How to Make 100 Calorie Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

100 Calorie Chocolate Cupcakes

Dear Universe,

I was sending you a pink bowed box with twelve moist and fudgy cupcakes nestled inside. Just a simple gift from one dear friend to another. I even hand wrote a note and tucked it inside to let you know that each bitty brownie cake is only 100 calories. And whole grain. And nonfat. And made from real, wholesome ingredients.

You’d have been downright smitten with me.

Unfortunately, I ate them all. One by one. Crumb after moist crumb.

I hope you’ll understand. What’s that saying about it being the thought that counts? Well, that.

Very truly yours,

Chocolate covered in Seattle

100 Calorie Chocolate Cupcakes

It is a rare occasion that I pull something from my oven that does not contain butter and a full week’s worth of sugar as recommended by USDA dietary guidelines. Because in my mind, if you can be mindful and eat just one of an ooey gooey, then there’s no reason not to push the limits of decadence and sweet splendor.

But sometimes it’s equally as splendid when those ooey gooeys are wholesome and light.  When they feel good and taste good too.

Each of these cupcakes is moist, tender, soft crumbed, and plenty chocolatey. And unlike lots of healthy baking projects I’ve tried, these are ones I would serve to someone other than Daniel. Healthy yet fabulous enough to share with friends and strangers. They’re gently sweet and have a decidedly lighter texture than most of the non fat cake recipes I’ve tried.

100 Calorie Chocolate Cupcakes

And I may be mistaken… but I think that any calories saved in cake form should be spent in frosting? Someone tell me where I’m wrong.

I make these all the time for Daniel and I to have for a light dessert. I even took to freezing them (unfrosted), and then pulling one out on a casual Wednesday night, warming it in the microwave, and plopping a scoop of ice cream on top for a healthier brownie sundae.

Here is how you can have your cake and eat it too, all for 100 calories:

How to Make 100 Calorie Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: 12 Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup nonfat or low fat milk, dairy or nondairy
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour –OR- whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. Spritz them lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together milk and vinegar. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, applesauce, and vanilla. Pour in the now curdled milk and mix all ingredients well.
  5. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined. The batter will be thin and wet, similar to a runny pancake batter. Divide it evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for about 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before removing to cool completely.
  6. Once the cupcakes are cool, top them with my favorite light and fluffy frosting: The Best Whipped Frosting

Notes

Nutrition for 1 cupcake (unfrosted): Calories: 108.7, Fat: 0.6g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 15.4mg, Carb: 29.7g, Fiber: 1.2g, Sugars: 20.5g, Protein 2.2g

**I’ve used all variations of flour blends. Using all white flour produces the lightest, fluffiest texture, and the one most closely resembling a standard, full-fat cupcake. The balance I’ve chosen- using 1/2 white flour and 1/2 whole wheat- is quite perfect. Nutritionally, you’re getting a better-for-you dessert, and the texture isn’t compromised. Using all whole wheat flour turns out well too, it’s just that the cupcakes bake up denser. If you want to use 100% whole grains in the recipe, though, I’d recommend whole wheat pastry flour, as it lends a softer, more tender texture than traditional whole wheat flour. Use whatever you like.

http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/2011/02/03/how-to-make-100-calorie-moist-chocolate-cupcakes/

Comments

  1. Cassie says

    Love your blog and these cupcakes look absolutely delicious! Could I persuade you to go back to using the larger font though? My eyes aren’t the best.

  2. CrashlyConquers says

    These look amazing! I think i’m going make them for my girlfriends for V-Day, but with red frosting, thanks for the recipe!

  3. says

    You had me @ 100 calorie moist chocolate cupcake…lol…another one for the recipe book! BTW…the pics are amazing. What’s your secret for photographing food? Thanks!

