Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mocha Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting

Next weekend, our church is hosting a St. Patrick's Day dinner and I was asked to adapt a dessert recipe that would be appropriate for diabetics and others looking for a healthier alternative. The original recipe was loaded with saturated fat and carbohydrate, so some serious adjustments needed to be made. It was a fun challenge that required several delicious "taste testings" before a perfected recipe was finally obtained. If you can't find any instant espresso powder (which may not be a common ingredient found at the supermarket), you can substitute instant coffee granules and increase amount by ½ tablespoon. Also, if you want the Bailey's Irish Cream taste to really come through, eliminate the final dusting of espresso powder.

Now, the moment you've been waiting for (drum roll, please)...I am happy to present the following winning makeover recipe with only 11.3 net carbs per serving. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Mocha Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting
(Makes 15 cupcakes)

1/3 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder (regular or decaf)
¼ cup almond milk
1¼ cups almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1½ tablespoons canola oil
One 2.5 oz. container of baby food prune puree (about 3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup Splenda granular
½ teaspoon butter flavor extract
2 large eggs (room temperature)

Frosting Ingredients:
½ cup mascarpone cheese (4 oz.)
1/3 cup almond milk
1½ tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream
1 tablespoon Splenda granular
2 tablespoons sugar-free, fat-free instant white chocolate pudding mix (dry powder)
dust with espresso powder

1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Pour boiling water over espresso powder and stir until dissolved. Combine espresso mixture with almond milk and let cool. Meanwhile, line muffin tin with paper liners; set aside. In a small mixing bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, canola oil, sugar, Splenda, butter extract and prune puree until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the espresso and milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl occasionally. Fill muffin cups ¾ full (do not overfill) and bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cupcakes to cool in pan for a few minutes, and then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

3. After cupcakes have cooled, make the frosting by combining mascarpone cheese, almond milk, Bailey's Irish Cream and Splenda in a mixing bowl. Beat well until mixture thickens to soft peaks. Add 2 tablespoons instant pudding mix and continue beating until well incorporated and thickened. Refrigerate frosting for at least 10 minutes. Spread 1½ tablespoons onto each cupcake and dust with espresso powder. Serve immediately or refrigerate until 15-20 minutes prior to serving.

Nutritional Information per cupcake with frosting: 190.7 calories, 12.6 g carbohydrate, 14 g total fat, 4.9 g saturated fat, 1.3 g fiber, 4.1 g protein.

Make over recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2010
The original recipe is one that appeared in Martha Living Magazine's March 2010 issue, p. 48.

How does this compare with the original recipe? This makeover recipe is much lower in saturated fat, calories and carbohydrates, plus it has more fiber and protein. For comparison, the nutritional information per cupcake made from the original recipe is 232.6 calories, 27 g carbohydrate, 12.2 g total fat, 7.5 g saturated fat, 0.4 g fiber, 2.6 g protein.

3 comments:

  1. Can I substitute finely ground pecans or walnuts to almond flour?

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  2. Honestly, I don't know because I haven't tried it. Pecans & walnuts tend to be more oily nuts than an almond, so grinding them fine enough may be difficult without turning them into a nut butter. I know there are other nut flours available, such as hazelnut and peanut. If there is a walnut or pecan flour on the market commercially then, by all means, give it a try.

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  3. I made these last night, and they're wonderful! I really loved the cake recipe. It's definitely a keeper! However, technically, these aren't mocha cupcakes. Mocha implies that there is chocolate involved. I would call these either coffee or espresso cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream frosting. Anyway, these are awesome! Thanks for sharing.

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