Skinnified Sunday: Salted Caramel Toffee Crunch Cupcakes


Happy New Year! Let’s celebrate and make cupcakes! 😉

If there is one thing I really love in a baked good, it’s probably toffee bits. Before the days of the skinnified baking, I would bake the most amazing cookies that had chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and toffee bits. If you ever feel like baking something delicious and not healthy, just follow the Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe, add butterscotch chips and toffee bits. So delicious. But you know what’s also delicious and has toffee???? These cupcakes! And they are so much healthier and come with a salted caramel frosting that is more delicious than my beloved salted caramel hot chocolate. I sent some home with my mom and got a text from Hank an hour later asking “Where are the rest of the cupcakes?” I also loved when Jacob announced how great they were with a line of chocolate smearing his teeth. He’s classy. So in case you’re not already in the Christmas sugar coma, here you go 😉

Inspired by Toffee Crunch Cupcakes from Annie’s Eats

Original Recipe:

For the cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. espresso powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup brewed coffee
1 cup toffee bits

For the ganache and toffee layer:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½-2 cups toffee bits

For the frosting:
5 large egg whites
1½ cups sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ tsp. coarse salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup caramel sauce

My Swaps:

  • 1/2 recipe
  • Less sugar/some Splenda (-sugar, -calories)
  • Applesauce for butter (-fat, -saturated fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • Egg substitute for eggs (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • Less quantity of ganache and toffee layer (-fat, -sugar, -calories)
  • Grain sweetened chocolate chips  for bittersweet chocolate (-sugar, -calories)
  • 2% milk for heavy cream (-fat, -saturated fat, -calories)
  • Light whipped butter for regular (-fat, -calories)
  • Original salted caramel cream cheese frosting (-fat, -calories)

Skinnified Toffee Crunch Cupcakes

yield 15 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 packet Starbucks via
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup Splenda
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits

For the chocolate toffee layer:

  • 1/4 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tbs light whipped butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-3 tbs 2 % milk
  • 1/4 cup toffee bits

For the Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 4 oz red fat cream cheese
  • 1 tbs light whipped butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tbs Fleur de Sel caramel
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • Fleur de Sel or sea salt for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with paper liners and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, via, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together applesauce, sugar and Splenda. Add in vanilla and egg substitute.
  4. Slowly alternate beating in dry ingredients with coffee, starting and ending with dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in toffee bits.
  6. Fill liners 2/3-3/4 full and bake for 16-20 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Melt chocolate, vanilla and butter for next layer in a microwave safe bowl stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Slowly add in milk until it reaches a smooth and creamy consistency.
  9. Using a butter knife, spread a small amount of chocolate on each cupcake. Sprinkle with a pinch of toffee bits.
  10. Begin frosting by using a hand mixer, beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla.
  11. Beat in caramel.
  12. Slowly add in powdered sugar (use more or less depending on desired sweetness).
  13. Frost cupcakes. Sprinkle with Fleur de Sel or sea salt.

Skinnified Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes


Hi friends, remember those delicious Peppermint White Mocha Cupcakes? You should, they were posted yesterday! 😉 Well of course I couldn’t choose between regular mocha and white mocha, so what’s a girl to do, but make both!

Mocha Cupcakes from Gimme Some Oven

My Swaps:

  • Whole wheat pastry flour for all purpose (+fiber, +protein)
  • Red fat buttermilk for whole milk (-fat, -calories)
  • Unsweetened applesauce for butter (-fat, -calories)
  • Sugar/Splenda blend for sugar (-sugar, -calories)
  • 2 egg whites for 1 egg  (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • + Starbucks via, vanilla and peppermint extract (+yum)

Skinnified Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

yield 32 mini cupcakes

  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 packets Starbucks via
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup red fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, at room temperature + more for brushing
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 tbs Splenda
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract


1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 32 mini muffin tins and spray liners.
2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In an electric mixer, combine applesauce, sugars, and extracts. Add egg whites one at a time.
4. In a separate bowl, combine coffee and buttermilk.
5. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk mixture to sugar and applesauce, starting and ending with flour mixture (1/3ish of dry, 1/2 of wet, 1/3ish of dry, 1/2 of wet, rest of dry). Mix until combined, scraping down sides of bowl when necessary.
6. Fill muffin tins 3/4 to top and bake for 18-22 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
7. Using a toothpick, poke several holes in each cupcake and brush with coffee.
8. Cool completely, frost with peppermint cream cheese frosting!

