Guilt-Free Valentine’s Cupcakes

pop cupcake square

The old becomes new again: Give a traditional Valentine’s Day treat a lower calorie makeover.

I am not really much for Valentine’s Day.  I think it’s because I resent the idea that gamble chocolates are a once-a-year treat.  I say spin the roulette wheel and bring home a box whenever your little heart desires!


This cupcake recipe isn’t mine; I think it may originally be a Weight Watchers creation.  I wanted to try these cupcakes out, with a V-Day twist, to make sure I had something yummy to snack on without giving myself a guilt-trip or getting a mouthful of maple nougat!

pop cupcake ingredients

To make Guilt-Free Valentine’s Day Cupcakes, you will need:
strawberry cake mix
diet lemon-lime pop
light Cool Whip

add the cake mix

To make the cupcakes you simply add one box of cake mix to a large bowl.  Any flavor works, but we picked strawberry cake mix for a nice Valentine’s Day color.

add the pop

Add in 12 ounces of diet pop.  Again, any variety of diet pop will work, so experiment with flavor combinations!

pop cupcake batter

After mixing, the batter will have a light, whipped consistency.  Dole out the batter into your cupcake pan, and follow the directions on the cake mix box for temperature and bake time.

cake mix nutrition facts

Now, my math skills aren’t the greatest, but I estimate each cupcake contains roughly 100 calories unfrosted, and about 120 with the light Cool Whip topping.  A cupcake prepared the regular way would cost you about 140 calories (without frosting).

(I got 21 cupcakes from one batch of batter prepared with just the diet pop.  If you find an error in my math, please let me know!)

baked pop cupcake

As you can see the cupcakes did rise up nicely.  I was concerned that not following the packaged directions would result in flat or spongy cupcakes, but that wasn’t the case at all!

pop cupcake consistency

The texture was similar to any other cupcake baked from a box mix.   Light, moist and very flavorful.  Not bad at all for roughly the same calories as a can of regular pop.

strawberry pop cupcake

If you are willing to splurge on a (very) few extra calories, pop a couple of conversation hearts on top for decoration.  Or a gamble chocolate if you are feeling dangerous.

pop cupcakes with cool whip frosting

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Thanks,  Jessica Hill
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