Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Frosting


Chocolate Cupcake with Fudgy Frosting


A mound of rich, dense, fudgy frosting atop a super moist chocolate cupcake…

Wait, are we on the right blog? Isn’t she a dietitian? Aren’t cupcakes unhealthy?


While I don’t think a traditional cupcake on occasion is going to sabotage all attempts at a healthy lifestyle, I still would never be so predictable as to post a regular cupcake recipe–there are plenty of those floating around on the internet already. I wanted a challenge: a delicious chocolatey cupcake that wasn’t loaded down with butter, oils or a vat of powdered sugar (are you scared yet?).


Cupcake Love

Cupcake Love

I already had a go-to healthier cupcake base recipe that I always get compliments on; it makes a super moist cupcake without fail, and to make my life simpler, it uses a box cake mix and sugar-free pudding, skipping the added oil. I know, I know, it’s a box mix, a processed food with a million ingredients that are terrible for you. Well, even I make exceptions to health rules. When it comes to baking, my goal is never to make a completely healthy dessert (why not just eat a piece of fruit?). Dessert is a treat that I don’t indulge in every day, so when I do make it, I want my dessert to taste good, and I don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen making it. If the end product happens to have a few less bad ingredients, a few more good ingredients, and still tastes amazing, then I consider myself victorious.



Fudgy spoonI got some funny looks from my friends when they heard my fudge frosting ingredients included avocado and bananas–which is exactly why I didn’t tell them what was in it until after they ate them (gotta love a good social experiment). One of my friends is an incredibly picky eater and lists bananas among the numerous fruits and veggies he will not eat, and he couldn’t even tell the difference. Don’t get me wrong, this frosting isn’t classic buttercream frosting by any means, and several people could taste the bananas, but no one tasted the avocado, and everyone like them. The avocado replaced ALL of the butter without sacrificing creaminess, and the bananas replaced half of the powdered sugar after heating them in the microwave to make them extra sweet and creamy. Don’t worry, nothing replaced the chocolate in this frosting. I would never skimp on the chocolate–that’s almost a crime. Cocoa and unsweetened baking chocolate give the frosting an intense dark chocolate flavor that makes you think you’re eating decadent fudge.



Fudgy cupcake top


{Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Frosting }

A triple-chocolate treat–dark chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, and melted chocolate. The cupcakes themselves are oil free but stay super moist from the pudding. The fudgy frosting uses avocado and gooey bananas to replace the butter and 1/2 the powdered sugar.  A healthier cupcake that isn’t lacking on taste!


Servings: 20 cupcakes (you could probably get 24 if you don’t over-fill the tins like I do!)



Cupcakes:  Taste of Home, Yummy Chocolate Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix (I used Betty Crocker triple chocolate fudge)

1 box sugar-free chocolate fudge instant pudding

1 3/4 cup water

3 egg whites



2 medium ripe bananas

1 cup mashed avocado

1/4 cup cocoa powder

2 tbsp instant coffee

1 tbsp vanilla

1 tsp butter extract (optional if you want a buttery taste)

6 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (I used Baker’s)

2 cups powdered sugar

2 tbsp milk

Sprinkles for decorating (optional)


Directions: Cupcakes

1. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, water and egg whites. Using a mixer beat on low speed for 1 minute; beat on medium for 2 minutes.

2. Spoon batter into cupcake liners; filling 2/3 of the way full. Bake at 325 F for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.


Directions: Fudgy Frosting

1. Melt bananas in the microwave or on the stove-top: slice bananas into coins and microwave, or cook on stove until caramelized and gooey (took about 1 minute placed on a plate in my microwave). Melted Banana Trick by Chocolate-Covered Katie

2. Combine melted bananas, avocado, cocoa, instant coffee, vanilla, and butter extract (optional) in a food processor, blender, or Vitamix, and blend until smooth.

3. Melt chocolate in microwave safe dish at 50% power until melted, stirring ever 15 seconds to prevent scorching. You can also use a double boiler on the stove. Combine melted chocolate in food processor with avocado/banana mixture.

4. Add powdered sugar and milk to chocolate mixture and blend until smooth. If your frosting appears too dry or unspreadable, add additional milk by the tablespoon until easily spreadable. Mixture should be THICK.

5. Frost immediately and generously!  I used a large freezer bag with the corner snipped off. Add sprinkles if desired. Frosting will set up more as chocolate cools to room temp.




Here is a side by side nutrition comparison of a traditional cupcake with buttercream frosting and my recipe:


Nutrition info based on 20 cupcakes

  Classic Cupcake with Butter-cream Frosting My Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Frosting
Calories 320 210
Total Fat (g) 17 7
Saturated Fat (g) 7 4
Carbohydrate (g) 44 37
Sugars (g) 33 22
Protein (g) 3 4
Fiber (g) 2 3








4 Responses to Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Frosting

  1. StaceyC says:

    I was part of the “social experiment” and can testify to their yumminess!! Can butter always be replaced with avocado? And how do you know the ratio to use?

    • Ryan Baggett MA, RD says:

      As far as baking goes you can substitute avocado for butter equally, so for every stick of butter you could use 1/2 cup pureed avocado. Other reviews do say to reduce your oven temperature by 25 percent and increase your baking time when using avocados. I don’t know if I would try avocado in my chocolate chip cookies just yet :-)….but I’m definitely going to be doing brownies soon!

  2. Interesting approach, thanks.

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