Almond Joy Cupcakes (reduced fat)

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  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (3.9 ounce) package fat free/sugar free instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup al natural unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons buttermilk (see homemade buttermilk recipe below)
  • 1 large egg or 1/4 egg beater
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup hot coffee

This recipe makes approx. 30 cupcakes.

*To make homemade buttermilk – combine 4 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and 1 cup skim milk in a glass measuring cup. Stir to combine and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.  The mixture will begin to curdle.


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare cupcake pans with liners.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, pudding mix, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, apple sauce, buttermilk, egg and vanilla.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until thick and just combined. Stir in the hot coffee until smooth and well combined.

Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 to 3/4 full. DSCN1372 - edited

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool on wire racks for 15 minutes.  Remove the cupcakes from the pans and return to wire rack, allowing to cool completely.

While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.

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Coconut Cream Frosting:

  • 8 ox reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Beat cream cheese and butter for 4-5 minutes. Add vanilla and coconut extracts, beat to mix well. Turn the mixer off and add powdered sugar, beating in one cup at a time, scraping bowl down between additions until you reach your desired consistency. Spread coconut cream on cupcakes and roll in shredded coconut, top with a few sliced almonds.

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