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Lower fat cupcakes with various flavour icing – Sainsbury’s Magazine

January 21, 2010

I was torn this week between trying to stick to a healthier pattern and the fact that I’d spotted an icing bag with attachments during a trip to Ikea. It got me thinking I’d love to make some cupcakes, but with all the sugar in the thick icing, I worried that the calorie content would send my blood sugar off the scale.

I wondered if there might be a way to reduce the calorie content by making a few changes to the recipe. The recipe called for sugar syrup to be poured over the cake, and full fat cream cheese to be used to make the icing. I did away with the sugar syrup altogether and switched to low-fat cream cheese.

I felt it was a bit odd that the recipe specifically mentioned that the cream cheese must be full fat and felt pretty confident they would work just as well with the lower fat version. Well, in short, I was wrong (mostly). I don’t know whether it’s the consistency of the lower fat stuff, but it just isn’t thick enough to maintain the traditional swirls of cupcake icing.

It’ll go onto the cake fine, but after a while, it drops (see the pictures). Maybe I should have left the icing to thicken a bit longer, but one of my flavours started to harden and seemed like it wouldn’t come out of the icing bag very easily. I tried increasing the icing sugar in another flavour to give it more thickness – but this seemed to defeat the object of decreasing the fat.

Still, in the end, while many of the cakes don’t look spectacularly beautiful (They don’t look too bad), they do taste just as good as other cakes I’ve had, and really, at the end of the day, that’s the most important thing isn’t it? The flavours I used for my icing were peppermint (mix in the basic icing mix with peppermint essence and green food colouring), strawberry (using jam and a drop of red food colouring), vanilla (vanilla essence), cinnamon (ground cinnamon), lemon (lemon zest and juice), chocolate (melted dark chocolate).

Difficulty level: 3/5 Getting a good icing technique is going to take some practice, but the making of the actual cake and icing mixture itself is relatively simple.

Recipe amendments: got rid of the sugar syrup, swapped for low fat cream cheese

Taste: 4.5/5 Not 100% perfect but I especially loved the mint flavour and the chocolate, strawberry and vanilla mix.

Chance of remake: 5/5 I’ll be practicing my cupcake technique again and experimenting with different flavours, sizes and icing technique – and I’ll also be making the full fat version to see how much of a difference it makes.

I got this recipe from Sainsbury’s Magazine, but you can find tons of cupcake recipes all over the internet and in specially dedicated books. Try these Rachel Allen cupcakes from GoodtoKnow.

See below for a couple more pictures of the cupcakes:

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