11 Healthier Cupcake Recipes


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  54 comments   :  591,003 Views

Have you noticed that cupcakerys are the new hot trend in restaurants? Even in my non-metropolitan home town, our local bakery competed in the 2011 and 2012 Food Network Cupcake Wars and won "Best of the Best" on Cupcake Champions in 2012.
In our home, the month of February is an unofficial cupcake month, with Valentine's Day and nine separate family birthday celebrations to prepare for. However, if I stuck with the standard recipe, my husband and I would surely gain a few pounds and my kids would gain an eternal sugar high. 

That said, there are some simple modifications that add nutritional value, reduce the processed sugar, fat, and calories too. Substitute whole-grain flours for all purpose flour. Use fruits and vegetables as a natural sweetener and add color and texture; applesauce can be used in place of oil; flaxseed meal or chia seeds mixed with water can be used in place of eggs; and Greek yogurt can be used in place of flour. I also find that when I use natural ingredients, I crave the processed sugar less-and-less. Another health benefit and convenience with cupcakes is that a serving is as simple as one cupcake. Leftovers can go right into the freezer instead of a late night snack. Celebrate something special with these healthier cupcake recipes. 

Chewy Cupcake Brownies
 Remember how delicious Mom's brownies were? You can duplicate the taste for a fraction of the fat if you substitute cocoa for bittersweet chocolate and use applesauce in place of some of the butter or oil.
calories: 72.2   fat: 0.6 g   protein: 1.1 g   carbs: 16.2 g   fiber: 0.7 g

Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes
Beets are used to add vibrant red colors instead processed food dye. This recipe is also made with whole-wheat flour!
calories: 64.1   fat: 0.8 g   protein: 2.2 g   carbs: 12 g   fiber: 1 g

Spring Cupcakes with Citrus Icing

An exclusive 'SparkPeople Cookbook' recipe! You’ll never know that the confetti inside these cupcakes comes from vegetables. These cupcakes were a hit during our taste test!
calories: 145.8   fat: 4.9 g   protein: 2.6 g   carbs: 24.6 g   fiber: 2.4 g
Pina Colada Cupcakes
 A deliciously moist cupcake. Great on their own, but better with rum cream cheese frosting!
calories: 71.1   fat: 2.6 g   protein: 0.9 g   carbs: 11 g   fiber: 0.2 g

Low Fat Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes
An out of this world treat for chocolate lovers!
calories: 123.3   fat: 2.8 g   protein: 3.8 g   carbs: 20.6 g   fiber: 1.2 g

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Prepare these allergy-friendly cupcakes, which are wheat and dairy free, for a healthy snack!
calories: 112.9   fat: 0.5 g   protein: 1.4 g   carbs: 26.6 g   fiber: 1.4 g


Caramel Pumpkin Pudding Cupcakes

This recipe tastes so indulgent--you won't believe it's so low in calories and fat!

calories: 122.9   fat: 2.4 g   protein: 2 g   carbs: 23.6 g   fiber: 1 g

Strawberries and Cream Surprise Cupcakes

 The surprise is that these cupcakes have no butter or oil in them, less sugar and less flour, but do use zucchini, and have a hidden spoon of strawberry jam! Use rice flour in place of wheat for a gluten-free option.

calories: 157.6   fat: 5.1 g   protein: 3.3 g   carbs: 25.7 g   fiber: 1.4 g
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
Light yet tasty cupcakes that are a cinch to make!
calories: 99.7   fat: 1.8 g   protein: 1.2 g   carbs: 20.3 g   fiber: 0.2 g

Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

Bananas add a light flavor and moisture to this recipe without added fat.

calories: 83.7   fat: 2.8 g   protein: 1.3 g   carbs: 14.5 g   fiber: 0.9 g

Vegan Cupcakes
Dairy- and egg-free, these cupcakes are low in fat and feature a homemade icing topped with fresh berries!

calories: 178.9   fat: 4.5 g   protein: 1.9 g   carbs: 34.1 g   fiber: 1.4 g

What is your favorite cupcake recipe? Which of these cupcake recipes will you try?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
Got a story idea? Give us a shout!
NEXT ENTRY >   Poll: What's the Worst Diet Advice You Ever Heard?