    • says

      Thanks Jeanne!! I always try to shoot with as much natural light as possible- mostly next to the big window in my living room. I also use the macro setting on my camera to get a really close, sharp image. I also find nothing more beautiful than a crisp, clean white plate. I like to let the food shine, you know? But honestly, I’m really not much of a photographer and I know very very little about how to do it! :)

  4. says

    those look delicious. My hubby is going on nutrisystem and this will be a great way to add a healthier treat to his plan. Thanks so much. Are they 100 calories before the frosting or after? also, have you ever had black bottom cupcakes? Just put a cheesecake type mix (light cream cheese, sugar, egg and choc chips) on top of the choc cupcake and bake. No need for frosting…devine!

    • says

      Ok, Cupcake Activist, please maybe you can eilpaxn something to me. I’m an American (but now in France.) I’ve been making cupcakes ever since I can remember, my Mother taught Home Ec and, she taught me. Then all the years with 4-H, FHA, four years of High School Home Ec myself, working in Bakeries and my own restaurant. And three children, therefore, many, many cupcakes. So, we’re talking 45+ years. Meaning, I’m not Cupcake Challenged, I’ve got experience.WHY is it that just about every American cupcake I see of late, has the frosting/icing JUST in the centre? It doesn’t cover the entire cupcake. The ones above are prime examples. That just looks sloppy, unfinished, mean and slightly naked to me. The frosting/icing helps to seal in the moisture and prevents ‘hard edges’. Is it just some trend? I hate it.Moistness just requires a few science principles, some experimentation and attention to detail. Just Google it, for heaven’s sake, Twenty Five Main, it’s not rocket science.Thank you for allowing me my rant. :)Kind regards from France, Kitty(But, I’d really like to know why so many places do just the frosting/icing plopped in the middle…)

        • Virginie says

          This lady wasn’t insulting anyone but just giving her opinion/advise and asking a question. Was it necessary to insult her? I don’t think so. When writing on the Internet, I believe anyone should think of the reaction they would have in real life. Would you have called Kitty a weirdo for asking a genuine question if you were having this conversation face to face? To be franc, you are the one who is attracting negative attention from your answer.

          • lynn2015 says

            C’mon folks! It’s obvious the original poster is setting herself up as an “authority” by listing all her experience with cupcakes AND THEN proceeds to judge someone else’s design by saying it looks “sloppy, unfinished, mean and slightly naked to me”. THIS is not opinion – THIS is a put down. plain and simple. She is writing in a very condescending way along with attributing this behavior to “Americans” (despite the fact that she says she IS American). She’s being judgemental and putting people’s design choices down. Why is it so hard for some people to realize they have been insulted?

            In the long run, we’re talking about cupcakes, right? There should be nothing on here that that gives such a harsh opinion about anyone else’s design or choices. Live and let live…

  5. says

    I’m always so nervous to bake with applesauce because I’m afraid it’ll turn into a big, dry, dense mess. But I trust you, so I’m going to have to make these! Lord knows I need more 100 calorie chocolate items in my diet. :)

  6. Online Sunshine says

    I love you. Really, I do. I love your words, I love your pictures, and I love most of your food. But I made these tonight in the hopes of surprising two co-workers tomorrow for their birthday….and perhaps it’s my lack of baking ability….but they didn’t taste very good. They were moist, but the flavor and sweetness was lacking. And the tops sunk after I took them out, even though I was oh-so-gentle with them.
    I made the frosting to go with them, and I didn’t like the results either. And, like others reported, the frosting was trying to separate. But again, I am not good at baking…I’m good at cooking…so maybe it was user error.
    All I know is that tomorrow I will take my little cups of disappointment to work and tell them that I truly hope it’s the thought that counts. And could someone go pick up a cake?

  7. Online Sunshine says

    I just want to leave an additional comment about the cupcake and frosting recipes.