Enjoy, friends! PS: Check out my new up to date Who’s Who and Recipe tabs!

Skinnified Sunday: Peppermint White Mocha Cupcakes


Hi friends! I have been waiting for Starbucks’ official Christmas launch to make the cupcakes that have been on my mind since October! I would just like to say that with all the promoting I do, Starbucks should sponsor this blog or something haha. Hey there Starbucks execs…want to pay me to turn your delicious drinks into healthier baked goods? Let’s make that happen. I woke up yesterday bright and early (shocker…the idea of sleeping in is completely lost on me) and ready to bake!

Let’s pretend those extra laugh lines up there are just because it was early and my skin wasn’t quite awake yet. Oh well, at least they’re not frown lines. Anyway, moving on! Steve and I headed over to the bux to get some fresh coffee and via for the cupcakes and some coffee for ourselves. My recent order now that it’s cold outside: Grande bold coffee, 1 pump sf mocha, 1 pump sf peppermint, 2 pumps sf vanilla, steamed soy. Not a misto–that is like half milk, just with soy milk that is steamed and foamy. Tastes just like a peppermint mocha! Delicious. You have to get over the embarrassment of a complicated order, but it’s worth it 😉

We came home and got right to the baking, while Winnie and Clem got right to their business: being cute.

“Mom, where are my cupcakes?”

Clementine lately has been really into humping Winston. She really wants to be the boss these days and it always cracks us up because he is so much bigger than her!

Winston is just like “yeah, okay, do what you want. I’m still the boss around here.”

Okaaayyyy, onto the cupcakes!

White Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes from Cake on the Brain

Skinnified Peppermint White Mocha Cupcakes

yield 36 mini cupcakes

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 1 1/2 packets Starbucks via (or any instant coffee)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 oz grain sweetened white chocolate + 36 chips
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee, + extra for brushing
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 egg whites


1. Preheat oven to 350,  line 36 mini muffin tins and spray inside liners (otherwise they will stick).
2. In mixer, combine flour, sugar, Splenda, via and salt.
3. Melt chocolate with coffee. Allow to cool slightly.
4. Add melted chocolate mixture to flour mixture and mix lightly.
5. Add yogurt, vanilla, peppermint, baking soda and egg whites and beat for 2 minutes.
6. Fill muffin tins 1/2 way to top, place 1 white chocolate chip in center, then fill up until they are 3/4 full (I pour it all into a freezer bag and cut a tiny hole in the corner).
7. Bake for 24 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
8. Using a toothpick, poke several holes in each cupcake and brush with coffee.
9. Cool completely and frost with peppermint cream cheese frosting.

Original Frosting

from Gimme Some Oven

  • 8 oz. (1 brick) cream cheese, softened
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar (depending on the thickness you’d like)
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

My Swaps:

  • Low fat cream cheese for regular (-fat, -calories)
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar for 3-4 (-sugar, -calories)
  • 2 tbs light whipped butter for 4 regular (-fat, -calories)

Skinnified Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

yield frosting for 40-50 mini cupcakes

  • 8 oz. (1 brick) reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbs light whipped butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract


1. Beat cream cheese, butter and extracts.
2. Slowly add powdered sugar, scraping down sides of bowl when necessary.
3. Transfer to freezer bag (or pastry bag if you’re fancy), cut small hole in the corner of the bag and frost!

C is for Clementine, W for Winston, S for Steve and A for Ari! Steve didn’t figure that one out right away 😉 and the heart is for love–duhhh! Yeah, I’m a cheeseball

Oh yeah, top with sprinkles! It makes it more fun! Pink for peppermint, brown for chocolate. I am so original 😉

They were soooo yummy! We had to take them immediately to our friends at the Bux and my mom so that our whole kitchen didn’t look like this

I also made regular peppermint mocha ones which I loved ALMOST as much. I just love white chocolate. Recipe coming soon. And before the season if over, you know there will be gingerbread latte (prob my fav Starbucks drink!), eggnog latte and caramel brulee latte treats coming your way. Stay tuned friends!

