Unlike traditional carrot cake, which is heavy, these cupcakes are light and bouncy. No bunny would suspect they are filled with delicious fiber-rich carrots; kids won't either. Applesauce adds moisture and helps reduce the oil content. Carrot cake has been a favorite since the 60s.

Cupcake Batter

    1/2 cup canola oil
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    3 large eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple
    1/4 cup fresh pineapple juice
    2 cups shredded peeled carrots
    1/2 cup applesauce with cinnamon

    2 3/4 cups cake flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Neufchâtel Cheese Frosting

     4 ounces Neufchâtel cheese
    1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
    3 cups confectioners' sugar
    3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons fat-free milk

    1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 .

2.  Cupcake batter: In an extra large bowl, use a mixer to cream
     the oil and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, beat for 1 minute.

3.  Process the pineapple, juice, carrots and applesauce in a
     blender until smooth. Stir into the oil/sugar mixture.

4.  In a large bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, baking powder nutmeg,
     salt and cinnamon. Add to the egg mixture all at once, then beat on

     medium speed until well blended.

5.  Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop the batter into foil-lined   
muffin cups. Bake in the preheated oven 16-18 minutes or
     until tops bounce back when lightly pressed.

6.  Remove from the oven and use a large dessert spoon to ease
     the hot cupcakes out of the muffin tins. Set on a cooling rack.

7.  Frosting: In a deep medium bowl, beat the cheese and butter
     with a mixer. On low speed, add 2 cups of the confectioners'
     sugar, beat until smooth. Add the vanilla and milk. Use
     enough of the last cup of sugar to make a fluffy icing.

8.  Ice when the cupcakes are completely cool; top immediately
     with chopped walnuts so they will adhere to the icing.

     Makes about 24 cupcakes