Cupcakes are not just for kids anymore. They’re perfect for wedding showers, baby showers, whimsical weddings and even Mother’s Day . This year, my mom will be visiting us on Mother’s Day and my son, Sawyer, and I are already planning to bake her a special batch of healthier Chocolate-Cherry Cupcakes   to show her how much we love her.
When I make cupcakes at home or when I’m developing new recipes in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, I try to keep the ingredients as healthy as possible. To limit saturated fat and keep calories in check, I use tricks like replacing the butter in the batter with nontraditional ingredients including applesauce, pureed raspberries, chopped cherries and even mashed potato (you can’t even taste the potato!). (Get 5 easy and delicious healthier cupcake recipes here .)
About two weeks before his second birthday, my son, Sawyer, made his birthday cake request. He held up a tiny index finger on each hand and decisively ordered, “One blue cake and one pink cake.” I thought, blue and pink cupcakes, of course. (Want to make a cake instead? Check out these 10 light and luscious spring cake recipes for Banana Cream Layer Cake and more .)
With cupcakes, there’s no messy cake cutting. And they’re a lot easier to make than a three-tier fire truck cake or princess castle. For the “pink” cake, I swirled fresh raspberry puree into lemon-flavored cupcake batter and into the frosting to make it look pink, as in Raspberry-Swirl Cupcakes . To satisfy Sawyer’s request for “blue” cake, I added lots of fresh blueberries to a cupcake batter and mixed blueberry preserves into fluffy meringue frosting for Blueberry Cupcakes  (which ended up a little more purple than blue, but he didn’t seem to mind).
Having a child has renewed my own love for cupcakes. And it is a fun challenge to make them healthier. (Find out my secret ingredient swaps to make healthier cupcakes here. ) I’ll never forget the look of pure joy on Sawyer’s face when I presented the tower of blue and pink cupcakes on the day of his birthday party. I bit into one and knew that my recipe was a success, but the real treat was seeing his smile covered in blue and pink frosting.
How do you make your cupcakes healthier? Tell us what you think below.