Skinnified “Spaghetti” and Meat Sauce


AKA Spaghetti and Meat Sauce gets a huge make over!

Normal Spaghetti and Meat Sauce:

  • thick starchy carb loaded spaghetti noodles
  • fatty ground beef and pork
  • bland tamatoey sauce

My swaps are simple, and they make a HUGE difference in this recipe nutrition wise, but do not lack any of the flavor or comfort of the original dish. Here they are:

  • Spaghetti squash for spaghetti (-TONS of calories, +vitamins and other good stuff)
  • 99% lean ground turkey for beef/pork (-fat, -almost HALF the calories)
  • Extra spicy seasonings to give a diablo flair (+yum)

“Spaghetti” and Meat Sauce

yield 5

  • 2 large spaghetti squash, cut length wise and seeded
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1 packet spaghetti sauce seasonings
  • 1 1/4 lb 99% lean ground turkey
  • cayenne pepper (or any spicy seasoning), Italian seasonings, salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (opt)


1. Rub olive oil evenly between 4 squash halves.
2. Season with salt, pepper and Italian seasonings.
3. Place face down in sprayed baking dish and roast for 40-50 minutes @ 375.
4. Brown turkey in large sauce pan.
5. Add tomato paste, seasonings and water (see packet for water measurements).
6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened and squash is fully cooked.
7. Remove squash from oven and using a fork, scrape out “spaghetti” strings.
8. Add “spaghetti” to sauce, stir well.
9. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired.
10. Enjoy!

**Some words on spaghetti squash**

  • When the squash is done, the spaghetti like strings will easily come out when scraped with a fork.
  • The texture is not the same as regular spaghetti, so if you’re expecting soft, melt in your mouth noodles, I’m sorry, it just isn’t so. It’s more like an al dente pasta–a little crisper, but the taste is seriously amazing.
  • I made this dish for an all male audience and one of them (Hermano) is 14 and picky. They all loved it.
  • Just TRY the spaghetti squash–this entire meal cost about $15 and has about 250 calories a serving. A FILLING serving. Just try it!!

Skinnified Pumpkin Pie French Toast


When I saw Nicole’s recipe for pumpkin pie french toast, I wiped the drool from my mouth and began day dreaming about how I would make it myself. With all the plans and business happening in my life, I’ve been eating out a LOT. I used to love going out to eat, but let me tell you, after this weekend I am really pretty sick of it. I just want the time to make the food I want to make in my own kitchen, and have someone else clean up after me. Is that too much to ask?! 😉 I have tons of recipes doggy eared and book marked that I am just waiting to try out. Now, ask me by the end of December and I will tell you “Uuugghhh, I’m so tired of cooking and baking and hosting. Just take me to Chipotle!” Balance right? Unfortunately my balance is like weeks of one thing followed by months of an other. Haven’t quite put them together…yet.

Anyway, Sunday morning I actually had the time, after laying in bed for a spectacular hour watching Grey’s Anatomy–I NEVER lay in bed in the morning–I’m always busy busy, must get up and be productive, but it was seriously the most amazing hour!–to make a real breakfast! Hooray!! I knew I had to give this French toast a try! Hit up Nicole’s page to find this original recipe and so many more amazing ones!

Her original recipe isn’t super unhealthy, but here are some swaps I made

  • 1/2 recipe
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk for regular (-calories)
  • More vanilla and spices (+yum)
  • Egg whites for whole eggs (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • 1/2 brown sugar, 1/2 sugar free maple syrup for brown sugar (-sugar, -calories)
  • + protein powder (Gotta have my protein!)
  • Ezekiel bread for regular (Have you tried it? It’s a complete protein! Whatever that really means…)

Skinnified Pumpkin Pie French Toast

serves 2

  • 1/4 cup  + 2 tbs (or don’t be picky and just use 1/3 cup :) ) pumpkin puree
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs (same rule applies) unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbs sugar free maple syrup
  • 1  tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 slices of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread
  • chia seeds (optional)


1. Whisk all ingredients (except bread and chia) together well.
2. Soak bread for 5-30 minutes, depending on patience/hunger.
3. Place in a sprayed nonstick pan or skillet over medium heat.
4. Sprinkle with chia seeds if desired
5. Flip when bottom is golden brown.
6. If you’re like me, drizzle any remaining soak mixture onto the bread and top with more chia seeds (Note, if you do this, you will have to flip again. It’s worth it.)
7. When both sides are finished cooking and golden brown, transfer to a plate and top with pumpkin yogurt topping.

