Healthy Vanilla Cupcakes

July 5, 2012

in Breads, Muffins, Cookies, Healthy "MAKEOVERS", Kid Friendly, Recipes


Healthy Vanilla Cupcakes

Healthy cupcakes. Any healthy baker knows this can be a REALLY tough thing to accomplish.  Over the past couple years I’ve tried multiple recipes with some really bad results.  Dry, didn’t rise, tasted like a muffin instead of a cupcake, and the list goes on.  I must give props to Chocolate Covered Katie for her Skinny Vanilla Cupcake recipe that I adapted mine from. I was a little leery that they would turn out by looking at the batter (its thick), but I had faith, and they turned out great!  They are light, and have a great cupcake texture.  They really do taste like a great vanilla cupcake!

I quite enjoyed them plain, but they could easily be jazzed up with icing (like above).  A great option would be my cream cheese icing , which is the recipe I used for the pink icing (just added some Wilton gel in Rose) or even a glaze. The cream cheese icing is thick enough that you could easily dye it to make your desired icing color.

Note: Spelt flour is well tolerated by people sensitive to wheat.  But its not gluten free. I haven’t tried this recipe with oat flour yet.  It may make it really dense. Whole wheat pastry flour may be a good substitute to spelt, but again, I haven’t tried that either, so attempt at your own risk 😉

Healthy Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes 16 cupcakes


2 cups spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
12 packets stevia
2 eggs
2 Tbsp vanilla
2 cups 0% greek yogurt (for dairy free use plain or vanilla coconut yogurt or soy yogurt)
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (could sub with a light oil instead. You will get a hint of coconut taste in the cupcakes if you use coconut oil)

Note: I don’t recommend subbing the oil for applesauce in this recipe, or the cupcakes will be gummy


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients and stir (spelt flour, baking powder/soda/salt, stevia).  In a separate bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla, yogurt & lastly, coconut oil).  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combined. Mixture will be much thicker than traditional cupcake batter.

Scoop into cupcake liners or grease/spray your muffin tins.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until just golden around the edges and a toothpick comes clean.

Nutrition (per cupcake)   Calories: 142   Fat: 6 g   Carbs: 15 g   Fiber: 2 g   Sugars: 0.5 g   Sodium: 161 mg   Protein: 6 g

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I'm Kristine Fretwell, busy mom of 2 little girls, author, blogger, and former pro fitness competitor. I love almost any kind of cookie, anything coconut or pumpkin flavored, and Thai food. A perfect day for me is enjoying my family, getting to the gym, and whipping up a new healthy recipe. I've got a collection of over 300 healthy recipes, and other tidbits like fitness and health tips. My recipes have been featured on websites such as Huffington Post, Savvy Mom, Shape and Skinny Scoop.
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  • Natalie Wilson

    Hi! I’d like to try these with Monk Fruit packets… do you think it would still be about 12 packets? Give or take? Thanks!

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Yes I think it would work fine with monkk fruit packets. Not sure if they’re sweeter than stevia ones, so just use around the same and taste the batter.

  • Rebecca

    Hi, could I substitute stevia for coconut sugar?

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Coconut sugar would probably work. Just not sure how much for the same sweetness. You might just have to taste as you go.

      • Rebecca

        Ok, thank you, trying them now!

  • Laura

    Hi Kristine,
    In terms of cup measurements, how much would 12 stevia packets be? I want to make these for my sons birthday on Saturday!

    • Kristine Fretwell

      If you are using a baking stevia vs packets, try with 1/2 cup, then test for sweetness level.

  • April

    Can you substitute honey for the stevia?  If so, how would you compensate?  Please respond to me also at my email address.

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Honey should work, I’d probably use the same amount.

  • Jeannevanderveen8

    Do use refined or unrefined coconut oil for this?? Thanks so much!

    • Kristine Fretwell

      I’ve never seen refined or unrefined coconut oil before, so not sure what you mean. All the coconut oil I see in stores just says coconut oil, and virgin or extra virgin etc, which doesn’t really make a difference. But if I was to see those side-by-side, I would choose the unrefined.

      • Jeannevanderveen

        Thx for ur reply. This is the brand I got and I got the unrefined one. I got it at whole foods.

        Do you normally get the virgin or extra virgin coconut oil?


        • Kristine Fretwell

          Spectrum is great. I’ve gotten both virgin and extra virgin. I don’t find there is a difference. I think a lot of it is “marketing” too. I typically use either Tropical Traditions, Barlean’s or the Trader Joe’s brand.

  • Starskater2

    Can you show us pictures of what the batter looked like?

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Sure! I will add the image next time I make them….

  • Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner

    Nom nom nom. I always love me a healthy cupcake. 🙂

  • noodle02

    Why do you use Stevia?  Is the thought that because it’s “natural” that it’s healthy…because that is so wrong.  It lowers blood sugars and should not be given to diabetics.  It has many other side effects too but I’m not here to preach so I wont go one.  I agree that a ton of refined white sugar is bad, but to say something is “healthy” because it has no sugars is misleading to people who don’t know better.

    • Kristine Fretwell

       I’m not sure where you’re getting your mis-information on stevia, but I’d love to see the research. If you’re not a fan, you can use whatever sweetener you like 🙂

  • Christine Fretwell

    Have to try these in a gluten free (and dairy free) format. Love totally sugar free options. This could be a good base for a few other muffins with a bit of time and practice.

  • Anna @ The Guiltless Life

    I love CCK’s single lady cupcakes so I can’t wait to try your version! I too am a huge fan of spelt flour. I wouldn’t’ say I’m sensitive to wheat, but I try to avoid having too much of it in my diet. I also just like the texture spelt gives to baked goods – not as coarse as wholewheat but with more substance than white flour.

    • Kristine Fretwell

       Totally! Hard to explain how spelt cooks differently from wheat, but you’re right!

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