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Let Them Eat Cake! 5 Healthier Cupcake Recipes for Birthday Parties!

I’ve tried many cupcake recipes for birthday parties over the years, and I have decided that I love making miniature cupcakes for kids’ birthday parties. They’re the perfect size for small hands, and even if your little one goes back for seconds (or even thirds), it still won’t equal the amount of one regular size cupcake. When you’re looking for an unforgettable cupcake recipe that will only add to the magic of your little one’s special day, try these cupcake recipes, baked in mini muffin tins, lined with your favorite liners, and experience maximum deliciousness.

Wether you’re hosting a color-themed party, grilling up some burgers, or serving pizza, you’ll find something in this set to go with your menu. Click through this slideshow for everything from naturally colored icing to cupcakes using beets for color! Yes, beets! Just try it, I promise you’ll like it!

What is your favorite birthday party dessert to serve?

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  • Red Beet Cupcakes 1 of 5
    Red Beet Cupcakes
    We have an awesome cupcake store in our neighborhood and every now and then we take the kids by to enjoy a special treat. Without fail, their eyes are always drawn to the most colorful cupcakes in the display case. My kids may have no idea how a red velvet cupcake made with crimson food dye actually tastes, but put something like it in front of them and their immediate response is, "that one". My take on these cupcakes have a rich flavor, and while they aren't as artificially red as the red velvet cupcakes which use chemical food dyes (and of course chocolate which this one doesn't include), they (and their icing) get their bright, reddish-pink color from a surprising, delicious and 100% natural guest, roasted beets. Especially given the never-ending speculation about the connection between food dyes and hyperactivity in children, having smart alternatives for the artificially colored food that kids crave means I don't have to deprive my little ones. This doesn't mean we're not frequenting our local cupcake store any less often, but I always like reminding myself that whenever there's something out there I may not be thrilled about my kids eating, figuring out how to make a healthier version is not at all impossible.
  • Mini Vanilla Cupcakes 2 of 5
    Mini Vanilla Cupcakes
    These are the cupcakes I served for my daughter's first birthday. I really wanted something white, light, airy and tiny in size. I literally spent weeks working on the perfect recipe, which also had to be simple enough to be weelicious. I first tried using agave to sweeten them, but that was a big ol' flop. Then I experimented with different combinations of eggs, flours and sugar, but still nothing tasted quite right until I arrived at the balance for this version.
  • Lemon Cupcakes with Blueberry Icing 3 of 5
    Lemon Cupcakes with Blueberry Icing
    I love brightly colored desserts and these cupcakes are one of my new faves. The cake has an intense lemon flavor while the icing is a vibrant blueish-purple free of any artificial dyes. When Kenya skeptically asked me how the icing got so blue, I was overjoyed to tell him it was only from blueberries. He brought some to school one day and as he proudly passed the bite-sized cakes out to his friends he told them, "there's no food coloring in these!"
  • Spinach Cake Muffins 4 of 5
    Spinach Cake Muffins
    These Spinach Cake Muffins have just the perfect amount of sweetness and an appealing bright green color, but no intense spinach flavor. I surprisingly got really into making them and the new recipe produced a sweet little gem of a muffin that my kids absolutely loved. Chloe joined me in making a batch and got so into it I caught her eating spinach leaves directly out of the measuring cup -- who says kids don't like their greens?! I always find that when you give little ones a chance to be a part of creating something in the kitchen, it can transform food for them in a way that's just as much fun to make as it is to eat!
  • Vanilla Cupcakes in a Cone 5 of 5
    Vanilla Cupcakes in a Cone
    Seriously? An ice cream cone filled with light vanilla cake and topped with frosting? I can think of few things that would make a kid more happy than this treat. It's like if two members of dessert royalty got married and had babies -- the result would be these Vanilla Cupcakes in a Cone. My kids lost their minds when they got to make them with me. This recipe is so simple that Kenya and Chloe were able to do everything short of putting them in and pulling them out of the oven. When the cupcake cones were cooled and frosted we had a little birthday party celebration for our friend, Nilva. You should have seen the smiles on their faces and total empowerment they experienced carrying the cones with candles over to her while recounting how they had made them on their own.

Find more of Catherine’s recipes at weelicious.

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