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Sinless Cupcakes

This week I hit a wall. I’d traveled to four cities in 2 and a half weeks and I needed a break.  My body screamed at me, slow down!  What are you doing?!  I had planned to travel back to college for the weekend to celebrate the graduation of 2010, party with missed friends, eat my favorite town food and probably end up sleeping on friend’s dorm floors (pleasant, right?).  Instead, I stayed home and spent the weekend reading, sleeping (in my bed) and baking, the ultimate zen event.  Not my college buddies, but still a lovely weekend.

Not sure about the rest of the country, but in the District, cupcake craze has taken over.  There is Hello Cupcake, Georgetown Cupcake, Curbside Cupcakes, the list goes on.  And while I adore cupcakes, I would also love to eat them without feeling like I’m completely wasting my calories on 4 bites of cake and buttercream.  So this weekend I attempted to do the unthinkable: make a healthy cupcake.  The recipe originated with The Atlantic Food Channel, where I found a recipe for flourless chocolate cake made with beans and greek yogurt.  I’d made the recipe for Passover this year and it was wonderful.  I looked up other recipes by the same author and found an adaptation of Ina Garten’s lemon yogurt cake.  With the wheels turning, I decided to combine the two: lemon cupcakes with beans and greek yogurt!  The only trick: bean are gray.  Not so yummy.  In come the beets.

Beets are one of my favorite vegetables; endlessly diverse and a thrill to cook with.  In this case, they would be my savior from gray, blah looking cupcakes and instead turn them into red-velvet-looking, scrumptious lemon creations (with additional fiber and antioxidents!).

After an afternoon of experimenting, here is the recipe I ended up with:

2 cups flour

4 eggs

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1 can black beans (15.5oz)

3.5 oz Greek yogurt (fat content of your choice)

2 lemons juiced

1 cup sugar

2 lemons zested (approx. 2 tbsp)

1 cup beets, grated

Icing:

1 cup confection sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325 and let bake for 20 minutes.  Let cool then ice.  Red sprinkles optional. Eat and enjoy!

Red Lemon Cupcakes

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