  • 54
    Nice little variety of cupcakes. Used to make birthday cakes for my boys when they were younger. My Mom would make cupcakes. Nice little touch of love. - 2/12/2018   11:17:48 AM
  • 53
    Great cupcakes. - 9/21/2017   8:33:58 AM
  • 52
    Never was a huge cup cake fan but their so pretty.... yummy too - 8/13/2017   2:21:19 PM
  • 51
    I pinned these for later. - 5/28/2017   5:38:03 PM
    I am not a huge cake or cupcake fan, but some of these look really yummy - 4/25/2017   11:24:45 AM
  • 49
    I am going to try the brownie recipe and the pumpkin recipe w/o sugar. - 1/5/2017   11:35:39 AM
    Going to experiment with some of these. I want to make some high-protein, NO, or very low, SUGAR cupcakes. : ) - 10/16/2016   10:56:12 PM
    these look great. we have to look at the whole recipe nutritional information to find the sodium. Thank you - 10/16/2016   7:27:22 PM
  • 46
    Brownie cupcake, actually. hahahahaha - 10/16/2016   2:38:39 AM
  • 45
    Banana Chocolate & Strawberries & Cream are on my try list! - 12/1/2014   2:52:13 AM
  • 44
    chocolate brownie, lemon blueberry and pina colado since i will be going to a big picnic friday - 6/30/2014   12:06:41 PM
  • 43
    They all look so good and sound good too! I would like to try some of these! :) I hope they turn out good like they sound! :D - 3/19/2014   5:20:27 PM
  • 42
    Yum! I think I'm going to try the strawberry ones. - 1/13/2014   9:11:59 AM
  • 41
    I need to avoid cupcakes. - 6/2/2013   12:52:13 AM
  • GGMAT1
    these all sound wonderful. being diabetic I really get hungry for chocolate. these will do the trick and keep me on my diabetic diet, - 5/31/2013   8:45:34 AM
    I wish that I had a little cook book of these. They all look wonderful and I am sure to copy the recipes and make some. Yummy! - 5/3/2013   6:20:21 PM
    yummmmmm - 5/2/2013   11:18:09 PM
  • 37
    I've made some of these before. they are so yummy! - 5/2/2013   10:04:55 PM
  • 36
    Used to make chocolate brownies with oat bran, applesauce instead of fat, and they were great! This was back in the 1980's. These are good recipes, but I'd still have to eat more than one little cupcake, and so would my husband, so I don't bake hardly at all anymore. - 5/2/2013   10:02:03 PM
    I think they all sound pretty yummy, but I think I'd try the brownie cupcakes, and later this summer, the strawberry (always have lots of zucchini from our garden). - 5/2/2013   7:48:52 PM
  • 34
    I came across the suggestion "replace some of the oil/butter by applesauce" in pastries three times in three days on three different websites. That must be a sign.

