Red velvet cupcakes are the height of decadence. But you can trim the calories and fat without hurting the taste, on Valentine’s Day or any day. Here’s a recipe adapted from Cooking Light. We dressed ours up with pink frosting and three cherry sour candies. (Or, use traditional cream cheese frosting.)
What You Need: 1 2/3 cups sugar; 5 Tbsp. vegetable shortening; 1 large egg white; 1 large egg; 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa; 1 1-ounce bottle red food coloring (yes, the entire bottle); 2 1/4 cups flour; 1 tsp salt (optional); 1 cup reduced-fat buttermilk; 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract; 1 Tbsp. white vinegar; 1 tsp. baking soda.
How to Make It: Beat sugar and shortening with mixer for about 5 minutes. Add egg white and egg and beat in. Separately, stir together cocoa and food coloring and then add to mixture. Add some of the flour and then some of the buttermilk, alternating and ending with the rest of the flour until it’s all mixed in. Mix in vanilla. Separately, combine vinegar and baking soda and then add to mixture. Pour into lined muffin tins. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven until toothpick comes out clean, perhaps about 24 minutes (cooking time will vary).