up close photo of a healthy red velvet cupcake
Healthy Treats

Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes

Healthy red velvet cupcakes are made from scratch and refined sugar free. Topped with a healthier cream cheese frosting making them the perfect healthy treat.

three plates of healthy red velvet cupcakes with red sprinkles on top

Valentine’s Day is going to be here in just a few short weeks. Have you thought about what you’re going to make for loved ones? Or maybe you have little ones that need to take a treat to school.

Look no further than these healthy red velvet cupcakes.

This year, Valentine’s Day is just a few days before my due date, so my treat making will be minimal during this time.

up close shot of a healthy red velvet cupcake on a white plate

However, baby girl definitely seems to have a sweet tooth, just like her mama. So making a healthier cupcake that fully satisfies our sweet tooth and keeps us feeling good was a must.

How to Make Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes

The Homemade Cupcake Batter

Homemade and healthy should not be intimidating. In fact, these cupcakes are so simple to make from scratch you’ll wonder why you weren’t doing it sooner.

There’s always a time and place for a good box cake mix, don’t get me wrong. But because we’re making these cupcakes healthy, the batter definitely has to be from scratch.

two bowls of batter. One red and one flour

We start with sifted white whole wheat flour. Sifting flour is a super simple process that just involves a mesh colander. Pour the flour into the colander and shake over a bowl to sift the flour.

This helps make a lighter cupcake batter. Although, I’ll tell you right now, these cupcakes aren’t your typical light and fluffy ones. They’re a little denser, but still extremely delicious.

I always just assumed that red velvet cupcakes were chocolate cupcakes dyed red, but there’s actually not that much cocoa powder in these cupcakes.

bowl of red velvet cupcake batter with a lined muffin tin next to it. Half of the cupcakes filled with batter

The wet ingredients consist of olive oil {a healthy fat replacement for butter}. Pure maple syrup and raw cane sugar, both great alternatives to refined white sugar.

And then, distilled white vinegar. An odd ingredient, but it gives the healthy red velvet cupcakes their distinct flavor.

Of course there’s a hefty amount of red food coloring to give it the quintessential red color.

The Cream Cheese Frosting

Is any red velvet cupcake complete without cream cheese frosting?

Yea, I didn’t think so.

cream cheese frosted red velvet cupcake on a white plate with three additional cupcakes behind it

Traditional cream cheese frosting includes a good amount of powdered sugar for the perfect sweetness.

But since these cupcakes are healthy, I wanted to make sure the frosting stayed that way too.

So instead we’re going to use pure maple syrup as the sweetener of choice.

unwrapped healthy red velvet cupcake on a white plate

Cream cheese is already pretty thick, so a small amount of pure maple syrup wasn’t going to thin it out too much.

Spread a hefty dollop of frosting over the cupcakes and sprinkle with red, white and pink sprinkles to take these healthy red velvet cupcakes to the next level.

You can bet I’ll be enjoying these healthy cupcakes before my due date, which is fast approaching.

The nursery is all set and the hospital bag is at the ready, just in case baby girl decides to make an early appearance.

I hope you enjoy these cupcakes just as much as we have!

bite taken out of a healthy red velvet cupcake

Looking for more Valentine’s Day inspired treats? Check these out:

Pink Champagne Cake Roll

Healthy-ish Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

These healthy red velvet cupcakes are made from scratch and are refined sugar free. Enjoy a healthy cupcake for Valentine's Day, or any time you're craving a cupcake topped with healthy cream cheese frosting. #valentinesdaydessert #healthycupcakes #redvelvetcupcakes #healthydessertideas #easyredvelvetcupcakes
Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Healthy red velvet cupcakes are made from scratch and refined sugar free. Topped with a healthier cream cheese frosting making them the perfect healthy treat.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cupcakes, refined sugar free, valentine’s day
Servings: 12 cupcakes
  • 1 ¾ cup white whole wheat flour sifted
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup raw cane sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. red food coloring
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature {or softened}*
  • cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line cupcake tins with cupcake liners {12 total}.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the oil, pure maple syrup, yogurt, sugar, vinegar and vanilla until combined. Add the eggs and stir to incorporate.
  4. Stir in the food coloring.
  5. Add the dry ingredients, half at a time, stirring after each addition, until combined.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake tins and bake for 23-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  7. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
  8. Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting. In a medium bowl, add the room temperature cream cheese. Mix with a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  9. Add the pure maple syrup and vanilla and continue to mix until smooth.
  10. Once cupcakes are cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting. Top with heart sprinkles, if desired.
Recipe Notes

*Note: Room temperature, or softened cream cheese will help ensure there are no lumps in your frosting.

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