    I went ahead and frosted the cupcakes and put them in a container and stored them in the frig overnight. I took them to work the next morning and put a note on the container that said, “These suck. Sorry!” (lol!) Anyway, people still wanted to try them and they said they weren’t that bad. In fact, my boss had two of them. And I had two of them, too. I still think the flavor needs something….not sure what…..but they are definitely the moistest little buggers, which is much better than eating a dry cupcake! I scraped the frosting off of my cupcakes because I’m trying to lose weight, but the residual frosting tasted okay. :) Some people commented that they were good, and some thought they were just okay…..so I think if a person is trying to watch what they eat and want a low calorie treat, this wouldn’t be a bad recipe to try. I had doubled the cupcake recipe and then I doubled the frosting recipe and I should not have doubled the frosting recipe. I had to throw out a TON of frosting. All that yummy butter in the trash. :(

    And we didn’t go buy a cake to make up for it. :)

    • says

      I love all of Isa Chandra’s cupcakes! I’m partial to her Vegan Mocha Chocolate Chip ones (http://www.thesecondlunch.com/2010/01/vegan-mocha-chip-muffins/). I had a vegan co-worker who made it difficult to keep healthy at work with all the phenomenal baking she did.

      In regards to the previous commenter, Oh Noes! There are a couple of things that could go wrong flavor-wise, and I think the best fix is making sure that you have a really really good cocoa powder. This makes a *huge* difference. I’d try Valrhona or Scharffen Berger over the traditional Hershey’s in this case. (They also taste great with a sprinkle of cinnamon in the fall). If she is having trouble with falling muffins, it’s likely that the baking powder/soda is too old, or the type of dairy or non-dairy. I usually use almond milk with relative success.

      Also, I made a batch of these tonight in NH as we batten down the hatches… I find that it is good to have cupcakes in times of distress. Hope you are having fun in NOLA, and travel safely!

  8. Jeannette says

    These were AWESOME.

    I had been satisfying my sweet tooth with low fat ice cream treats, but have been craving some kind of baked yumminess. These whipped up in a flash, and they taste DIVINE. I couldn’t quite bring myself to make the frosting (too rich for my calorie watching at the moment), but I made some fresh whipped cream (low fat Cool Whip would work, too) for the top and gobbled it up. The 12 year old loved it, too.

    THANK YOU ANDIE! These will be a waist-saving weapon in my arsenal for a long time to come.

  9. Sarah says

    These cupcakes look amazing! thank you for the recipe. But I have a question, can I replace the apple sauce with honey? and the brown sugar with artificial sugar?

  10. Kayla.d says

    OMG.. only words.
    These cupcakes are so freaken good! I mean it.

    As someone whos tried A LOT of low cal, low fat dessert recipes… this is the best by far. So guilt free,I love it!

    The best part is that, the next day their still so moist and delicious.. maybe even better than the first day! They pretty much taste like a gooey moist chocolate brownie. HEAVEN.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. Keep making more recipes just like this one!
    Maybe even a low calorie, low fat vanilla cupcake in the near future?

    😀

  11. Krysten says

    SO GOOD! I just recently lost 45 pounds and am trying to find ways to maintain it.. but still have a treat here and there! These are perfect. Love your blog, you’re such an inspiration! :)

    • Judy Lawler says

      Kayla – this is a low fat/cal vanilla cupcake recipe:

      1 yellow or vanilla 18.25 box moist style cake mix
      1 cup no sugar added applesauce

      Preheat oven to 350
      Use 1 vanilla cake mix & 1 cup no sugar applesauce.
      Combine ingredients in large bowl and add 1cup water
      Whisk thoroughly and line cupcake pans with paper liners lightly sprayed with Pam
      Fill and bake till knife inserted in center comes out clean
      (Refer to cake mix box for approximate bake times.

      These are very moist and fluffy. Recipe courtesy of Hungry Girl.

  12. says

    Well, THESE are getting baked this weekend. Furnace is out (of course, because no one can come until Monday) so extra baking will be integral to keeping the house warm. Thanks for these, Andie, and thanks for continuing to be my biggest weight loss inspiration. :)

  13. Heather says

    WOW!!! I was really unsure about these. I am SO glad I made them!!! these are AWESOME cupcakes! So moist and delicious! This recipe is a KEEPER!!! Thank you!

