Sometimes you see something pinned on Pinterest over and over and over and you have to wonder: Is it really worth all the attention? In our series Pin-tested we take something you’ve seen a thousand times on Pinterest and put it to the test.
I was on Pinterest the other night — like I often am before I drift off to sleep — and I saw a pin about no-fat cupcakes. Essentially, you take a box mix, and in place of the eggs and oil, you instead add nonfat Greek yogurt, a little water and voila! Guilt-free nomminess.
I’ve tried several variations on this theme, and each time, I’ve been less than impressed. Not that I wouldn’t eat them, mind you — I’ve been known to suffer through black licorice regardless of my distaste, simply for the sugar. And no matter how you try to health it up, box cake still has sugar.
While they’re still edible, to date I’d yet to find a substitution that gives the same, fluffy, moist outcome. Replacing eggs and oil with a cup of applesauce leaves the cupcakes with a nice, if slight, apple flavor — but the cake itself is heavy and almost sticky. Replacing the duo with a cup of pumpkin pack — while tasty — also has the same effect: chewy, heavy little veggie bombs. But, in the name of good health, I gobbled on, like the good little kitchen soldier I am.
Today’s test came with moderate hopes, despite the praises of all the pinners: “Delicious and healthy!” “So good!” and “Why didn’t I think of this?” Why, indeed?
So I gave it a stab.
– 1 box of cake mix (Yellow Betty and I tried this one together)
– 1 container of Oikos nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
– 1 cup of water
As per the pin, I dumped it all into my Kitchen Aid and let it head into a mixing frenzy. However, it clearly needed more than the 1 cup of water the pin called for. So I kept adding water until I was satisfied with the batter.
I readied the cupcakes and baked them at 350 for about 20 minutes. They came out looking pretty great:
So far, so good. They were golden, they fluffed up; I was kind of impressed. Last step: the taste test.
By all accounts, the cupcake looked great. It had risen nicely and it was golden. However, I had a feeling something would be funky with the texture. The top of the cupcake was a little stiffer than it normally would have been. And when I peeled off the liner…
Waaa-waaaaaaa…. Fail. The cupcake stuck to the liner, leaving a little ball of cake in the center. But, for those not wanting to serve these cupcakes to party guests, I will say the taste was pretty darn delish. The texture of the cake inside was a little denser than normal, but it wasn’t gooey , overly stiff or chewy like so many other substitutions I’ve tried.
Considering my secret mission to feed my family more healthfully by trickery: I will definitely make these again (like school lunches, for example). And I recommend the recipe to all my health conscious friends.