Lightened Up Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Healthy Carrot Cake Cupcake from She Well

Not only is Easter debatably the most important  holiday in the Christian religion, but Easter also lends itself as a time for all people alike to celebrate renewal and rebirth. Easter still stands as one of my favorite holiday's on the planet. Not only is it a time for me to celebrate Christ, but also a time to reflect on my life and my goals for the coming Spring and Summer months. Similar to New Years, I like to use Easter as a catalyst for change in my life.

As a kid ,one of my favorite things about Easter was all of the pastel colors that surrounded the holiday and of course, the seasonal treats that come with it! Enter carrot cake. Easter is the only time of year I have it, but man oh man, is it good! This year I decided to create my own Lightened Up Carrot Cake Cupcakes.

According to an article in EatingWell, the average bakery cupcake packs in as many as 585 calories and 20 grams of fat. Inspired by this somewhat horrifying statistic, I set out to create a cupcake that contains basic, household ingredients,  but tastes like the real thing. I am pretty excited by the final product and would love if you would give me your feedback! Happy Spring and Easter to those who celebrate! 

Skinny Carrot Cake Cupcake from She Well

Skinny Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Makes 12 Cupcakes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

What You'll Need:
Carrot Cake: 

     2/3 Cup sugar
     1 Cup all-purpose flour
     1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
     1 Teaspoon baking soda
     1/2 Teaspoon salt
     1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
     1/2 Cup unsweetened apple sauce
     2 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil (melted)
     3 Cups grated carrots (chopped)

Frosting: (Feel free to double recipe for more generous servings of frosting per cupcake) 
     1/2 Package of 8 oz. 1/3 fat Philadelphia cream cheese
     1/4 Cup powdered sugar
     1/2 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
1.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 

2.) Place the sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a dish and mix. One by one add the vanilla extract, apple sauce and melted coconut oil and stir. 

3.) Place the 3 cups of grated carrots into a food processor (or perhaps a high-speed blender) and chop for 10 seconds. Add the contents to the batter and mix well.

4.) Once the batter is mixed, line a muffin pan with cupcake tins and evenly distribute the batter between the twelve cupcakes. 

5.)  Bake for 14-17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

6.) While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by placing the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract into a bowl and mix well. If you have a stand mixer you can go ahead and use that or feel free to mix with hand until you achieve the right consistency. Frost each cupcake and serve! 

Nutritional Information: (1 cupcake with frosting)
144 calories, 4g fat, 25g carbs, 1g fiber, 17g sugar, 2g protein. 

*Frosting recipe adapted from Skinny Taste