  14. Madison says

    I just made these today, and I was surprised at how good they were! I even used regular whole wheat flour since I couldn’t find the wheat pastry flour. I wasn’t expecting much after tasting the batter, but once baked they were awesome! My 3 year old helped me make them and he said they were the best cupcakes in the whole wide world! lol We also made your buffalo chicken rolls the other day and loved them too! I’m loving your blog, thank you for sharing!

  15. says

    Wow, this cupcake is absolutely amazing! I would have never imagined that a cupcake without oil, butter or eggs could taste this yummy!
    I love the way you give us a step-by-step explanation of how to prepare each dish. Thank you so much for sharing this with everyone!

    If you don’t mind, I shared this recipe in my blog :)

  16. Jennifer says

    I’m excited to give these a shot! They look delicious, and hey, they’re healthy! But I do have a question, do I need to add apple cider vinegar, or can that be an option?

  17. says

    someone mentioned a problem with the flavor.
    a good trick with anything chocolate is to add a small amount 1/4-1/2 tsp. of espresso powder to the mix. You can’t really taste it – it just helps to amplify the chocolate.

  18. Marla says

    I just made these using unsweetened almond milk and a Splenda brown sugar blend. Then I topped them with a low fat peanut butter cream cheese frosting. They turned out absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! Love it!!!

  19. Christina says

    Confession: I have made these so many times in the past 2 months that I now have the recipe memorized. And it fools all of my friends too! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I dress them up with different flavorings and additives too.

  20. Bryana says

    Do you have any suggestions for how to make these cupcakes either vanilla or cinnamon instead of chocolate?

  21. Krystina Fisher says

    OMG just made these tonight, sooooooooooo good. i sprinkled one with pomegranate seeds and it was so good! yum yum yum my diet just became so much better

  22. Su says

    Please reply this question right now! Don’t have time! So I want to make 25 of the cupcakes, i know that 12 times 2 is twice the ingredients in the batter, but I THINK you need to add a tablespoon to make 25, is it true? ANSWER!!!!!

  23. Pao says

    I tried this recipe tonight but sadly most of the baked batter ended up in the liner.. when removed from the liner, my finished product was not neat at all..it appeared as if they never fully formed (or fully baked). I tried by cooking longer but the problem persisted. Can someone please tell me what I’m doing wrong??? Thank you!

  24. Robin says

    OMG, these are wonderful! They are perfect when paired with the Best Whipped Frosting. Not too rich, just terribly delicious! Thank you!

  25. Nadene says

    I made these today. They were delicious! I made two batches. I used 40 calorie almond milk (it’s what I drink) and Splenda brown sugar blend. My kids usually don’t like my attempts at healthy low-fat desserts but they loved this.

  26. says

    I’ve made “buttermilk” often, but have never gotten it to curdle like your picture. I used 1% milk and apple cider vinegar. What could I be doing wrong and would the lack of curdling affect the taste or baking of these? Thanks for the great recipe!

  27. Lenis says

    So I randomly found this site and I’m not really a sweets person, because I don’t like extreme sweet or rich desserts but low fat/calorie desserts are actually the only way I can enjoy desserts as they tend to be much lighter and waaaaay less sweet. My boyfriend is on a diet and has a huge sweet tooth, he happened to be at the supermarket when I found this recipe so, along with the shrimp in spicy garlic sauce and green beans this shall be dessert tonight. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS.

    • Lenis says

      Just wanted say since my previous post i have made these cupcakes at least ten times and i love them, i wait until they cool down but not all the way and i eat them with vanilla ice cream or mint chocolate chip ice cream. sooooo good!

  28. Shruti says

    Hi!
    This recipe looks very interesting and I wish to try it here in India. Is there something I can replace the apple sauce with?
    Thanks
    Shruti

  29. Megs says

    I think I’m in the minority here, but I am not a fan. They had a great texture, super moist, but very bland. :( I threw the entire batch away. I followed the instructions exactly and had high hopes for these. Maybe I will try again with the espresso as pp mentioned. I *need* a low calorie cupcake recipe!

