Fudge Filled Red Velvet Cupcakes That Won’t Go To Your Waist

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Yesterday was a big day at the Quest Household as The Kid celebrated her 14th birthday. Or at least celebrated after a morning spent at school taking final exams. I had to hear for several months how she had to go to school on her birthday and actually have to do work on that day too. Oh the horror of being a kid. 😉

I took the day off for the celebration and we spent the afternoon window shopping, getting her ears pierced, and seeing a movie. I love days like that when there are no longer obligations and only the fun stuff is left on the To Do List. For our birthday dinner tradition, she choose a sushi restaurant and we both stuffed ourselves like seals.

Dessert however was the pièce de résistance. The Kid loves red velvet. Red velvet anything to be exact – red velvet smoothies, whoopie pies, cookies. She’s not picky. Now since I’m in contest prep and yesterday was not a high carb day, I’m betting you think that I was unable to participate in the dessert festivities. Oh, how you underestimate me.

I was able to think this out ahead of time and come up with a moist and delicious red velvet cupcake that I could have without going over in calories and without starving myself the entire day just to fit it in. Not just any red velvet cupcake but a fudge filled one… for just over 200 calories each.

Now keep in mind that I’m not suggesting that these are healthy or that you should eat them daily instead of other choices. These are still a treat and should be treated as such. I started out with a recipe from Hungry Girl for chocolate chip muffins as my inspiration and morphed it into my goal cupcake.

As with any cupcake, it’s not the cupcake part that’s the calorie bomb. It’s the icing that makes it so good in taste and bad for the size of your backside. If you wanted to save even more calories, you could skip the fudge filling and icing altogether and just sprinkle on some powdered sugar. The color turned out gorgeous and The Kid loved them.

Fudge Filled Red Velvet Cupcakes  Fudge Filled Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 1 box red velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 15 oz can of pure pumpkin
  • 1 can chocolate fudge frosting
  • 1 can vanilla frosting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line 18 muffin cups with paper or foil liners. Empty the cake mix into a bowl and ignore the instructions on the box. Don’t even look at them as you won’t need them. Add in the entire can of pumpkin. NOTE: Make sure you are using pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. There is a huge difference.

Mix the cake mix and pumpkin together well. You’ll need a bit of arm strength for this as the batter will be thick. Make sure to break up the lumps and mix well so you don’t have dry batter clumps in your cupcakes. After mixing thoroughly, fill each of the liners about 2/3 of the way full. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 – 16 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, use a melon scoop or similar shaped object to scoop out the top and make a little well-shaped hole in each. I happen to have a little ice cream type scoop that I got years ago from Pampered Chef. It’s perfect for this. I measured it and it’s about 2/3 of a tablespoon in size.

Now that you have your little wells created, use the scoop and plop one scoop of chocolate fudge frosting in each hole. Next plop a scoop of vanilla frosting on the top of each cupcake and carefully spread it over the top, trying not to disturb the chocolate underneath. I got creative and took the little balls that I had scooped out and put them on top like a cherry on the cupcake!

Makes 18 cupcakes at approximately 215 calories each. You can also use the pumpkin idea with other flavors of cake mix. I’ve done it with chocolate and spice cake in the past. You can’t tell that there’s pumpkin in the cupcakes at all. The Kid has no clue so don’t worry about altering the flavor and having your secret discovered.

The cupcakes puff up better than following the instructions on the box and turn out so moist. I opt for this version even if I’m not in prep. Have you ever tried using pumpkin in your baking? What’s your favorite flavor of cake?

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