Red Velvet Cupcakes


I have to admit it – I’ve never eaten red velvet cake. I’ve seen it on tv and I’ve heard people rave about it. So, I decided to do some recipe research. I found countless recipes for red velvet cake. My goal was to create a healthier version of red velvet cake. I substituted whole-wheat pastry flour (for more fiber) for the cake flour, used less sugar, and boosted the flavor with pure vanilla extract. My family loved it! Now you can enjoy red velvet cake with less guilt but all of the flavor.


  • 2 ½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8  tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbs. canola oil
  • 1 cup 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

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/4 cup light cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and whisk until smooth.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray 1 mini muffin tin (or 2 regular muffin tins) with cooking spray.
  3. 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 and food coloring.
  4. 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. Pour batter into muffin tins and place in oven. Bake 12 minutes (for mini cupcakes) or 18-20 minutes (for regular size cupcakes) or until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire rack and allow to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

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