Pumpkin Yogurt Topping

serves 1

  • 1/4 cup non fat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbs pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tbs almond butter (or any nut butter)
  • 1 tbs sugar free maple syrup
  • If you’re like me and want to make sure you’re full for the rest of your life, you can add even more chia seeds


1. Whisk together and lay it on that toast!


Steve is less cool than me, and only tops with sf maple syrup. Good thing it’s sugar free because boy loves his syrup. I always ask if he wants some toast with his syrup. Then he just gives me a dirty look. Oh, marriage.

This French toast was A-MA-ZING!! I will make it again and again and again! Thanks Nicole for the delicious inspiration!!


Skinnified Sunday: Marble Cupcakes


Here is part two in my catch up from all the amazingness that has been happening that I haven’t had time to post about! For Mona’s birthday, she requested marble cupcakes. I found a fabulous recipe at How Sweet Eats that originally came from Martha Stewart. Steve and I woke up at 6:30 so we could bake and photograph before he left for work. While we worked on our food, the puppies also worked on theirs

After Clementine inhaled her food as if we had never fed her before (that’s why there’s a can in her food bowl–to slow her down), she spent her time working on her cuteness

Which I’m pretty sure she has down pat

My Swaps:

  • Whole wheat pastry flour for regular flour (+protein, +fiber)
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk for milk (-calories)
  • Reduced fat buttermilk for heavy cream (-fat, -calories, -saturated fat)
  • Organic cane sugar/Splenda combo for sugar (-sugar, -calories)
  • Unsweetened applesauce for butter (-fat, -calories, -saturated fat)

**Note, I usually swap egg whites for whole eggs, but this time I didn’t. Not for any reason other than I didn’t want to use the extra eggs. I’m cheap. You can sub egg whites 😉

Skinnified Mini Marble Cupcakes

yield 48 mini cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar (or just plain ol’ sugar)
  • 1/3 cup Splenda
  • 3 large eggs (or 5 egg whites)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup boiling water


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Sift together flour, salt and baking power.
3. In a separate bowl, combine milks.
4. In an electric mixer, combine applesauce, Splenda and sugar.
5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.
6. Beat in vanilla.
7. Add in flour mixture in 3 bathes, alternating with two additions of milk mixture (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour) and beating until combined.
8. For chocolate batter, measure out 1 cup batter, and transfer to another bowl.
9. Combine cocoa and boiling water into the bowl. Stir into 1 cup of reserved batter.
10. Fill lined mini cupcake tins half way with vanilla batter.
11. Top with chocolate batter so that each tin is 3/4 full.
12. Swirl with toothpick.
13. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
14. Cool and top with chocolate frosting (recipe below)

Unfortunately, I never did get a frosted picture, but I tasted the frosting and it was pretty delicious so here’s the recipe for that too!

Skinnified Chocolate Buttercream (or as skinnified as buttercream can be):

  • 1/2 cup light whipped butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs fat free half and half
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


1. With an electric mixer, beat butter until fluffy.
2. Add vanilla, half and half, cocoa powder and 1/2 powdered sugar.
3. Beat, then slowly add the rest of powdered sugar, scraping down sides of the bowl.
4. Top cupcakes and enjoy!

Skinnified Sunday: Pumpkin Raisin Pancakes


Today has been an almost perfect Sunday. A perfect Sunday would of course involve a day off, which I don’t get until Thanksgiving. Tired of my whining yet? It will continue. I hate to admit it, but it’s only fair to warn you. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around it will have been over 2 months of straight work, so you’ll just have to bear with me and accept that although I love what I do, this Fall has been a challenge mentally.

