I found this recipe on Pinch My Salt and was very pleased with how it came out.
I was having a pumpkin carving party at my house, and of course wanted some pumpkin-inspired desserts to go along with the carving fest. I was drawn to this recipe because it was much healthier than traditional cake recipes: it uses no butter, less sugar, yogurt and therefore cuts down on the fat and empty calories that desserts usually have. I don’t usually try to make desserts healthier, but since it was already there, I figured I might as well try! Because the frosting is sweet, you don’t really miss the sugar. My boyfriend helped me make these the day of the party, and was concerned that they would be quite bitter after watching the brown sugar, cocoa and yogurt go into the bowl. However, they were great! Don’t expect them to have a significant pumpkin flavor, but there’s definitely a kick of something. Also, the recipe calls for mini chocolate chips, but I used regular ones and it was fine. Little ones might distribute better, though.
For the decorations, go nuts! My roommate saw some cute pre-made Halloween cake decorations a the grocery store and bought them for me, and they certainly made the cupcakes draw a lot of attention (even from the cats, who stole no less than 5 cupcakes throughout the course of the party – don’t worry, we caught them before they ate any).
They were a hit! Just in time for Halloween (and a snowy one here in Colorado!)
Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 2/3 cups cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cups plain lowfat yogurt
- 1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin (15 oz. can)
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups lightly-packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.
- 2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together; set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together the yogurt, pumpkin, vinegar, and vanilla extract, set aside.
- 3. In a large mixing bowl, and using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Alternately beat in the flour and pumpkin mixtures in thirds (for example, beat in 1/3 flour mixture followed by 1/3 pumpkin mixture and repeat until everything is combined). Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
- 4. Working quickly, spoon batter into cupcake cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Place cupcake pans in the center of the preheated 350 degree oven and bake approximately 25 minutes. Cupcakes are done when they spring back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes then remove cupcakes from pans and let cool completely on the wire racks.
- 5. While cupcakes are cooling, prepare cream cheese frosting (recipe follows). When cupcakes are completely cool, spread with frosting.
Halloween Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4. tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
- In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If frosting is too soft, chill in fridge for 15-20 minutes.