HAPPY HALLOWEEN! (Yesterday… whoops.) I don’t know about you, but I have been sooo busy!! Work here at Hungry Girl is busier than ever working on our next book while our newly released Hungry Girl To the Max still remains #1 on the NYTimes bestsellers list!! All great things!! But once I get home the last thing I want to do is do what I did all day by cooking, styling, and photographing my recipes for CallieCooks!
We did get the chance to head down to San Diego to visit my best friend Tiffany who is more so known by me as Teefa — don’t ask. Our dog Indy and her dog Abby are in love. (See below.)
So we spent the weekend before Halloween in beautiful San Diego (I used to live there as well before I moved to this evil city known as Los Angeles for work.) We went out in the Gaslamp district on Friday and Saturday night in costume to celebrate. Let me rephrase, Teef and her boyfriend didn’t dress up because they are too cool, but Jake and I have been planning our costumes for at least 6 months! Given our obsession with Marvel and more so, The Avengers, Jake went full-on WWII Captain America and I was Agent Romanov one night and an Ironette the second night — because I refuse to only have one costume. Although my Ironette costume makes me refrain from eating (not really, but look at it!!) I seriously want to wear it every year now. My sister (not blood, but basically) Tiffany (yeah a different Tiffany — better known to me by Tifferz) made the Ironette costume from scratch and Jake made my arc reactor! Check us out!
Ok so that was our Halloween weekend and I just had to share our fun costumes!! Back to the FOOOOOD!
I literally have lists of recipes in which I want to make and share with you all during my favorite time — holiday baking and cooking season!! I have been stocking up on staples such as pumpkin and even some fun seasonal items like pumpkin spice marshmallows (WHAT!? Yep — and I have a pumpkin spice rice crispy recipe coming very soon for ya’ll!)
These cupcakes are DELICIOUS. My co-workers gobbled them up as did myself. All I did was swap out the fatty add-ins cake mix normally tells you to add and used an HG frosting base that I love! Yes, this recipe is not made from scratch — I used boxed cake and prepared frosting, but I don’t know why, I prefer the taste to these products MORE than the butter-laden homemade versions… probably because my mom NEVER baked and whenever we did, we used boxed. THANKS A LOT MOM. (Lol, I love my mama very much and she’s an AWESOME cook, just doesn’t bake. Ever.) Nevertheless, these cupcakes are EASY, quick, kid and adult friendly, and most importantly, guilt-free and super tasty!
The simple swap-ins such as unsweetened applesauce and egg whites helped make this cake base much lighter and moist. And making the colorful layers is super-simple! In fact, it’s also interchangeable for any holiday or celebration! Especially since I got this recipe to you AFTER Halloween — then again, I’d eat candy corn any day of the year. But anyway, change up the colors as you please — red, green & white for Christmas; purple, pink, & yellow for Easter; red, white, & blue for 4th of July! You get the idea Have fun with it!
Callie Cooks Candy Corn Cupcakes
Per cupcake: 147 calories, 2.5g fat, 212mg sodium, 31g carbs, 0g fiber, 19.5g sugars, 1.5g protein
Makes 18 cupcakes
1 box moist-style white cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
1 1/4 cups water (follow amount of water stated on box depending on cake brand)
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 egg whites
1 1/4 tsp. yellow food coloring
8 drops red food coloring
1 sugar-free vanilla pudding snack
1/2 cup whipped buttercream frosting (I used Betty Crocker)
54 candy corn pieces (about 1/2 cup)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 18 cups of two muffin pans with nonstick spray or line with paper liners.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, water, applesauce, and egg whites. Whisk until smooth. Separate batter into 3 bowls. Leave one bowl of batter white. Add 1 tsp. of yellow food color and red food color to one bowl and mix well. Add remaining 1/4 tsp. yellow food color to remaining bowl of batter and mix well.
Evenly distribute yellow batter among 18 cups of the muffin pans. Evenly top with orange batter, followed by white batter.
Bake in the oven until a toothpick comes out clean, about 16 – 18 minutes. Let cool completely.
When ready to frost, combine pudding snack and frosting in a bowl and mix until smooth. Evenly frost cupcakes and top with 3 candy corns each*.
*Don’t put the candy corn onto cupcakes until you are ready to serve! Within about 20 minutes they start to bleed onto the frosting and slide off. And DON’T leave them on overnight haha, they like… disintegrate. When they are freshly placed they are SOOO good though!