Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Keep It Simple and Sweet

I can not tell you how many times I drool over my recipe books or baking blogs. In fact, if the truth be told, at random times of the day I can be found fantasizing about baking. This week's cooler temperatures and rainy days, reminded me that fall would soon be here. With fall comes Mexican hot chocolate and baked goods, especially if they are little treats that can be eaten as dessert or for breakfast. Muffins and cupcakes always seem to fit that bill.  

If I could, I would convert my kitchen into a test kitchen. I would cook and bake until I collapsed. I would invite anyone over to be Guinea pigs, I mean, taste testers. I would just line up the recipes and break the bank buying ingredients. Oh, if I could, I would. Believe that. 

But in the real world, which I seem to inhabit most of the time, I just can't. In fact, many of my baking adventures are in my head. I reread my magazines, cookbooks, and blogs just fantasizing about the day I make whatever it is...Of course, in my fantasies it all turns out fantastic and is received with rave reviews. 

My mother-in-law and I share many interests: coffee, reading, collecting cookbooks, and baking. She is the first person to tell me about the Weight Watcher cake recipe using diet soda years ago. She shares many of her newly discovered baking secrets and shortcuts with me. Many times they are so easy and affordable, I run right out to buy the ingredients to bake the goods, especially if those goods are "lowfat". Her latest share was Hungry Girl's recipe which substitutes lowfat Greek yogurt into a cake recipe. I knew I was going to try the recipe because it only uses three ingredients: cake mix, Greek yogurt, and water. That is it. I tried her Devil's Food cupcakes using this recipe. They tasted great! She told me while Hungry Girl recommends Devil's Food cake mix for this recipe, she heard spice cake mix tasted good, too. Well, with the weather being the way it is lately, that is what I was inspired to make; HG Spice Cupcakes with a Low Fat Cream Cheese Frosting.


Here is how I did it:

1 Box of Spice Cake Mix (I use Duncan Hines)
1 cup of nonfat or lowfat Greek Yogurt (I used Kroger's plain, nonfat brand)
1 cup of water 

If time permits, allow yogurt and water come to room temperature. Cakes and cookies seem to come out better when you use room temperature ingredients. Mix cake mix, yogurt, and water together. That is it. Nothing else needs to be added in. Bake according to cake mix directions on the back of the box. After baking, allow cupcakes or cake to completely cool before frosting. 

Low Fat Cream Cheese Frosting
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
8 oz 1/3 fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. 


These were a big hit with the family. Even my oldest son who really does not care for sweets gave me a big thumbs up. Don't just fantasize about baking these babies, bake them into reality (Kinda cheesy, huh?) ! They are super easy and really good, plus they make the house smell all kinds of good.

Thanks to my M-I-L for another awesome tip!

Speaking of tips, here are a couple:

* - add a little more nutmeg to batter for a spicier taste
* - add in diced baked apples or currants for a nice touch
* - sprinkle a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg on top of frosting for a nicer presentation
* - these taste better the next day (remember to refrigerate if using cream cheese frosting)

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megan said...

yum these sound great! I love spice cake. I've heard of using pumpkin, but never greek yogurt. so healthy :)

Cheryl said...

YUM, I am going to make these, maybe today!

Life with Kaishon said...

These sound positively amazing!