When I traveled to Singapore a few years ago, I was stunned by the lack of sweets available. It was nearly impossible to find anything sweet (except Milo Dinosaurs of course, those are amazing). Needless to say, when I stumbled upon carrot cake on a menu I instantly gravitated towards it. I ordered it and much to my chagrin it wasn’t even close to being sweet. Apparently, carrot cake in Singapore is radish bread. My sweet tooth slept unappeased that night.
The frequency at which I churn out recipes for this site makes for a very unhealthy diet. Honestly, I don’t think there are many people who could pull off creating an entire dessert website in a summer solely because their metabolisms wouldn’t keep up. Obesity would kick in before recipe 20. I decided to start up a healthy dessert section to negate some of these unhealthy vibes I am putting into the world. This cupcake is low in sugar and low in fat!
I often hear people talk about substituting applesauce for butter in recipes. Non-vegans have this notion that it creates a healthy product. This claim, however, is a bit of a stretch. Butter and other fats inhibit formation of gluten and provide the feeling of moisture. Applesauce inhibits the formation of gluten because it contains pectin and sugar that compete with gliadin and glutenin for binding to water.
Because these mechanisms are different, the claim that to substitute applesauce for butter is a 1:1 ratio is misleading. You can substitute 1:1, but the final products will not be equivalent. In addition, you are substituting sugar for fats, so basically you are choosing a different poison.
I have come up with a solution to this problem, however. By substituting cornstarch for some of the flour, it is possible to reduce the amount of gluten formation. The starch molecules in cornstarch compete with glaidin and glutenin proteins in the same way that the sugars in applesauce compete. However, cornstarch does not contain any sugar. This allows for increased control of sugar and fat content.
Makes 12 cupcakes
Unsalted butter, for the pan
1 cups, all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan
3 tbs of cornstarch
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 medium grated carrots
2/3 cup of sugar
1/8 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 ounces plain yogurt
1.5 ounces vegetable oil
1.5 oz milk
¼ tsp of vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350
- Begin boiling the sweet potatoes for the frosting (this step takes some time)
- Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium sized bowl.
- Whisk the eggs, yogurt, vegetable oil, milk, vanilla and sugars in a bowl.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
- Fold the carrots into the mixture
- Let the batter rest 15 minutes
- Pour into cupcake tins and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Allow to cool to room temperature then add frosting
1.5 large sweet potatoes (quartered and skinned)
¼ stick of cream cheese
¼ tsp of salt
½ cup of powdered sugar
½ tsp of cinnamon
- Boil the sweet potatoes until a fork can easily go through the center of the potato
- Mash the potatoes
- Using a mixer mix in cream cheese, salt, powdered sugar, and cinnamon.