For this year’s Halloween festivities, I’m whipping up a batch of fairly healthy (yes, you read that right) and wickedly fun Sweet & Skinny cupcakes. I might even get guests involved in the festivities and have them decorate their own cupcakes. These tasty ghouls have 30 percent less fat and fewer calories. They’re certain to vanish in no time!

  • Yields: 24
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Total: 1 hr, plus cooling time
  • Active: 35 mins

Ingredients (18)

For the cupcakes:

  • 4 ounces butter, softened
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 2/3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt

For the frosting:

  • 18 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Natural orange food color (optional—sold in most health food stores)
  • Assortment of candies (I suggest purchasing natural candies from the health food store)


To make the cupcakes:

  1. Line 24 muffins cups with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center position.
  2. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Beat together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and orange zest for several minutes on medium speed. Add the eggs, orange juice, and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed, mix until everything blends together. If the batter looks slightly separated don’t worry, it will come together with the flour.
  4. Add the cake flour mixture and the milk. Beat together just until combined. Add the yogurt, again beating just until combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the lined muffin pans. Bake the cupcakes for about 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.

To make the frosting:

  1. Sift the powdered sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the cream cheese, orange zest, and vanilla. Beat until well combined. If using, add the natural food color. Frost the cooled cupcakes and use the candies to make a variety of faces on top of the cupcakes. Store at room temperature for up to 12 hours before serving.