These cupcakes have been in my family since sometime in 2003. Well, not these exact cupcakes. Of course, I've made some changes to them to skinny them up enough for my liking these days. I think the first time that we ever made these was the summer when was going to be graduating college.
I had come home from school during some break and my grandmother was visiting (just as she is now.) My mom had come across this recipe somehow in a Better Crocker Cookbook and we decided to whip them up for whatever reason.
I mean... do you really need a reason to make cupcakes?
Anyway, we made the cupcakes and they were nothing short of amazing. I think that I ate my weight in them. Which at the time was more than acceptable. I was a teenager after all and could get away with eating whatever I wanted at the time. I was lucky that way.
We've made these cupcakes almost every year since then, so naturally I wanted to turn them into something that I could readily enjoy in a more guiltless manner.
The first thing I did to change these was to use a new 'Simply' boxed cake mix that wasn't full of a bunch of junk. The mix was just natural ingredients, all of which I could read and understand on the label. But, really any old box of cake mix will work since they mostly have the same calorie count. This was just my preference.
The next thing I did was to use my handy way of baking this cake with water and greek yogurt, instead of oil and whole eggs. Honestly, this usually creates an even more moist and tender cake than you would otherwise get.
I also swapped out the cream cheese for a greek yogurt cream cheese. It's half the fat of regular cream cheese and is comparable to Neufchatel for it's calories, but with an added boost of protein.
Then for the frosting, I made my own cream cheese whipped cream frosting, again using greek yogurt cream cheese.
This is a pretty stable whipped cream frosting, but you won't want to set them out in the midst of the summer heat as I'm sure eventually it will start to fall.
Also, be sure that you're using a HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM. Nothing light. If you use a light whipping cream it won't ever come to a thick pipe-able frosting.
Be sure to store these guys in the fridge since they are stuffed with cream cheese and also topped with it.
Skinny Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes
Servings: 24 • Size: 1 Cupcake • Calories: 180 • Fat: 5.3 g • Carb: 21 g • Fiber: 0 g • Protein: 4 g • Sugar: 12.2 g • Sodium: 194 mg
17 Oz. Cake Mix (I used a 'Simply' mix.)
1 C. Water
6 Oz. Plain Fat Free Greek Yogurt
2 Egg Whites
1/2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
3 Oz. Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese
3 Tbsp. Strawberry Preserves
8 Oz. Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
1/4 C. Powdered Sugar, Sifted
1/4 C. Natural Sweetener (Such as Stevia, Truvia, Etc.)
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tsp. Almond Extract
2/3 C. Heavy Whipping Cream, Cold
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a cupcake tin with cupcake papers.
Lightly coat the inside of the papers with non-stick baking spray; set aside.
Combine the cake mix, water, yogurt, egg whites and vanilla into a large bowl and beat until smooth and creamy.
Divide the batter evenly among 24 cupcakes.
Place 1/4 tsp. of cream cheese onto each cupcake and push down slightly into the batter.
Put about 1/4 tsp. of the strawberry preserves over the top of the cream cheese.
Place the pan into the oven and back for 20-25 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes are browned and 'springy'.
While the cupcakes were baking, I put the bowl of my stand mixer and the heavy whipping cream into the freezer to let it get nice and cold to whip up the frosting.
Carefully remove the pan from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling.
While the cupcakes are cooling, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth and creamy.; scrape down the edges of the bowl.
Add in the sifted powdered sugar, sweetener, and the vanilla; beat together again until well combined.
I used half vanilla extract and half vanilla bean paste.
Scrape down the edges of the bowl again and gradually beat in the cold heavy cream.
Increase the speed of the blender or stand mixer with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.
Pipe the frosting over the cupcakes using a frosting bag or if you're super classy like me... a ziplock!
Be sure to store any leftovers in the refrigerator.