I’m going to take a step back from the gluttony for a moment. (Aren’t I nice, giving you a break from the sweets the day before nearly everyone embarks on a quest for health and fitness? Don’t worry – I’ll be back later in the week to bombard you with total calorie bombs – I’m sorry, but only a little.) For now, I want to share with you an easy, quick naked cupcake (muffin) recipe that I have up my sleeve. I can’t officially call them healthy (hence the naked cupcake name), but I can say that I’ve successfully and significantly reduced the fat in them and bulked them up with a little bit of white whole wheat flour.
It all started last Christmas Eve, as in 2011, when I was trying to bake an arrangement of muffins – some pumpkin, some Gingerbread – and popped these guys in the oven…without the yogurt. As it turns out, they were alright! In fact, they were a little bit denser and more intense than the second batch I made with the yogurt, and it got me thinking – if I can just eliminate the yogurt like that, what if I kept the yogurt in and removed the butter instead?
I think dangerous things when I’m in the kitchen.
The result is a muffin (naked cupcake – sorry, sugar content, you’re just not ok for breakfast in my book) that has a deep gingerbread flavor with a perfectly chewy texture. Some people may call them a little on the dry side – don’t mind them. These aren’t soft, fluffy cupcakes, nor are they super moist muffins. They aren’t meant to be. They’re something else entirely, and that’s a very good thing. So go ahead, start 2013 off on a good note – bake these and enjoy them with someone you care about.
One Year Ago: A Sugar Cookie Year in Review
Two Years Ago: Heavenly Pear Streusel Muffins (more Naked Cupcakes)
Gingerbread Naked Cupcakes
These hybrid muffin-cupcakes are dense and chewy, robust with the familiar spices of your favorite gingerbread cookie or loaf, and begging you to bake them.
Yield: approximately 2-3 dozen minis1
Prep Time: 15 minutes
BakeTime: 10-12 minutes
1 ½ cups (160 grams) white whole wheat flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
½ tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons (40 grams) packed light brown sugar
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons (150 grams) molasses
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (100 grams) plain, non-fat greek yogurt
Preheat the oven to 375˚ Fahrenheit and line mini muffin pans with paper liners. Meanwhile, whisk together all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and all spices) and set aside.
Whisk the egg in a medium-large mixing bowl until fluffy and foamy, approximately two minutes. Whisk in the brown sugar and yogurt until the mixture is smooth, then whisk in the molasses until fully incorporated. Fold in the dry ingredients in two additions, taking care not to overmix.
Place approximately ½ tablespoon batter in each mini muffin well and bake for 2-3 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350˚ Fahrenheit and continue to bake for another 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring the muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Naked cupcakes can be served immediately or stored in an airtight container – they will keep for several days (you can stretch it up to a week) at room temperature, or frozen for several months.2
Source, Adapted: Confections of a Foodie Bride
1I honestly have no idea how many this recipe makes. The original makes 14 normal sized naked cupcakes, but I totally blanked and forgot to write how many of the minis you’ll get. It’s a decent amount, and I can imagine it easily being 2-3 times the yield of the regular naked cupcakes.
2They’re especially good thawed in the microwave with a piece of chocolate placed strategically on top so that the naked cupcakes thaw and the chocolate melts – chocolate gingerbread is one of my new favorite flavor combinations, and I’ve eliminated the fat so why not add it back with a good piece of chocolate? Insert comment about how you-only-live-once here.
I hope everyone has a Happy and a Healthy start to the new year, and no matter how you plan to celebrate (or not), an enjoyable last evening of 2012! Let’s make 2013 a good one, shall we?