    I really like the color of the pink one! - 5/2/2013   5:44:11 PM
  • 33
    Good point OOLALA53! I agree! - 5/2/2013   4:55:18 PM
    I substituted whole wheat pastry flour for the all purpose flour. I substituted organic coconut sugar for the white sugar. I also added a few dark chocolate chips with a high cacao %. Yummy! - 3/10/2013   2:12:41 PM
  • 31
    I'm disappointed that these are called "guilt-free" cupcake recipes. Guilt is a highly ineffective and demoralizing emotion in eating management. Spark of all organizations should know this. Please don't pander to the side of the weight loss industry that reinforces women's sense of shame over this issue. - 2/28/2013   7:11:07 PM
    it's look like so deliciouse , but i want to ask , i'm trying to lose weight by counting the calories ,but some time the food is low calories but hight in carbo or sugar or fat , shall i take it or nooo. - 2/10/2013   5:08:17 AM
  • 29
    Yummy! They all look so good it's hard to pick just 1! - 1/30/2013   1:27:59 PM
  • 28
    As someone who is wanting to actually have their own bakery/bistro I found this blog posting to very helpful and insightful. I will definitely bookmark this so I can refer back to it later when I am ready to bake up something yummy. They all look and sound wonderful! Great job! - 1/25/2013   11:09:21 AM
  • 27
    Mmmmm!!!! - 1/18/2013   9:03:30 AM
    RITASL: People who live in glass houses......BRAKE, REALLY??????? Anyway, the point of this is that we all know that Cupcakes are not "healthy" (FITARTIST) however, if you want to have a cupcake, then these are a better alternative. I think that the people that are so worried about that probably shouldn't even be reading the recipes for cupcakes anyway. If you aren't going to try making something, then keep your comments to yourself, because you are probably the only one who values your opinion anyway! I'm sick of reading "snarky" remarks made by people who don't have anything better to do! Bake something! Maybe it will make you happy! - 1/15/2013   9:08:10 AM
  • 25
    Mmmm... they all look good. - 1/13/2013   12:26:02 PM
  • 24
    Mmmm... they all look good. - 1/13/2013   12:25:59 PM
  • PAYDAY10
    Thank you for those with constructive criticism, it helps the rest of us in putting together a recipe that affords alternatives for the rest of us. Personally, I will try to watch my grammar, spelling as well as my criticisms of others since I have many faults too and all of us make poor judgments as we try to improve ourselves in all areas.. - 1/13/2013   10:01:49 AM
  • 22
    To RITASL If you are going to complain about others grammar perhaps you should correct your spelling too. Brake it not correct in your usage. It should be BREAK.
    Enough said. Let us stick to comments about recipes and food.
    I think I will try the Red Velvet recipe. Seems healthy with beets as an ingredient. - 1/10/2013   11:48:22 AM
    Helpful info. - 1/10/2013   11:37:57 AM
  • 19
    I was surprised out how much yummier cakes are with applesauce than the oil normally used. - 1/10/2013   11:23:20 AM
  • 18
    These look great ! I am looking forward to trying some of the recipies. - 1/10/2013   10:38:56 AM
  • 17
    The pictures alone make me say,"LHM" (Lord have mercy)!
    - 1/9/2013   9:13:22 PM
  • 16
    Those 1st two look more like my calorie range. May have to try. - 1/9/2013   9:07:40 PM
  • 15
    Wow! they all look so good! But if I had to choose, I would try the Pina Colada and Brownie cupcake. - 1/9/2013   8:12:51 PM
  • 14
    Thank YOU!!! They ALL look very inviting and I'm sure I will try a few out later. The lemon one is the MOST inviting since I'm a fan of lemon cake...oh and STRAWBERRY too! :) - 1/9/2013   7:17:39 PM
    I would like to try the Red Velvet cupcakes. Sounds Great! - 1/9/2013   3:23:55 PM
  • SONSON72
    Another substitution: one banana = one egg. - 1/9/2013   12:49:04 PM
  • 11
    I really like red velvet cupcakes and what's great about a cupcake is when your finished eating it that's it. Portion control. - 1/9/2013   9:58:34 AM
  • 10
    please, please, please proofread your writing....."it would leave my husband and I" is grammatically incorrect...if in doubt brake it into "it would leave my husband and it would leave ME"...there is an epidemic of this error going around and it needs to stop - 1/9/2013   9:17:43 AM
  • KIDDEN04
    yummy!! - 1/9/2013   9:10:49 AM
  • 8
    Yummy! can't wait to make some!! :)
    - 1/9/2013   8:36:10 AM
  • 7
    These look yummy! I want the cheesecake cupcakes! - 1/9/2013   6:49:31 AM
  • 6
    It is hard to eat one but I tell myself it's better than none It does'nt make me feel better but i'm trying to think differently to change my life style - 1/9/2013   5:49:28 AM
  • SR82158
    If you're going to eat six, then it matters EVEN MORE what they're made of. Every little thing you can do to help yourself adds up. - 1/9/2013   4:47:00 AM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›