Hungry Girl: You’ll Want to Make These Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes All Year Long

12/07/2015 at 05:23 PM ET

Hungry Girl Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Courtesy Lisa Lillien

Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating. She is also the author of ten books, six of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her PEOPLE.com blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.

Pumpkin spice fever hit hard in September, and now that we’re into December, things are getting serious. Pumpkin, it’s your time.

And we all want to celebrate, but we’d also still like to fit into something cute on New Year’s Eve. Pssst… you can do both!

RELATED: Hungry Girl Lightens Up Taylor Swift’s Favorite Sweet Potato Casserole

With only 141 calories per portion-controlled treat, these cupcakes are an indulgence you can feel good about. Show up with a batch of these at your next holiday get-together, and watch all those cookies crumble with envy…

‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!

RELATED: Hungry Girl: My Healthy Hacks For Fast Food Burgers

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Makes 12

½ cup reduced-fat cream cheese
¼ cup light butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel & Brown), room temperature
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
⅓ cup powdered sugar
1 ¾ cups moist-style spice cake mix
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
⅓ cup egg whites or fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
½ tsp. baking powder
⅛ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. cinnamon
⅛ tsp. pumpkin pie spice, plus more for garnish
Dash nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with foil baking cups, or spray it with nonstick spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. With an electric mixer set to medium speed, beat until smooth, 1 – 2 minutes. Continue to beat while gradually adding powdered sugar. Beat until smooth, another 1 – 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate.

3. In another large bowl, combine cake mix, pumpkin, egg whites, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix until smooth and uniform. Evenly distribute batter among the cups of the muffin pan.

4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 16 – 18 minutes. 

Let cool completely, about 10 minutes in the pan and 25 minutes out of the pan.

5. Evenly frost cupcakes, and top with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Nutritional information: (1 cupcake): 141 calories, 4.5g total fat (2.5g sat fat), 271mg sodium, 22.5g carbs, 1g fiber, 13g sugars, 2.5g protein

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Showing 3 comments

ROXANNE on

yum

Stella on

there are numerous similar and better recipes out there that don’t include trash like cake mix.

KeepingItClassy on

I stopped reading at “light butter”.