I love cupcakes.

The argument could be made that a cupcake is the perfect portion of cake, but they’re still super high in calories. So when Hungry Girl posted a recipe for 164-calorie cupcakes Tuesday, I was excited but cautious. The recipe sounded like it would produce cupcakes that tasted artificial …. like diet cupcakes. Ew!

For Frosting
1 1/4 cups Cool Whip Free, thawed
1 1/2 tbsp. Jell-O Sugar Free Fat Free Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix Doesn’t this just sound nasty?

For Cupcakes
Half of an 18.25-oz. box (about 1 1/2 cups) moist-style yellow cake mix
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup Sprite Zero (or another diet lemon-lime soda), room temperature What?
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup liquid egg whites or (about 4) raw egg whites

But I’ve heard good things about the Hungry Girl books, and I love anything offbeat, so I had to try it.

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The batter was frothy, from the pop and the egg whites.

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The tops of the cupcakes had a sort of skin on them — not really burns — when they were removed from the oven.

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But aren’t they just the happiest looking little guys? 😉 And … they taste as good as they look! The cake is a very light, spongey cake, but it doesn’t taste artificial in any way. The icing is very sweet, but not sickingly so. They’re not health food, not by a long shot, but for a satisfying low-cal treat, these are perfect!

Special thanks to my friend Melissa for allowing me to use her digital camera!

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