Celebrate National Cupcake Week (NCW) with specialist cupcake recipes

It’s National Cupcake Week (NCW), so why not try your hand at baking a healthy or free-from alternative?

Cupcakes are not something that we usually associate with good nutrition, and as delicious as they are lashings of frosting, sugar and butter are not really famed for their ‘healthy’ properties.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t still celebrate. There are plenty of low-fat, healthy and free-from alternatives so why not diversify from the traditional sponge topped with swirly buttercream and try something a little different.

Our top tips are:

  • Try searching for egg-free, vegan, low fat, dairy-free and gluten-free recipes.
  • Instead of baking a whole cake, use cupcake cases instead.
  • Swap half of the recommended sugar with a substitute such as Splenda or Canderel.
  • Spread the topping thinly as opposed to piping and substitute butter cream with cream cheese frosting made with a low-fat product. To really save on calories, go for a simple dusting on the top with icing sugar.

To get you started we have found a great recipe for sticky toffee pudding cupcakes. These dreamy looking cakes were created by Rachel Price-Whittle and they have won the award for best free-from cupcake of the year:

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cupcakes

By Rachel Price-Whittle, Rachel’s Cupcakes, Wotton Wawen, Warks


  • Makes 12-16 Cupcakes
  • 7oz Chopped Dates
  • 125ml Boiling Water
  • 1 Dessert Spoon Black Treacle
  • 5oz Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
  • 5.5oz Ground Almonds
  • 7oz Demerera Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Essence

For the butter Cream

  • 1lb 2oz Icing Sugar
  • 4oz Softened Salted Butter
  • 1 Can Dulce de Leche
  • 2tsps Vanilla Essence
  • Fudge Pieces to decorate


  1. Preheat oven to 200c)
  2. Place dates, boiling water and black treacle in a jug and set aside.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in mixer with paddle attachment
  4. Mix eggs and egg whites with vanilla essence in a jug and add to dry ingredients whilst mixing.
  5. Once all ingredients are well incorporated add the dates mixture and mix until well combined.
  6. Divide between 16 cases and bake for 20-23mins.


  1. Sift icing sugar into mixer add cubed butter, cover mixer with tea towel and mix on a low setting with paddle attachment until combined.
  2. Add caramel sauce and vanilla essence to icing sugar and butter and mix until smooth.
  3. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes with star nozzle and decorate with chopped fudge pieces, drizzled dulce de leche and sprinkle with gold glitter.

View the original recipe here, and find out more about National Cupcake Week (NCW) by visiting the website.

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Written by Emma Hilton
Written by Emma Hilton
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