Angel Food Cupcakes with Lovely Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

I had this great plan in the beginning of January: complete a series of posts on healthy desserts. It seemed like a good idea since this time of year is when everyone is dieting.

I started racking my brain for healthy dessert ideas. Now this is what I do best (I think); creating, testing, and writing dessert recipes, but I really struggled with coming up with some healthy dessert ideas.

I don't know why this was so difficult for me; I consider myself a fairly healthy person.
I don't smoke, I don't drink... err...

-I mean, I drink wine. And wine is good for you, right? All that fruit that's packed in there. Whenever I drink it, I feel like I'm doing something good for my body. I can feel all the vitamins and nutrients rushing in.

-I like reading Cooking Light and Nutrition Action magazine.

When I say I read Cooking Light, I mean, I skip the exercise portion in the front and start oodling the food pictures in the back, which are recipes I never make. My favorite portion in Cooking Light is the part where they makeover a reader's recipe. I always end up wishing I had the reader's original recipe instead of the revised version.

-I like eating salad, soup, fruit, vegetables and other healthy food.

I think about how much nutrition I'm getting from Taco Bell, and it amazes me. The iceberg lettuce on their chalupas is so crispy and refreshing and packed with vitamins. The cheddar bacon gordita crunch packs plenty of protein. The cheesy fiesta potatoes provide tons of calcium, and the caramel apple empanadas provide a day's worth of fruit.

SEE! I'm a very healthy person, so why can't I think of any healthy desserts? The only dessert that came to my mind was angel food cake. Angel food cake contains no fat, and is made with whipped egg whites, sugar, vanilla and cake flour.

I'm not a huge fan of angel food cake, but at times it can be nice, so I thought I would make some cupcakes. Angel food cake is very light and airy and delicious served with a light glaze or fruit. I frosted my angel food cupcakes with a lemon cream cheese icing, which I thought was nice because the tanginess complemented the sweet cake. I actually piped the frosting on the cake instead of just schmearing it on like I usually do.

So this is it: your one healthy dessert of the year. I can't think of anything else. When I make dessert, I HAVE to use butter or cream. I think when you eat dessert you should go big or go home.

Angel Food Cupcakes with Lovely Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:
1/2 cup cake flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus an additional 1/4 cup, divided use
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ounces (1/2 a package) reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with liners.

In a small mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, 1/3 cup sugar and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium-high speed, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the additional 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form; fold in flour mixture in three additions until just combined. Divide batter into muffin cups.

Bake at 375 degrees F, for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

To make the lovely lemon cream cheese frosting, in a medium sized mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until well combined, about 1 minute.
Spread or pipe frosting onto cupcakes.

Makes 12 cupcakes

49 comments:

  1. I love the way you've piped the frosting - very cute!

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  2. how pretty! the piped frosting is so cute!

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  3. I hear ya. There's no way I am going to compromise on dessert with like wheat germ crusts and yogurt toppings and other healthy variations.
    Just eat your veggies and you'll be OK.
    If I were you, I'd stay away from Taco Bell,too.

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  4. Your cupcakes are really pretty! And I agree desserts should be full of butter and sugar, but I also think they should be a sometimes food.

    Um and iceberg lettuce really has no nutritional value...

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  5. Agreed about the butter and cream thing. I'd rather have a REAL dessert once in a while than a poor lowfat dessert substitute every day.

    I do like angel food cake though. It's the tofu of the dessert world, it takes on the flavors of what you pair it with. I didn't know you could bake it into cupcakes. I always assumed angel food cakes had to be baked in something with a hold in the middle.

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  6. Ha, in my opinion there's little point in healthy desserts. They usually don't taste as good (not angel food cake, but stuff that's more deliberately healthy) and you might as well just have a healthy diet with the occasional sweet treat.

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  7. Sounds like a great little cupcake. My problem would be that I would eat at least six of them warm from the oven without icing, then eat two more after they are iced. The icing application is cute!

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  8. Nice! I love how you did the frosting too.

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  9. Agreed - if you want a healthy dessert, eat fruit! Ha, guess I will be changing my tune once I actually decide I want to lose a few lbs. :)

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  10. Great icing! I only have one healthy dessert too, and it should be topped with ice cream. :)

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  11. I think the cold has me craving summer-y things so I have been really feeling the craving for lemon lately. I don't know how diet this cream cheese frosting is, but I want to try it!

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  12. Pretty cupcakes!!

    For healthy desserts - how about poached pears (in wine, even healthier! :) or grapefruit (or pineapple) sprinkled with brown sugar and broiled?

    But really, if you're healthy, you should be able to have a little bit of indulgent dessert and not worry about it. Life's too short!

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  13. hah! you crack me up. i'm sure that your diet of taco bell and wine is so heart healthy, your physician is probably so proud of you ;) i love wine, especially red wine. i have yet to feel like i'm doing something good for my body when i'm drinking it, but maybe that's just because i'm not thinking about it in the right way ;)

    this cream cheese sounds lovely. i'm working on my own cupcakes today and tomorrow... i need to get a piper so they look pretty like yours!

