Sinless Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes – CYOB

Everyone deserves a sweet treat, and holidays are the perfect excuse. With this recipe, there’s zero guilt, and you could even have two of these festive pumpkin cupcakes.

Happy Halloween, everyone! Despite Hurricane Sandy, the upcoming election, and the devastating apple harvest, there are still costumed children frolicking carelessly across the streets. A miniature cowboy stepped on my foot while I was in the checkout line at CVS. All seems well and normal in the world.

As you all know, I’m always trying to take the low-impact approach to eating; low in calories, low in fat, cruelty-free, sustainable…and quick and easy, when possible. For all of those reasons, sweets aren’t really something you’ll find me making or eating a whole lot of.

But it is that very special holiday, when people turn the nutrition labels over, and put on silly costumes. So I’m putting on my baking-cap and trying to turn out the most sinless, guilt-free cupcakes ever. Seasonal, delicious, and healthy enough that I won’t feel bad eating the leftovers after Halloween is over and all of the children have succumbed to sugar-comas.

This recipe, inspired by clean eating cupcakes from The Gracious Pantry, is my own spin on Tiffany’s Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Pumpkin Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Pumpkin Frosting 

Create Your Own Bite #14

For Cupcakes 

1/2 Cup Trader Joes Organic Canned Pumpkin

1/4 Cup Fat Free Milk

1 Egg White

1/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce

1/4 Cup Vermont Sugar Free Maple Syrup

1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1/8 Tsp Salt

1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

3/4 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/4 Tsp Ginger

For Frosting

1/4 Cup Canned Pumpkin

1/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1/4 Cup Vermont Sugar Free Maple Syrup

1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

This recipe makes 8 Cupcakes

Estimated Calories: 95

Nothing screams fall like pumpkin, and that’s right where this recipe starts. While your oven is preheating at 350 degrees, get a can of pumpkin – make sure it’s pure pumpkin, not a pumpkin pie mix – and mix it together in a bowl with the milk, maple syrup, applesauce, vanilla, and egg white.

In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients – the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices.

I chose whole wheat flour, but Bob’s Red Mill makes a great all-purpose gluten-free baking flour for those whipping up gluten-free pastries. Remember though, gluten-free is not a diet. These mixes are often higher in fat and calories than regular whole wheat baking flour, which typically has more protein, fiber, and less fat. Bob’s Red Mill is definitely one of the best gluten-free baking flours- it has very similar totals to their whole wheat baking flour.

Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into your liquid mix, whisking together until the batter is a thick, runny consistency – similar to pancake batter. Divide the batter into a lined or greased tin – approximately 3 Tablespoons per cup.

If your batter is too thick, incorporate an additional 1/4 cup of milk. The mixture should be a thick, runny liquid.

Put your cupcakes into the oven, and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until you can prick and remove a clean toothpick from the middle of a cupcake.

While your cupcakes are baking, combine all of the ingredients for the frosting into a mixing bowl, and whisk until you have a smooth, thin chocolate sauce.

For those looking to make these cupcakes even cleaner (although not as low-cal) use agave, a certified raw product, instead of maple syrup. Swap out the egg for an extra 1/3 cup of pumpkin, and use almond milk, for a vegan version with consistent flavor.

When your cupcakes are fully baked, removed from the tin and allow time to cool before frosting. I decorated mine with a generous helping of chocolate sauce, and festive Williams & Sonoma “Halloween Confetti,” full of adorable ghosts, bats, and of course, pumpkins.

Share with your friends, or keep for yourself! These treats are packed with good-for you nutrients and are just about as guilt-free ans you can get a cupcake to be.

These treats are moist, naturally sweet and, most importantly, good for you. Don’t be afraid to have two, or dip them in the extra frosting for a little more indulgence.

I’m off to find more sweet little treats, that you can feel good about eating and enjoy just as much! Look out for Chocolate Banana and Black Bean Brownies, and a close look at one woman’s endeavor to turn out Brookline’s most amazing vegan, organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, raw, unrefined baked goods I’ve ever tried. And believe me, they’re delicious!

Until then,

Melanie

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