Frosted Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes


  • Frosting (61 cals/serving)
    • 2 large egg whites
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • Pinch salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into cubes
  • Cupcakes (104 cals per cupcake)
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 large eggs
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded, peeled zucchini (about 2 small)


  1. Frosting
    1. Combine the egg whites, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water. Stir continuously over heat until the mixture is warm and the sugar is completely dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes.
    2. Remove the bowl from the heat. (**this was done on heat the entire time**) Using a handheld electric or standing mixer, set on high beat until the mixture is entirely cooled, glossy, and stiff, about 7 minutes. Beat in the lemon zest, and add the butter cubes, a few at a time, beating until the butter is almost fully incorporated after each addition. Beat until smooth – once smooth, take care not to over beat or the mixture will get lumpy. Let frosting set and cool in the refrigerate(at least 30 minutes), while making the cupcakes.
  2. Cupcakes
    1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Line a 12-muffin pan with cupcake liners.
    2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; set aside. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla with a handheld electric or standing mixer until thick and light colored, about 4 minutes.  Beat in the zucchini on medium speed until fully incorporated.
    3. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until fully incorporated, scraping down the bowl once with a spatula during beating. Use a 1/3 cup measure to spoon into the muffin cups.
    4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes, turning the pans midway through baking.  Transfer cupcakes out onto a wire rack and cool completely before icing with the chilled frosting.