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  14. dessert is meant to be an indulgence, so i don't give a hoot if it's healthy or not. :)
    that being said, i'd enjoy these puppies regardless of their lightness. :)

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  15. Angel food is spectacular! And who can argue with a cupcake?? (That's controlled portion sizing, right?)

    I'm thinking about all the vitamin c that might be lurking in that frosting myself :)

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  16. Those are so pretty.....they sound very light and just right this time of year!

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  17. i like your dessert motto!! although the pie i just made would not really fit into that spectrum :) i need to get a little better self control (or cook for more htna just myself) before i start going whole hog! love the piping job :)

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  18. BRING ON THE DECADENT DESSERTS!!! :-D

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  19. Man I should start eating in Taco Bell every night and skip the gym! That was really funny Emily! About the cupcakes they're double healthy, because you're promoting portion control by doing them in cupcake form instead of a hole cake! Well done on healthiness!

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  20. THE LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING IS SO INTRIGUING I HAVE TO TRY IT AND ANGEL FOOD CAKE I THINK ITS THE RIGHT CAKE FOR IT :) NICE PIPING !

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  21. Oh I love health food...especially in cupcake form!

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  22. These look like a *very* healthy and fun treat. I've never made angel food cupcakes...never even thought of it! Seems better than having a whole cake sitting around.

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  23. Great post! I laughed when you said you always wish for the original recipe, instead of the light version. I do too!

    Yummy cupcakes! So pretty.

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  24. Yeah, healthy stuff, I love healthy things. I like the piping. It looks really yummy! Is there a trick about the two cupcake shells?

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  25. YUM!! What is it with lemon lately? I used to hate it, but now anything with lemon is so so delicious!!! I actually love angel food so now I just have to convince the hubby!!

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  26. Those are adorable. You're such a genius. I never thought of making angel food cake into cupcakes. I didn't know you were even allowed to!

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  27. Angel food cake is my second favorite dessert! I bet the lemon frosting really went well with this! Yum!

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  28. Hey! You are on Cupcakes Take the Cake! Woo hoo!

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  29. I just made lemon angel food cupcakes yesterday but yours are 100x's cuter than mine!!

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  30. Me like Angel foodcake very much. The only healthy desset i know of is... err.. fruit salad? :-)

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  31. It seems everyone's trying to get healthy after all the festive stodge. Nice looking buns. Sorry I forgot, I can't say buns here or you'll think I'm referring to your arse. I mean cakes.

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  32. These are great and quite light! The frosting looks amazing!

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  33. i think this is an excellent cupcake!!! i was never a fan of the texture of angel food cake because i, too, feel that you should go big or go home. i like my cakes really dense and moist.

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  34. Well, this looks healthy enough for me. I'll take it. :D

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  35. I have an award for you, girlie! Over here: http://icookstuff.blogspot.com/2009/01/some-tv-announcements-and-award.html

    :)

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  36. You do healthy right. :) Gorgeous cupcakes!

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  37. Hi ya
    This is my first time here. U have a lovely space. I am sure that I will be visiting you often.

    Brilliant presentation girlie! loved the piping at the top the most. Mussay that you are really talented. Way to go!

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  38. What beautriful cupcakes and fabulous piped icing!!

    So lovely to be back blogging once again and viewing your posts!

    Rosie x

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  39. I like your "go big or go home" philosophy. I'm thinking of myself here who still hasn't kicked in to her "everything in moderation" mode.I would be very tempted by your angelic cupcakes.

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  40. Ooh, good idea. I will make these to use up some of my frozen egg whites. For other healthier desserts, you should take a look at Ina Garten's Lemon Yogurt Cake: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lemon-yogurt-cake-recipe/index.html.
    It is really tasty, Dorie Greenspan also has a yogurt cake recipe in Baking which was the inspiration for Ina's.

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  41. Perfect :)
    My mom was asking for angel food cake, so maybe I will make these for her birthday next month...

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  42. I love the frosting! Super cute cupcakes!

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  43. Hi Emiline

    Happy new year (I'm just catching up after a nasty spell of flu).

    Wow your cupcakes look perfect!

    Maria
    x

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  44. Seriously, what is your secret for staying thin?? :P Exceptional genes, I suppose. My sister loves Angelfood anything, so this might be the perfect back-to-school treat for her :)

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  45. Here they are! Yeah, making a healthy dessert is pretty much impossible...it can be lean, but it won't be healthy. Dessert and healthy=oxymoron :D.

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  46. Those are darling! Healthy? Sure! Everything in moderation. Eat one and feel good about it! Attitude is important!
    LL

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  47. I would have to make many batches of these little gems. Who could eat just one?

    Time to buy more eggs.

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