  30. Marisa says

    Okay, these literally do not taste Vegan at all…I could NOT stop eating these. And the best part? I ate 3 or 4 in a row but didn’t feel sick to my stomach like normal cupcakes would have done to me. Sharing this recipe with everyone I know!!!!

  31. priscilla says

    Really surprised to try and succeed in a non-butter and non-egg chocolate muffin. I was wondering how could I make the muffin less gooey and make it softer? Is it ok if I use red wine vinegar instead of Apple vinegar?

  32. Natasha says

    Hi! I just wanted to say that these are the best low calorie chocolate muffins i ever ate! They are so light and moist and very delicious. I made few changes and they still came out perfect! I used skim milk with apple cider vinegar, use 1/2 cup dark brown sugar and also added 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips to half the batter (to see how it would taste as a chocolate chocolate chip muffin and they were yummy). Next time i bake this i’ll add some walnuts. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  33. susara says

    The texture was excellent; the best I’ve ever seen for a cupcake/muffin without any butter or margarine. It was moist yet soft and spongy.
    However, it was very bland -so i added 1/4 cup chocolate chips which helped alot. Thank-you for the great recipe.

  34. Kathy says

    These cured me of my chocolate craving. Per other comments, I added a teaspoon of espresso powder and a 1/4 cup of mini chips. It surprising didnt take that many. Upped the 100 calories per muffin, but sometimes you have to take some tradeoffs .The texture was also excellent.

  35. Jill says

    I made a batch of these for Valentine’s Day. It was my first time using applesauce instead of oil. They’re a little dense but super moist and yummy. I made them as a trial run before a party tomorrow night. I think I’ll take the tip about adding more cocoa powder. And coat the sides of the muffin liners as well as the bottom.

    Thanks Andie. :) I wish I had ice cream so I could try a cupcake sundae.

  36. Kelsey says

    I attempted to make these cupcakes tonight. I substituted almond flour for the all-purpose white flour and almond-coconut milk instead of regular milk. I excitedly put them in the oven, at 375 degrees and set the timer for 15 minutes. My result was a big, gloppy mess that overflowed the muffin tin and dripped all over the bottom of my oven. The batter wasn’t even the slightest bit cooked, either. All in all, a bit of a disappointment.

  37. Virginie says

    Yesterday, for my birthday I made those chocolate cupcakes and they were superb!! So moist and rich with so little calorie. Thank you for this wonderful recipe! It is a very simple recipe but very efficient. I couldn’t believe how moist and tasty they were! I made a very low fat cream cheese frosting with only 50g of icing sugar and some orange rind and essential sweet orange oil. It was superb. A total of 150 calories for those cupcakes + frosting. What a treat!

    My husbands loves black forests and I was thinking of making this batter for his birthday cake. Any suggestions or tips as for cooking time?

    As for the people who fail a recipe because they change all ingredients but blame it on the original recipe! LOL!

  38. Liz Payntet says

    Oh dear god I just made these and I’m almost convinced they have more than 100 calories when eaten! They’re just too good! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m certainly going to become a regular!!!

  39. Donna says

    Thx so much for this recipe. Im looking forward to trying it out. I live in Bali and im not able to locate the apple cider vinegar. Is there something else i can use in its place?

  40. Jasmin says

    this is sooooooooo yummie!!! tried it today and loved it, very moist inside. For the frosting: I`d took a low fat cream, added 2 tbsp PB2, 1 tbsp sugar and mixed it up until it gets stiff. This was a perfect match, it tasted like a heavy peanut butter frosting, but it wasn`t. :)

    by the way, your site is great! i`m always watching for some low fat recipes and i get some from your site i really love!

    greetings from beautiful switzerland :)

  41. says

    I am looking for healthy cupcakes to make for the birthday of a little girl with weight struggles. I wanted her to have something delicious but something that wouldn’t contribute to the bad habits her parents are working to break. I came across your blog in my search. :) Thank you for sharing this, I will be using your recipe. I will also be posting it on my own blog soon, and will give you link love. Glad to have found you, and nice to “meet” you! :)

