I'm a fan of making things healthier, especially around this time of year. Not only is it just hard to avoid all the decadent foods, but it's ESPECIALLY hard when Michael's mom makes all her southern holiday cooking. It's SO hard to resist it all. I think this year I will have to chant "EVERYTHING IN MODERATION" over a hundred times in my head...maybe more. I'll be having dreams of her green bean casserole, but I think I should try to make a healthier version! I suppose it will be on my list of recipes to try.
Anyway, back to the cupcakes. Around this time of year, pumpkin is used quite often and that's GREAT because pumpkin flesh is very low in calories and is fat-free. Canned pumpkin is AWESOME! ½ cup of canned pumpkin is 50 calories and 0 grams fat! It's the recipe that makes pumpkin bad for you (pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, you get the idea).
To make these cupcakes you will need two ingredients. Easy, right?
Yields: 24 cupcakes
1 15 oz. can of pure pumpkin
1 box of spice cake mix (or any mix for that matter)
Combine the two ingredients together in a large bowl. It may seem as if the batter will not come together, but keep stirring, it will! To make these cupcakes even cuter, I made them miniature minis. Confused? I grabbed the idea from Pinterest and used ketchup cups that I got at McDonald's for liners. Line your muffin tin (or in my case, put mini muffin cups on baking sheet) spray liners generously, and evenly distributing the batter (about half full). To make the muffins come out prettier I sprayed my index finger with cooking spray and smoothed the top of the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
These are EXCELLENT as they are, but I wanted to add a little more spice, so I made a spiced buttercream to go along with it. A little goes a very long way! Here's the recipe!
Yields: ½ cup
1 cup confectioner's sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter (softened)
1 tbsp. milk (you may need less)
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, use a mixer to beat the butter until smooth. Add confectioner's sugar and vanilla and combine. One teaspoon at a time, add the milk until your desired consistency has been reached. (I used 3 teaspoons.)