Healthier Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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I was looking for a healthier version of pumpkin cupcakes with a lighter cream cheese frosting to take to a Halloween party and found this recipe that I adapted from Gina’s Skinny Recipes .  I modified it a bit for taste but overall they were delicious and super easy to make!  I loved that there was no eggs or oil in this recipe to save on the saturated fat most recipes like this call for.

Servings: 16 cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  •  1 Box of Betty Crocker Super Moist Vanilla Cake Mix  (15.25 oz)*
  • ¾ cup of canned pumpkin
  • 2  tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cup of water

Cream cheese frosting

  • 8 oz Philadelphia 1/3 fat cream cheese (do not use fat free)
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cupcake tin with 16 cupcake wrappers.

Combine cake mix and pumpkin spice in a large bowl. Add pumpkin puree and water, mix about 2 minutes.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake about 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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For the frosting, combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar until smooth. You can use a spatula to ice the cupcakes or pipe them which may require making more frosting.  If you do not pipe them then there will be a ton of icing left over.  Use the left overs as pumpkin cream cheese on your bagel in the morning – makes a delicious seasonal treat!!

*Gluten Free option can be done by substituting the Betty Crocker cake mix with a Vanilla Gluten-Free cake mix.

Nutritional Facts:
Servings: 16 • Serving Size: 1 cupcake • Weight Watcher’s Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 121.1 • Fat: 2.8 g • Protein: 1.4 g • Carb: 23.5 g • Fiber: 0.5 g • Sugar: 14.2 g Sodium: 142.3 mg

It’s Pumpkin Time!

It’s that time of year when I start pulling out my pumpkin spiced candles, decorating the house with fall colors, ordering pumpkin spiced lattes and pumpkin flavored donuts (occasionally of course😜), enjoying the smell of the fresh fall air, windows open, and having football on all weekend long. Nothing compares to this amazing feeling of peace and happiness.
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One thing that’s for certain is that pumpkin is ALL around us, which is so exciting as it is such a multi-functioning, excellent source of nutrition! I can’t help but take advantage of it this season. Whether I am baking pumpkin muffins, pancakes, sauce, or adding it to my smoothie, I will certainly be experimenting with all kinds of recipes this season. The good ones I will be sure to post!

This being said, I wanted to share how cooked pumpkin and roasted pumpkin seeds can aid in your nutrition and well-being in hopes that you may be consuming lots of it this season!
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• Pumpkin is a great source of fiber and low in calories, 3 grams of fiber and only 49 calories per 1 cup. A fiber-rich diet has been consistently known to aid in weight loss.

• 1 cup of cooked pumpkin provides you with more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which aids in vision.

• The antioxidant beta-carotene found in pumpkin has been researched and found to possibly play a role in cancer prevention.

• The same free radical neutralizing powers of the carotenoids in pumpkin that may keep cancer cells at bay have also been known to diminish the signs of wrinkles.

• Studies have shown that pumpkin seeds are naturally rich in plant based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown to lower LDL, aka “bad” cholesterol.

• The amino acid found in pumpkin seeds has been known to be an all natural mood enhancer. Grab a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds to improve your mood!

• Cooked pumpkin is a great source of potassium, even better than a banana! 1 cup of cooked pumpkin provides you with 564 milligrams of potassium vs. 422 grams in a banana. This is a great post workout snack as it refuels the body for faster recovery.
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All of this information has been gathered from various resources and intended to provide valuable information to improve overall health and well-being.

Cheers to Mindful, Healthy Living!