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Skinny Vanilla Cupcakes

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Here is the healthy cupcake recipe that won’t let you down.

















Cupcakes so soft and fluffy…

No one will ever guess that they’re low-fat!

I went through five or six attempts before finally achieving the results I wanted: a “no-fail” healthy vanilla cupcake recipe that both health-food eaters and junk-food eaters will love.

healthy cupcakes

Above, a skinny vanilla cupcake with Healthy Glaze Icing.

You can have fun with this recipe: keep it simple, or add just a few ingredients to make blueberry cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes, or even chocolate-chip cupcakes. Everyone should keep a good basic cupcake recipe in his or her arsenal.

low fat cupcakes

Can be sugar-free, too!

Skinny Vanilla Cupcakes

(makes 9-10 cupcakes)

Or click if you’d prefer: Healthy Chocolate Cupcakes.

  • 1 cup spelt flour, or white flour, or Arrowhead Mills gf mix (140g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ener g powder, or 1 tbs ground flaxmeal
  • 4 tbsp xylitol or sugar (54g)
  • 2 Nunatural stevia packets (or 2 extra tbsp sugar)
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt of choice (Silk or SoDelicious both work) (230g)
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (60g)
  • 3 tbsp coconut or veg oil (can omit, but the cupcakes will be a bit gummy) (36g)
  • add 1/2 tsp xanthan gum if using the gf mix

Preheat oven to 350 F, and grease muffin tins. Combine all wet ingredients with the energ or flax, and stir vigorously. In a separate bowl, combine all remaining dry ingredients, and mix very well.  Pour wet into dry, and mix until just combined (don’t overmix). Cook 18-20 minutes, then let sit at least 10 before removing from muffin tins.

View Nutritional Info

low fat vanilla cupcakes

Link of the Day:

cupcake for one

…..Single-Serving Cupcake Recipes

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Hallie says:

    I would love to see your take on red velvet cake!

    1. Tina says:

      Me too!!! I ♥ red velvet!!

  2. Mmmm chocolate cupcakes would be amazing and I’m sure relatively easy to alter from this recipe. Or funfetti! 🙂

  3. Arielle says:

    Hmm… Snickerdoodle cupcakes? Chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes? Those are just the first two flavors that popped into my head 😀

  4. Suzie says:

    I am always on the lookout for a new healthy take on cupcakes– love the endless possibilities with this vanilla batter! Some ideas I am craving are a strawberry shortcake version, or lemon blueberry, or candy bar surprise! 🙂 Yum, thanks for the recipe!

  5. Verena says:

    Looks awesome! What do you do with the “failed” attempt-muffins ?

    1. Well, the first two batches were so bad, I threw them at my friends ;).
      No, really… we had fun playing catch with the pasty, gummy things. I actually also used a failed attempt for the photoshoot. Since photoshoots often require a lot of handling the food or having it sit outside, you can’t always eat it afterwards. But I really hate wasting food, so using a failed attempt for the “art” is a win-win ;).

      1. brianne says:

        I think it is really unfair that you use failed attempts for the photoshoot. You can tell alot about a piece of cake buy the picture. I have never made the other vanilla cupcake recipe posted since I prefer a lighter crumb (which you can tell by photos).

        1. Oh no, I guess my previous comment was confusing. When I say “failed attempts” I’m referring to attempts that might look the same but just weren’t perfect yet. That often happens: I’ll be *close* to the result I want, but it just won’t be quite sweet enough or will need a little extra salt or something to that effect. But I’d never use a failed attempt that didn’t LOOK the same as the one I ended up using :).

    2. Casey says:

      Similar question: Would you ever consider posting your “failed” recipes. Perhaps not the full recipe, but like as a warning: don’t try this with whole wheat flour, it tasted horrible. Or avoid brown sugar because…. I know many of us like to “play” with your recipes. If you have already tried a certain substitution and know it didn’t turn out so well, it would be helpful to know so we don’t try it! I like how you mention about the oil, how it can be left out, but you prefer it in and you gave a reason for why. I will make it with the oil myself. I love all those tips! Thanks so much Katie! I am learning so much from this site and really enjoy playing in the kitchen 🙂

      1. I can definitely try to include more of this in the future. But just as a general rule, I wouldn’t use regular whole-wheat flour in cupcakes. It’ll make them dense.

  6. GINGER says:

    What is a Chia egg or flax egg? “Ene r g powder” ?? (Where to find?)
    Is there a way to make these VEGAN? Or are they already?
    I don’t know much about it but would like to learn more.
    I think vegan is no milk or egg products either, right?
    I have a vegan friend and would like to make these for her.

    1. Ginger- These are vegan cupcakes (if you use non-dairy yogurt).

      Chia or Flax “eggs” are just 1 T. ground chia seed or flaxseed mixed with 3 T. water, and let it sit to congeal into a “jelly” viscosity, much like an egg.

