I came across this mouthwatering recipe for “Skinny Coconut Cupcakes” a few weeks ago while perusing my blogroll, which Skinny Taste has become a new addition too. I love Gina’s ability to create lightened up, “healthified” versions of normally high calorie dishes, something I try to do about 95% of the time I cook myself. Lightened up recipes come in particular handy around the holidays, when food is typically loaded up with tons of extra butter, sugar and cream with the rationale that it’s a “special occasion,” so why not?Personally, I love to indulge on special occasions, but I also hate the sugar and carb withdrawal that usually comes after consuming so many special treats. And this time of year, with the sun shining and the warm weather approaching, special occassions seem to pop up left and right, which means we’re all finding excuses to indulge on things like cupcakes even more.
That why I love these bad boys. These cupcakes are the perfect compromise. Made partially with Pilsbury boxed cake mix, they have that classic cake taste we all know and love – but, they use actual healthy ingredients like light coconut milk, egg whites, and apple sauce in the mix to replace some of the oil and egg yolks. And of course, there’s a healthy dose of sugar and fat in there for good measure. Like I said, a compromise.
Besides, they’re downright adorable. Lightly golden coconut flakes surrounding the pastel Cadbury eggs looks just like a dreamy Easter egg nest, making these cupcakes sure to add a festive touch to your Easter dessert spread this year. Plus, they’re delicious – you’d never know they’ve been “lightened up” – and they come together in less than an hour!
Give these a whirl this holiday, and enjoy the knowledge that you can indulge in a sweet cupcake (or two, or three) while still making a slightly healthier choice. Happy Easter to all!
Toasted Coconut Cupcake Nests - Makes 24 cupcakes
Barely adapted from SkinnyTaste.com
- 8 oz 1/3 less fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp natural coconut extract
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup canned light coconut milk (Thai Kitchen)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 tsp natural coconut extract
- 18.25 oz yellow box cake mix (like Pillsbury)
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 72 Cadbury mini chocolate eggs (1 large bag)
1. In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese with the powdered sugar and coconut extract with a mixer. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
2. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 24 cupcake tins with liners.
3. In a large bowl combine egg whites, coconut milk, apple sauce and remaining coconut extract. Mix well, then add cake mix and mix until combined. Pour batter into lined cupcake tins about halfway and bake 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool to room temperature.
4. While cupcakes are baking, toast shredded coconut at 325º in a toaster oven or regular oven, until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
5. Top each cupcake with 1/2 tablespoon of cream cheese, then roll the top of each in toasted coconut flakes, tapping off the excess. Top each cupcake with 3 mini chocolate eggs, using a bit of extra frosting to secure.