I'm not claiming this idea to be "healthy" so please, all crazy health nuts need not comment. The idea here is to have a little fun with the kids, celebrate a holiday by making something green (without taking all day or making a huge mess), and possibly adding a few extra vitamins into the mix, literally.
I love using a boxed cake mix in a pinch especially around the holidays. They make it easy to bake quick desserts where you can easily shave down the fat and calories without anyone noticing. Not even the "I don't eat light desserts" naysayers, like my husband, can tell the difference. He will rarely eat any of my baking experiments but always likes the ones that start with cake mix. I simply tell him it's from a box and then all of sudden he's willing to eat it. It's maddening but I'm not going there.
Anyway, this idea slapped me across the face after my recent obsession with green smoothies. I've done the cake mix and applesauce trick with wonderful results, why not puree a little spinach in it first to make it green? Who needs food coloring?!
The result was DIVINE... seriously! The perfect cupcake.... Not even a HINT of spinach... just green which is exactly what I wanted for good old St. Patrick's Day.
The little guy loved them too. I had to cut him (and myself) off at two. The funny thing is he knew what was in them and didn't care! I thought I'd be all sneaky making the spinach puree while he was at school and then having the batter ready for him when he got off the bus to decorate.
He came home excited to put on the sprinkles and said, "How did you turn them green?"
"I used a secret ingredient." I said.
"It's spinach, isn't it?"
LMAO "It IS! How did you know?"
"You always like to put healthy things in the recipes."
Yes I do Little Man man.. yes. I. do. 🙂
- 1 cup of applesauce (244g)
- At LEAST 4 cups of raw spinach (85g) -- Next time I'm adding more now that I know it works.
- Box of Store Bought White Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Classic White Cake Mix)
- Sprinkles (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 15 muffin tins with liners and spray with a bit of non-stick to be safe. Note: probably not necassary but I'm over cautious.
Puree the applesauce and spinach in a food processor or Magic Bullet. In this case I like the bullet as you can work it by simply pulsing and shaking the container a bit. It took awhile to get the puree started but once it caught I let it blend for a good minute.
Note: You can add the spinach in batches.
Dump the cake mix and spinach puree in a large bowl.
Beat with an electric beater for 2 minutes on medium until the batter is combined.
Separate the batter into the 15 cup cake liners. Add sprinkles if you like. This is my way of making them festive without icing. In my opinion, the cupcake has enough sugar already. No need to add tons more on top. Sprinkles are just as fun!
Bake for about 20 minutes, then enjoy and admire your frestive green cupcakes!
Little Man really did like them and I'm glad he is learning to enjoy the simple things without fearing the healthy addition.
Maybe one day we'll invent a spianch based green cupcake from scratch but in the mean time, enyoy!
Hope you have a Happy St. Patrick's Day next week!
P.S. I can't belive I'm early with a holiday idea. That NEVER happens! 😉
|Servings||Amt per Serving|
|153||2g||0g||old: 3||new: 4|