Anyway, I woke up at 5:30 to run with Kara. Unfortunately, after I was already dressed, I checked my phone and noticed a text from her saying she didn’t feel so hot. What’s funny is I had hardly slept either and I laid in bed debating canceling, but I figured I was already dressed, I better get my run on. I thought about taking Winston, but I haven’t focused on speed since before the Komen, and I knew I needed to use today to work on it. Unfortunately, my ipod running playlist isn’t finished and my phone isn’t doing so well on my runs so it was just me and the silence of 5:45 am. It was super dark out and I was a little scared, but it was nice to just be by myself in the perevt 65 degree temperature.

I did jogging and speedy run intervals up to Starbucks where I stopped for some water and a chat with some of my fav baristas, then was back on my way to continue. The second half I may or may not have had to take a stop and breathe break or 4. Yes, I paused my garmin so my “speedy” time I don’t feel super impressed with, but it was nice to at least work on speed.

A little while after my run, my appetite came on full force. It always takes a good 30 minutes for me to be able to consider food after a work out. Yesterday at Chompy’s, Hermano ordered pumpkin pancakes that tasted like heaven. I hadn’t been able to stop thinking about them, so I woke Steve up to take me to Starbucks and the store. I’m an awesome wife. I got a delicious grande bold coffee with 2 pumps pumpkin spice, 2 pumps sf caramel and steamed soy with cinnamon sprinkled on top. I really miss hot coffee when it’s warm here. It’s still too hot, but if I REALLY want it, I will drink it and sweat. It’s really cute. I am the epitome of class.

Onto the most important part: The most amazing pancakes I have EVER made! Better than chocolate chip, better than any white flour crap. This is the real deal.

Pumpkin Pancakes


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil

My Swaps:

  • 1/2 recipe (-temptation)
  • Whole wheat pastry flour for all purpose (+fiber, +protein)
  • Molasses and sf maple syrup for brown sugar (-sugar, -calories)
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk for reg (-fat, -calories)
  • Egg whites for whole eggs (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • More pumpkin (+yum)
  • cooking oil who needs it?! Spray works just fine.
  • + chia seeds (+fiber, +protein, +staying power)
  • + protein powder (+protein-duh, +staying power)
  • + raisins (okay, the more I add things,  the less “skinnified” these sound…)
  • + seasonings and extracts (+yum)

Skinnified Fluffy Pumpkin Raisin Pancakes

yielf 3-4 servings

  • 1 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tbs molasses
  • 1 tbs sf maple syrup
  • 1/2 tbs baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • almost 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 3 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 tbs chia seeds
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • dash cloves
  • dash ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash maple extract
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)



  1. Combine dry ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients.
  3. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry until barely combined with some small lumps–DO NOT OVER MIX!
  4. Pour pancakes onto sprayed nonstick pan or skillet.
  5. Top with raisins if desired.
  6. Cook over medium low heat until bottom is set and small bubbles form on top.
  7. Flip, and cook on remaining side for 2-3 minutes until golden.
  8. Enjoy!

Topping ideas:

  • vanilla Greek yogurt
  • sf maple syrup
  • granola
  • fig butter
  • nut butter
  • butter butter

Whiccchhhaaaaa!!!! I am the pancake master!!! No pancake stands a chance!

Ok, ok, I admit it! I am still in my sweaty run clothes. You can judge me if you want. Sometimes I’m lazy. Steve just topped his with sf syrup.

I topped mine with nonfat vanilla Greek, sf syrup, extra chia seeds and granola per usual, but also added a thin layer of TJ’s fig butter which was an excellent choice!


I’m telling you, I always love every recipe I post, and I almost always at least like every recipe I make, but these pancakes were a different kind of out of this world amazing love. I admit that sometimes whole wheat pancakes are a little brick-like dense, but these are light and fluffy like clouds or pillows. They are the perfect amount of sweet and the right amount of pumpkin. I could eat them again and again and again and I plan to. Do yourself a favor, make these pancakes. You won’t regret it.

Skinnified Sunday: White Chocolate Chip Lemon Blondies


Hi friends! So I actually made these blondies on Monday after feeling like I hardly got to do any of my normal weekend cooking and had the spontaneous urge to bake, although really, when do I not want to bake? I LOVE lemon pastry. The middle layer of our wedding cake was lemon with cream cheese filling. It’s pretty much one of my favorite things on Earth. Also, I find that brownies are REALLY good with yogurt instead of oil. I almost never use real oil anyway and I never really mind, but I find it works especially well in brownies. So here’s what I started with…

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 155 grams white chocolate, chopped (reserve 30 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

My swaps:

  • Nonfat vanilla yogurt for butter (-fat, -saturated fat, -calories)
  • Grain sweetened white chocolate chips and way less of them for white chocolate (-sugar, -calories)
  • Whole wheat pastry flour for all purpose (+fiber, +protein)
  • 5 egg whites for 3 eggs (-fat, -saturated fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar + 1/3 cup Splenda for 1 cup sugar (-sugar, -calories)
  • 1 tsp coconut extract for 1 of the tsps of vanilla (+yum)

Skinnified White Chocolate Chip Lemon Blondies

yeild 20

  • 6 oz non fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Splenda
  • zest of one large lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/4-1/3 cup grain sweetened white chocolate chips


1) Preheat oven to 350.

2) In an electric mixer, combine yogurt, egg whites, sugar, Splenda, lemon zest, and extracts.

3) Add in baking powder, salt and flour.

4) Pour into a greased 9×9 baking sheet.

5) Evenly distribute white chocolate chips on top.

6) Bake for 30 minutes, until set, but gooey.

7) Enjoy!

I cut them pretty small and they only ended up being about 50 calories a piece, so Steve and I decided two + Cool Whip and sprinkles was the perfect serving size :)

Skinnified Sunday: Salted Caramel Mocha Brownie Cupcakes

  • Hi friends! Today I am going to my friend Bekki’s birthday dinner which means I got to make dessert! HOORAY!! I love any excuse to bake. Bekki loves sweet and salty, so I was pretty stoked when I came up with the idea of salted caramel mocha brownie cupcakes! Have you ever had the no pudge brownies? It’s a box brownie mix that is fat free and uses yogurt instead of oil. Heather and I tried them a few times and they were delicious, so I stole the idea and used yogurt in these too. I haven’t had one yet, but my friend Colin confirmed that they didn’t suck. Whoot!

I got the base recipe from Mom Advice

My Swaps:

  • Dannon Light & Fit vanilla yogurt for butter (-fat, -calories, -saturated fat)
  • Organic sugar and Splenda for regular sugar (-sugar, -calories, maybe the organic sugar balances out the fakeness of Splenda? :) )
  • 5 egg whites for whole eggs (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • Whole wheat pastry flour for all purpose (+fiber, +protein)
  • + Starbucks via (+yum)

Skinnified Salted Caramel Mocha Brownie Cupcakes

yeild approx 35 mini cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup Dannon Light and Fit vanilla yogurt
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup Splenda
  • 5 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla (or you can skip it because the vanilla in the yogurt has the same effect)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • Freshly ground sea salt to taste
  • Cool Whip for topping
  • Fleur De Sel Caramel for topping



1) Combine flour, sugar, Splenda, via, and cocoa powder.

2) Add in egg whites one at a time, mixing after each addition.

3) Add in vanilla.

4) Melt unsweetened chocolate, and add in along with yogurt.

5) Mix until combined, scraping down sides of the bowl when necessary.

6) Transfer into lined and greased mini cupcake tines (I ran out of mini liners so half of mine are full size).

7) Top each cupcake with a pinch of sea salt.

8) Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick in center comes out mostly clean (but don’t over bake–you still want a gooey brownie center!)

9) Top with desired amount of cool whip.

10) Put a little caramel in the microwave for approx 10-15 seconds to warm, then use a whisk to drizzle over the cupcakes.

11) Enjoy!

See those flakes of sea salt? Stevie takes the BEST pictures! :)


So this was def not my most visually impressive dessert. But I am pretty certain they are going to at least taste delicious :)

Skinnified Sunday: Maple Bacon Pancakes


Hi everyone! Man, the weekend seems like a total blur. Today was day 7 of my 33 straight work days. Craziness is beginning to set in especially considering Fiddler officially began today with the audition workshop. Only 26 days left :) Needless to say, not a lot of cooking has been going on in my kitchen, well at least not a lot of exciting cooking, but I did manage to pull out something quick and delicious yesterday morning that filled my sweet and salty craving!

Back in the day, one of my favorite things to order at a restaurant was pancakes with over medium eggs and bacon that I would put on top and cover the whole thing with maple syrup. I LOVE sweet and salty combinations! Salted caramel mocha? The vain of my existence right now. There is no way to make that drink healthy. I’ve been through it in my head 100 times. But this breakfast totally did the trick. Not to mention is was ready in about 15 minutes.

Maple Bacon Pancakes

  • 2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of butter
  • 6 slices of bacon, sliced horizontally and then diced

My swaps:

  • 1/2 recipe (-temptation)
  • Whole wheat pastry flour for all purpose flour (+protein, +fiber)
  • Red fat buttermilk for regular (-fat, -calories)
  • Brown sugar and Splenda for sugar (I think I forgot to half the sugar part so honestly calorie and sugar wise it was the same as the original, but I would probably do it that way again and I prefer brown sugar to regular)
  • Egg whites for whole eggs (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • Cooking spray for butter (-fat, -calories, -saturated fat)
  • Center cut or turkey bacon for regular (-fat, -calories, – saturated fat)
  • + 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (+protein)
  • + vanilla extract (+yum)
  • + maple extract (+yum)

Skinnified Maple Bacon Pancakes

yield 3 servings

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp splenda
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup red fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract
  • 3 slices center cut or turkey bacon, diced

Optional toppings:

  • Syrup (I always use sf maple syrup)
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Granola
  • Butter
  • Nuts
  • Chia seeds (I wish I would have added these during the cooking! I forgot :( )


1) Cook bacon in a sprayed nonstick pan. Transfer to paper towel to cool.

2) Combine dry ingredients.

3) Add wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix!

4) Let stand for 10 minutes, then fold in bacon.

5) Cook on sprayed non stick pan until bottom is golden brown and top begins to bubble.

6) Flip, and cook until bottom is golden brown.

7) Top, serve and enjoy!


It’s weird–I like my desserts small so I an eat more than one, but I love to just eat one big pancake.

I’ve really improved on my pancake flipping skillz!

Steve topped his with sf syrup and light whipped butter

I topped mine with non fat vanilla Greek yogurt and low fat vanilla almond granola–so good!


Skinnified Kahlua Mocha Cupcakes


What would a birthday be without cake? In my group of friends, I am the designated birthday cake baker. I love it. One of my favorite things to do for someone I love is bake something special for them. It feels like I get to give them a piece of myself. Yes, I’m sentimental. In the past, I have made a lot of cakes that I wouldn’t touch myself. It pretty much took all the fun out of it and made me hate life a little. It’s one thing to make someone their favorite cake that happens to be a flavor you don’t like and choose not to eat it, but it is an other to be in such a strict mentality that the entire night is an internal battle. Right now, my feelings are, if I don’t feel okay eating it, I’m not making it. I’m not sure how this will go over with the best friend birthdays that begin next month, but for now, it is only healthy(ish) cupcakes coming from this kitchen!

Luckily, Kara likes my healthy baking so I didn’t feel like I was cheating her by sticking to my guidelines. I really hope some day a piece of real birthday cake won’t cause me a ton of anxiety, but until that day, I just know I need to do what’s best for me :)

Sunday afternoon after a fantastic Zumba and coffee date with my friend Christina (we’ve been friends since preschool–pretty amazing, right?), I came home and got to baking! I began by spreading my things all the way across all of our counter space in what Steve refers to as “Hurricane Ariana” Messy cooks are good cooks! Plus, what fun is baking if you don’t get a little messy? Also, I bought some new tools special for the occasion!

This tool is supposed to cut out a hole in the cupcake, to fill with frosting or other deliciousness. It didn’t work as prettily as I would have liked, so I didn’t use it long. Maybe if I made a separate filling and wasn’t just using the frosting it would have been worth it, but it just seemed like unnecessary extra frosting for me. I also bought this decorating set that I tried to fill the minis with and it hardly worked at all, but it did make the tops of the cupcakes a little prettier.

These, like the Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes are based off a recipe from Annie’s Eats. Apparently, this Annie is a genius, and I should add her to my blog reader! Thanks Annie for all the great inspiration!

