Make: Chocolate Cupcake Bites You Won’t Feel Bad About Eating


Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

The cupcake has been enjoying quite the season in the sun, from game shows to bakeries that sell nothing but the personal-sized treat. But you know who was miles ahead of the trend and will probably be enjoying them long after they’re no longer a “thing”? Kids. Kids love cupcakes, trendy or not.

And for good reason: They’re portion controlled, wrapped in pretty paper and have an excellent cake-to-icing ratio. The downside is what they do to your hip-to-waist ratio. I’ve made and tasted more than my share of “lightened-up” treats, and it’s rare that one will measure up in both flavor and texture, but believe me when I tell you, these fruit-enriched, deep chocolate cupcakes are honestly every bit as good as the real thing. And for way less calories! My three-year-old (who can sniff out hidden health with the best of them) didn’t have a clue.

So whip these up and enjoy — and don’t you dare feel bad about it. They’re sweetened with dates, after all.

Lightened-Up Chocolate Cupcake Bites
Makes 33 mini cupcakes or 17 regular-sized cupcakes

1 c. water
1 c. pitted dates
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz. (1/2 c.) bittersweet chocolate chips
1/3 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 c. all purpose flour
Powdered sugar for dusting


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Combine water and dates in a small sauce pan. Bring to boil.
3. Transfer mixture (once it begins to boil) to food processor or blender. Add cocoa and chocolate chips. Pulse to combine.
4. Let mixture cool about five minutes while measuring the rest of your ingredients. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla and process about five to ten seconds to combine.
5. Add baking soda, salt and flour and pulse to just combine.
6. Fill muffin tin with liners and divide batter evenly into tin, filling each hole 3/4 of the way full.
7. Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes (about 20 minutes for regular sized cupcakes).
8. Let cool about two minutes in pan and remove to wire rack to cool completely.
9. Once completely cooled (or just prior to serving), dust with powdered sugar.

Per serving (one mini cupcake): 45 calories, 1.2 fat grams, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 70 milligrams sodium, 80 milligrams potassium, 8.6 grams carbohydrates, 1.2 grams dietary fiber, 5.8 grams sugar, 1.3 grams protein.


Becca Boyd is a wife and mom who creates healthy and delicious recipes in her West Chester kitchen. She blogs about them on her website, Home Beccanomics.

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