  42. Shawn Doherty says

    So good! Thank you! I got so many compliments! One thing I would recommend is not to spray the cupcake liner with Pam-like spray because it made mine all loose and such. Other than that it was great! :)

  43. Sonya says

    Thank you for such a wonderful recipe…my 3 yr old son(much like me) is nuts abt chocolate so imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this recipe! Very happy to report that the cupcakes were fabulous….so much so that they didn’t survive the weekend. And I didn’t feel guilty about giving them to my son since the ingredients were fairly wholesome. I typically don’t give I’m too much sugar but c’mon brown sugar is doable right..? ESP to see those eyes light up and for those sticky, chocloatey thank you kisses..:-)
    In fact we had a play date and his friend, a very tough customer, actually licked his bowl clean…well done with that recipe. It is now officially kid and mom approved..:-)

  44. Tisha says

    I needed a chocolate cupcake recipe for my little girl’s 4th birthday party at school. I don’t like giving her really sugary foods, and there are some kids with egg and nut allergies there, so I thought I’d try these out. I’ve never much liked the flavor of baked goods that substitute applesauce for butter, but this time, it really worked! I used skim milk, regular ‘ol Nestle baking chocolate, and poked a few chocolate chips into each cupcake before baking. I also sliiiiightly underbaked them ( toothpick wasn’t completely crumb-free). I doubled the recipe and actually had enough for 36 cupcakes that came about level with the cupcake liner (I used an ice cream scoop to portion out the batter). I topped them with a strawberry cream cheese frosting. Even after being refrigerated overnight, these cupcakes were nice and moist and chocolatey. I personally like my desserts really rich and sweet, and I was surprised at how much I liked these. This recipe is going into my recipe collection ASAP!

    • sonya says

      Kristine – ive made it with almond milk and the cupcakes come out much better than with regular milk (granted i usually have only 2% at home so almond milk is the go to choice).

  45. Susan says

    These are so delicious that I’m planning to throw in a few mini chocolate morsels, add a little vanilla buttercream, and serve them at my daughter’s upcoming birthday party. I made a test batch for breakfast on Valentine’s day, and they’re already gone!

  46. sonya says

    ok..so i had to jump back on and let everyone know that i’ve now made these cupcakes 4 times now and they are a hit every.single.time!!!

    i also put a marshmallow on top for a few seconds …..my little boy inhaled them!!!

    also, i’ve made them with almond milk and regular milk….almond milk works better for sure.

    thank you andie for putting this recipe on. seriously…today my son wanted to have cupcakes for breakfast…and i didnt have to say no…:-)))

    could you post or point me to some recipes of healthy, savory cupcakes for lunch for little people?

    thanks so much!
    sonya

  47. says

    One of my friends is a very devout vegan, so these cupcakes made her insanely happy! They always turn out so well, and having leftover applesauce is always a plus 😉
    First time I made these cupcakes, the batter was a bit too watery, so when I’m using almond milk (sidenote: making these with chocolate almond milk is probably the best idea I’ve ever had), I usually add a tablespoon of cocoa powder. When I made these for my friends, who’s allergic to almonds, I decided to go on a whim and use soy creamer. Turned out great! Didn’t have to add any extra cocoa powder to thicken the batter, and the cupcakes were very creamy. Love how versatile this recipe is, and how guiltlessly delectable! :)

  48. Julie says

    This may sound dumb, but can you ‘taste’ the applesauce? Like, does the applesauce make the cupcakes taste like apples? (sorry I’m new to this vegan thing haha)

  49. kenny lindsay says

    I altered the above recipe for my wife and added a few more ingredients
    she is dairy and soy intolerant and the cocoa slows her digestion down
    so even though the above recipe is great
    thought I would alter it to avoid the cocoa and see what I came up with

    They result was very moreish

    here is my tweaked version

    these are the differences to the original

    1 cup almond milk
    1 cup plain flour
    1/4 cup cornflour
    3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
    1/2 tsp ginger
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    pinch of nutmeg
    1 tsp golden syrup

    not sure how it would effect the calorie count

    hope you like

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *