Carrot-Chocolate Cupcakes

Today is my daughter’s birthday.  Twenty-five years ago today, on her first birthday (and well before I had even heard about fat grams), I made a carousel birthday cake: 4 layers of home-made chocolate cake, filled and frosted with thick layers of home-whipped cream, animal crackers around the side, and topped with a paper canopy resting on straws, with a circle of animal crackers underneath.  She did what one-year olds always do with birthday cakes – attacked with both hands deep in the whipped cream, and shortly whipped cream and cake was all over her face and everything nearby.  Now she is a whole country away, but distance doesn’t deter a mother from celebrating.  The cupcakes are a lot leaner (as am I), but the love is the same.

The original recipe came from Cooking Light.  It was already very modest in fat, but I lightened it up a bit, because I wanted to add whipped cream (from a can).  These cupcakes are like little chocolate chip carrot cakes. Without the whipped cream, these will freeze very well, and be a great addition to lunch, or for a quick weeknight dessert.

Carrot Chocolate Cupcakes

1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup low fat buttermilk
1 large egg
1/2 cup egg substitute
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ounce semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finally chopped (I think 1 ounce of semi sweet mini chocolate chips would also work)
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Chop carrots in a food processor until finely minced. Combine carrots, sugar, applesauce, oil, buttermilk, egg,  and egg substitute in a large bowl.  Mix until well blended.  Combine flour, soda. And salt in a medium bowl and whisk together.  Add flour mixture to carrot mixture and stir until smooth.  Stir in chocolate.

Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove muffins from pan and cool on a wire rack completely.  Sprinkle with confectioners sugar if you are using it. One muffin (without the whipped cream) has about 2 grams of fat

Happy Birthday, dear daughter. This one’s for you.


2 Responses to “Carrot-Chocolate Cupcakes”

  1. 1 Justine October 21, 2008 at 12:27 am

    I’ve always loved these … I was just looking online to see if someone else had frozen them. So glad you’ve tried it! Also glad that you substituted applesauce … that was my plan, too.

  2. 2 perpetualfeast November 14, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    I substitute applesauce to lower the fat in most baked goods. (It doesn’t work on cookies.) But don’t take out all the fat. I tried this. It makes hard little hockey pucks instead of cupcakes or muffins.I think that the fat has to coat the flour somehow for the goodie to rise properly. I usually substitute 3/4 of the fat with applesauce, so a recipe calling for 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of oil would take 3 tablespoons of applesauce and one of oil.

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I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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