My Swaps:

  • Double the espresso powder (+YUM)
  • 3 egg whites for 2 whole eggs (-fat, -cholesterol, -calories)
  • Reduced fat buttermilk for buttermilk (-fat, -calories)
  • Applesauce for vegetable oil (- fat, -saturated fat, -calories)
  • Whole wheat pastry flour for all purpose (+fiber, +protein)
  • 1/2 Splenda, 1/2 brown sugar for sugar (-sugar, -calories) **Note: I wouldn’t have swapped the brown sugar for regular, but we were out of regular so I improvised :)**
  • + coconut extract (+YUM)
  • Frosting I had to start from scratch–I bet it was delicious, but this home girl can’t hang with that much butter!

Skinnified Kahlua Mocha Cupcakes

yield 24 servings (I made 12 regular, 24 minis)

  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp. instant espresso powder (I used 3 packets of via)
  • 1½ whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar or brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup Splenda
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • ¾ cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • Kahlua for brushing


1) Preheat oven to 350.

2) In an electric mixer, combine flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, Splenda, and sugar.

3) Add all other ingredients except Kahlua and mix well for 2-3 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.

4) Fill lined baking tins 2/3 full. **Note: The batter is a little runny and messy. It worked best when I transferred it to a freezer bag with a small hole cut at the bottom**

5) Bake for 18-22 minutes (about 3-5 min less for minis) until tops spring back when lightly pressed.

6) Use a fork to poke small holes in each cupcake.

7)  Brush with Kahlua while still warm, repeat.

8) Transfer to cool on wire rack.

9) Once cooled, frost and enjoy!


Kahlua Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

yield 24 servings

  • 16 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Kahlua
  • 1-2 tsp coconut extract


1) With a hand mixer, beat all ingredients together, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

2) Chill for approx 1 hour.

3) Frost and enjoy!

Attempting to fill…

Skinnified Sunday: Pizookie


Confession: I have been planning out the dessert I wanted to make for me and Steve’s halfiversary for about a month. Last month, we went to Oregano’s with the fam to celebrate some good news for my brother Charlie. At the end of the meal, Charlie and Hank had the pizookie. If you haven’t ever had a pizookie, you are missing out on one of life’s most amazing desserts. I decided that at some point I had to recreate my own because I will most likely never order one in a restaurant again. I don’t like to use words like never, but honestly, if I get dessert out of the house, at this point I will only get frozen yogurt, or sometimes a cookie. I just don’t like eating something that I can make and make it a lot healthier.

As soon as the idea popped into my head, I knew I wanted to save it for the occasion, and it was well worth the wait! We used the cute little ceramic cups I bought at William’s Sonoma to make individualized pizookies. Have you seen the size of the restaurant ones?! It must be like 10 servings!


  • Huge half baked chocolate chip cookie
  • Topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate chips
  • Served warm in the skillet it is cooked in
  • Yes, I know, this is not a recipe.

My Swaps:

  • Individual portions (-temptation to eat more than a serving!)
  • Applesauce for butter (-fat, -calories)
  • Splenda for sugar (-sugar, -calories)
  • Grain sweetened chocolate chips and less of them for chocolate chips (-fat, -sugar, -calories)
  • Whole wheat pastry flour for all purpose (+fiber, +protein)
  • Egg white for whole egg (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • Vanilla nut butter flavor for vanilla extract (+YUM)
  • Low fat ice cream for regular (-fat, -calories)

Skinnified Pizookie

yield 6 servings

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbs applesauce
  • 1 tbs light whipped butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbs Splenda
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla nut butter flavoring (or flavor/extract of your choosing)
  • 1/4 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips (I combined regular and white chocolate)
  • 9 oz low fat vanilla ice cream
  • sprinkles (optional)


1)Preheat oven to 325.

2) Using a hand mixer, combine applesauce, brown sugar and Splenda.

3) Beat in egg white and vanilla nut butter flavor.

4) Mix in baking soda, salt, and flour.

5) Fold in chocolate chips.

6) Place desired serving in individual baking dish.

7) Bake for approx 15 minutes until set, but with the inside still gooey.

8) Top with one scoop vanilla ice cream.

9) Add sprinkles.

10) Enjoy!