07 February 2011

red velvet cupcakes with stevia in the raw

red velvet cupcakes with stevia in the raw

What better way to say I love you than with a treat that won't send your lover into a diabetic shock?

Hey, I had to temper the mushiness. I'm sorry.

red velvet cupcakes with stevia in the raw

Since my stock of Stevia In The Raw hadn't been used up, I decided this was the perfect time to try their recipe for red velvet cupcakes.

Sugar plays an important roll in baking. Not only does it affect sweetness, but there's a bit of science behind it. Sugar aids in the texture, moisture, and development of the baked good. The leavening helps baked good rise, but sugar does as well as air is beaten into the batter or dough when whipped with the fat, thus aiding the structure. (Read more: Joy of Baking)

Therefore, it reasons that using a sugar substitute will produce a sub-par result. Knowing this, Stevia In The Raw recipes replaces just half the regular sugar with stevia, allowing the sugar to do its thing but at the same time reducing the calories. Will you still notice a difference? Yes. I'll explain later on.

(It's also important to note that many sugar substitutes, stevia included, are much sweeter than sugar. There are conversion rates if adding to a recipe that doesn't require baking, though SITR says you can use the powder 1:1 in baking. Visit their site for more info.)

red velvet cupcakes with stevia in the raw

While this recipe was straightforward, I didn't feel like whipping egg whites. Following the technique of Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake, I added the egg whites to the buttermilk and gave the batter a 2 minute whip after the baking soda and vinegar were added. The batter was voluminous and tasty.

Now, most brands of stevia have a rather unpleasant licorice aftertaste. This brand is better than many because the aftertaste isn't very pronounced. I started tasting it after a while, especially in the cream cheese frosting, but this was most likely to tasting the batter... Multiple times. Like licking the beaters and finished off the bowl. The family tested some and didn't really notice it, so that's another plus for this brand.

The recipe calls for 3 tablespoons red food coloring. I used an entire 1 ounce bottle of Wilton's coloring paste, which says "concentrated" on the label. I may or may not have tasted it in the batter. This isn't the no flavor version, I don't think. I didn't taste it after the cupcakes had baked up, luckily. However, I'm not sure if I used too much of this type of food coloring. Look at the bowl filled with water!

red velvet cupcakes with stevia in the raw

My changes to the frosting was using just 4 tablespoons butter (for a very lazy reason -- I didn't want to get more out) and adding 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar. I realized I didn't want a straight up cream cheese frosting, and since I turned half the batter into a 6-inch layer cake I would need more for frosting it. I'm not going to type those instructions out since other recipes can be found, like the one I linked to below (for my favorite red velvet cake).

red velvet cupcakes with stevia in the raw

I can't complain about this recipe. It produced such wonderfully domed cupcakes. The height was so stunning that I paused before covering them up with the frosting. The memory will live on in pictures. The texture was a little rubbery and a bit on the dry side but not bad at all. I definitely would make these for friends and family concerned with sugar intake, though it's not going to replace my favorite red velvet cake recipe. That recipe doesn't use any baking powder and I wonder if that's why this recipe was on the rubbery-bouncy side. The recipes are almost similar otherwise, though this one called for 3 tablespoons dye. I prefer my modification of 1 tablespoon dye and teaspoons of raspberry jello powder I talked about in that post.

red velvet cupcakes with stevia in the raw

I found another use for the Nordic Ware covered pie pan I reviewed, though it can only fit 8 cupcakes.

red velvet cupcakes with stevia in the raw

Tiny cakes are adorable. This little 6-inch double layer red velvet beauty was made with the remaining batter after making 12 cupcakes. It took about half an hour to bake, so next time I will use both of the cake pans I prepared. If you only have two people in your household, you can make half the recipe. If you make the full recipe and give away or freeze the extras.

I'll leave you with a question: If muffin tins don't have to be greased and floured (assuming you aren't using liners), why do cake pans? I've never had much trouble getting cupcakes out of the tins, and I only grease the bottoms (my Wilton pan is nonstick). However, I would never ever not grease and flour cake pans. In fact, I almost always line them (I didn't this time and it released perfectly). Maybe it's because the cake pans I use have ridges on the bottom and that's why cakes stick if I don't use parchment.

red velvet cupcake with stevia in the raw
Recipe adapted from Stevia In The Raw

Makes 24 cupcakes

ingredients -


1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 tablespoons red food color
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
3 egg whites
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Stevia Extract In The Raw® Cup For Cup
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, though you really can't taste it)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 1/4 cups Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting

2 (8 ounce) packages reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Stevia Extract In The Raw® Cup For Cup
1/4 cup 1% low fat milk

directions -

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 12 cup muffin tins or use liners.

  2. In small bowl combine cocoa, red food color and vanilla, set aside.

  3. In large bowl beat together butter and granulated sugar for 3 minutes. Add yolks one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add cocoa mixture and blend well.

  4. In another bowl, whisk egg whites with buttermilk. Combine Stevia Extract In The Raw, cayenne pepper, baking powder, and salt with cake flour. Add buttermilk mixture and flour mixture to cocoa mixture, alternating a third at a time beating after each addition. Combine baking soda and vinegar then add to batter and blend well. Beat for an additional 2 minutes.

  5. Fill each muffin tin 2/3 full with batter. Bake 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  6. Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before removing from tins. Cool cupcakes on rack before frosting.

Cream cheese frosting

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients and blend well. Makes enough frosting for 36 cupcakes.

(This confused me. I'd adjust proportions so you end up with exactly as much frosting you need without any extra. The caloric guide says each cupcake gets 1 1/2 tablespoons frosting, though I did use more.)

per serving -


120 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5g fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 2g protein, 16g carbohydrate,1g dietary fiber, 170mg sodium, 45mg cholesterol.

Cream cheese frosting ( 1 1/2 Tablespoons)

64 calories, 44 calories from fat, 6g fat, 3.6g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 2g protein, 1g carbohydrate, 0g dietary fiber, 48mg sodium, 16mg cholesterol.


  1. Jogger - I rarely do unless I'm bringing cupcakes somewhere. I find them unnecessary, and I never have them. I do have a ton of mini cupcake liners, though. I would hate to grease so many cups.

  2. the boy you make this for will be the luckiest boy in the world :)

  3. oh my goodness...

  4. Glutster - Ha, thanks. Would it be wrong to charge a dollar per cupcake? =D

    Micki - You've got that right.

  5. Beautiful red velvet color, you did a bang up job on these cupcakes and the little cake so nice. Yeah we are down to two in my house and a big cake goes to waste, thinking a 6" would be perfect size.
    Thanks for sharing

  6. I love the cake! No sugar too. Great work. I have never used stevia in the raw before, but I'm going to buy some today. Keep up the good work.

  7. Hello, A very insightful post. Thanks for the info. Its great that if our default settings are giving us messy or stringy builds, this dialog can probably help.Thanks for the information.

    Buy stevia


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