      Ene r g powder is an egg replacement powder that will act similar to the chia or flax “egg” replacer, without any flavor. You can find it in organic or natural food stores, in the baking section.

      1. GINGER says:

        Thank you for the info! I am excited to make these now! I have chia seeds. I just need to find the non dairy yogurt. I am not vegan, so I haven’t looked before. I think it will be fun to make these for my friend. 🙂

    2. Anonymous says:

      Ene R G powder is an egg replacer (I’ve never used it, I always do the flax or chia ‘egg”), you can make chia or flax eggs by simply using 1 Tbsp chia or ground flax and approx 2 Tbsp of warm water (that ratio is equal to 1 egg). Let it sit to gel a bit before using. Works great :). All of Katie’s recipes are vegan 🙂 Hope this helps 🙂

      1. Anonymous says:

        Whoops! Sorry for commenting too. The comment wasn’t there when I replied O.o

    3. Ginger- These are vegan cupcakes! (No milk or egg.) Just make sure to use non-dairy yogurt.

      Chia or Flax “egg” are made with 1 T. ground chia or flax seed + 3 T. water… mix and let sit to congeal to a viscosity similar to an egg.

      Ener g powder is also an egg-replacer, which can be found in the organic or natural food stores, in the baking section.

  7. Ooooo looks delicious! I think you should make a fruity cupcake, a spin-off your BIG FAT COCONUT BREAKFAST CAKE– incorporate crushed pineapple, and then do a coconut-milk glaze or frosting (even pineapple “frosting shot” frosting??? That’d be amazing!). It would be fun, summery, and tropical!

  8. Tanja says:

    Katie, I love that you are adding gram measurements now!
    Also… would it matter if I only use stevia / xylitol?

    1. Tanja says:

      Oh… and could I use whole wheat instead?

      1. Emma says:

        It specifically says you can use xylitol ;).

  9. Jess says:

    This looks wonderful! Could you do a chocolate no-sugar added cupcake with dates? I attempted to make a gluten free one, but I can’t get the proportions right! I

    1. I can put it on my list of things to try :). Maybe experiment with the chocolate cupcake recipe I already posted (linked in this post as well). Maybe replace the sugar with ground dates?

  10. Julie says:

    This just put me in my Happy Place!! I would like to try and do something with a Chocolate Cupcake and Cherries, something like a BlackForest Cupcake…Super Yummies!!!
    Thank you Katie.

    1. Anonymous says:

      MMMM, I second that one 🙂

      1. Me, too! That sounds delish! I might need to go pick up some cherries today…

  11. These look great! Healthy Vanilla Cupcakes are HARD to make…believe me, I’ve tried. I’m going to try your version but perhaps try with egg, and maybe oat flour. So if I do, I’ll report back

  12. Kat says:

    Peanut Butter cupcakes

  13. Grace says:

    Omg, this is amazing! And as for possible cupcake flavors, there are sooo many!! You could do cookies and cream, chocolate pb, nutella flavored, or a raspberry-lemonade cupcake for a girly twist. maybe even strawberry cupcakes with a chocolate ganache-type filling?

    1. Emma says:

      YES! Please do cookies n cream! That would be awesome!

      1. Samantha says:

        I agree too! I think it must be because people keep talking cookies n cream.

        These vanilla ones look so cute.

        1. tiffany says:

          I saw a cupcake that had an oreo crumble on was a white cupcake and the crumble was oreo cookie crumbs with some kinda margarine or butter. I’m sure those would be awesome with this as a cupcake base instead of the super sugary one I saw.

  14. Susie says:

    I am so excited to try this recipe! I think I’m going to add some lemon and poppy seeds, throw on some of your healthy icing, and call it a “muffin” so I can eat them for breakfast.

  15. Carrot cupcakes pleeeeeeaase. 🙂

  16. BakingSuit says:

    Thank you! I’ve been looking for a go to vanilla cupcake. I’ll be trying this out soon.

  17. Barb says:

    I’m totally making blueberry lemon cupcakes with this recipe!!

    1. Sarah says:

      I think blueberry lemon cupcakes would be perfect for a bachelorette party! They are fun yet somewhat classy!

  18. Teresa says:

    I’m a huge fan of spice cupcakes. I’d probably try these with nutmeg. Yum! Bet they would also be great with some lemon and poppy seeds. Or maybe I’ll feel adventurous and try making them with brown sugar and substituting one tablespoon of scotch for a bit of the milk for a butterscotch flavor. There are so many wonderful things to do with a great basic cupcake recipe.

  19. Wow these look fantastic! Thanks for the recipe!
    Hmm… I’d try OATMEAL RAISIN… I love that combo!

  20. That totally does seem like a wonderful go-to recipe to have! …. I love ALL of your single serving cupcakes!!!! 🙂

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