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Recipe: Low Fat Red Velvet Cupcakes by Maddie Rudd

November 25, 2008

The perfect cupcake for the holidays. You can have your cupcake and eat it too!

Low-Fat Red Velvet Cake


  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fat-free buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp red food coloring
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, spray two 9-in round cake pans with fat-free zero-calorie cooking spray, and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.

Separately, in large bowl or electric mixer, beat together sugar, applesauce, and oil.

Add egg, egg whites, and vanilla one at a time, beating well after adding each one.

In a small bowl combine fat-free buttermilk (see Low-Fat Cooking Substitutions to make your own) and food coloring.

Add half the flour mixture to egg mixture, stirring well, then add buttermilk mixture, stir, and finally the rest of the flour mixture, mixing until well combined.

Combine baking soda and vinegar in small bowl or measuring cup, allow to fizz, then fold into batter.

Immediately divide evenly between cupcake liners and smooth the tops, then bake 25-30 minutes or until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Wrap layers separately in plastic wrap and freeze at least 60 minutes before icing with low-fat cream-cheese frosting, below.

Low-Fat Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 3/4 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 cup fat-free small curd cottage cheese
  • 16 oz Neufchatel or low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


Place yogurt and cottage cheese together in food processor and process until smooth. Cube cream cheese and add to processor, processing again until smooth. Add sugar in three parts, processing to mix between additions. Cover and refrigerate until hardened enough to spread.

Icing The Cake

Once cake has hardened in the freezer and frosting is spreadable, cut each 9-inch round in half horizontally to create four layers (or, if you prefer a smaller icing-to-cake ratio, leave as is).

Place the first on your serving platter, then spread with frosting.

Repeat with next three layers, then frost the sides of the cake.

Garnish with grated coconut if desired, and return to refrigerator to let frosting set.

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