipe.
And our top bake goes to… chocolate (of course)
There was never really any doubt that a healthy version of the beloved chocolate cupcake was going to take the top spot. Firstly, because chocolate. Secondly, because they’re healthy chocolate. And thirdly, because chocolate.
We think these super chocolately Best Healthy Chocolate Cupcakes are a perfect example. They have everything you need in a cupcake. Light, fluffy sponge? Check. Chocolate fudge frosting? Check. Smattering of sprinkles? Check.
So how can they be healthy, we hear you ask. There’s not a grain of refined sugar in sight, no oil or butter, and they’re gluten free and vegan. Yes, but are they tasty? You’re just going to have to bake them and see for yourself…