Honey Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

These healthy cupcakes are my new favorite sweet treat!

Honey Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

One bite of these honey cupcakes with vanilla frosting, and I promise you – your whole life will be changed. I’m not trying to be dramatic over here, I’m just totally amazed. You see, I find myself craving sugar all the time. My sweet tooth is not falling in line with my diet plans, and sometimes it completely derails me.

I’ve learned that, while I’m trying to avoid the sweets, I can’t completely forget about them. If I deprive my body of sweet treats, I’ll find myself binging on the worst of the worst. So I learned to make some healthy treats to keep around the house. When I’m feeling the craving, I reach for a portion sized sweet to satisfy the itch. Cupcakes are perfect for that because they’re easy to portion.

Will These Sugar-Free Cupcakes Satisfy?

So last week, I whipped up a batch of these sugar-free honey cupcakes with vanilla frosting. As I was making them, I thought to myself, “These are going to be tasty, but there’s no way they’ll satisfy my sweet tooth.” They didn’t have any of the good stuff I normally put into cupcakes – no AP flour (all whole wheat), no sugar, and no butter. It was worth a try, but I wasn’t expecting too much.

And then I took a bite. My eyes opened wide and I’m pretty sure my eyes sparkled. They were not only sweet, but they were completely amazing! They tasted healthy, but not in a bad way. The whole wheat flour gave the sweet treats a little bit of nuttiness, and the apples, honey, and orange juice delivered with natural sweetness.

Using applesauce has long been a trick for those trying to avoid added sugars, but I actually avoid applesauce. It usually has all kinds of additives and preservatives. Not to mention, sometimes applesauce has as much sweetener as a scoop of sugar! So reaching for whole apples and natural sugars (like orange juice and honey) makes such a great substitution when baking.

What About the Rest of the Ingredients?

Honey Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

As I said, I was a little wary about using whole wheat flour. I thought these honey cupcakes with vanilla frosting might turn out a little dense because some of the ingredients were a bit weird. Greek yogurt? Olive oil? Almond milk??

The result was the complete opposite of what I thought. The combination of olive oil and Greek yogurt kind of blew my mind. Instead of being dense, these cupcakes were light, airy, and refreshing. They had a slightly tangy flavor from the yogurt, accentuated by the acidic orange juice, that got me going back in for bite after bite.

Baking with olive oil has become very popular in the last few years. You can substitute olive oil for most baking oils (and, of course, for butter) in bread and cakes. It has a strong flavor, but that totally works in this recipe. You’ll get all the health benefits of using this healthy oil instead of the saturated fats in butter.

And Then, There’s the Frosting

All that aside, here’s the real reason I love these cupcakes. Two words: cream cheese frosting. I’m a sucker for that stuff! I normally seek out gingerbread muffins and carrot cake just to get a bite of that sweet-and-savory frosting. By using reduced-fat cream cheese, we get all of the flavors of the real deal with less than half the fat and 40 percent of the calories. I’ll take it!

I’m so excited to share this life changing recipe with you. Let me know what you think, I can’t wait to see what you think!

Honey Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

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Chef Nichole

Nichole has a culinary degree from Great Lakes Culinary Institute and has worked in the culinary industry for 10 years. She also has the knowledge to write recipes using the most nutritious, fresh, and balanced ingredients. Nichole enjoys creating healthy and tasty recipes anyone can prepare, no matter their cooking skill level.

More by Chef Nichole


  1. These sound wonderful! Can I use fat-free yogurt and unsweetened Almond milk? Also, would whole wheat pastry flour work? Thanks!!

    1. Deb, Fat-free yogurt and unsweetened Almond milk should work fine. I’m not totally sure if Whole wheat pastry flou would work since we didn’t use it in this recipe. Please let us know if you do. 🙂

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