Cooking for Kids

Diet Cupcakes

When I was a kid, I jumped at every chance to help my mom cook or bake. I found it so cool to be a part of making dinner or baking goodies, so I know one day when I have kids, they will get as many chances as I did to be a little sous chef.

Frigidaire has a website featuring a Kids’ Cooking Academy, which encourages families to come together in the kitchen and make the meal happen together. I think this is a great idea, since cooking can be such a blast for kids!

When I was an education major at one point in my indecisive college career, I realized how much kids LOVE color. They go crazy over colorful things. So, I wanted to share with you this  fun idea for rainbow cupcakes that will probably bring out the kid in you, and heck, if you have a kid, they would enjoy throwing these together with you, too!

I made mine in Valentine’s Day colors, but you can go all out with a full rainbow if you’d like.

I usually use this white cake recipe for cupcakes, but since I’m trying to lose weight, I used an old stand-by cupcake recipe that is pretty popular at Weight Watchers meetings. This also explains why my cupcakes are naked…buttercream isn’t very Weight Watchers friendly. :-(

Diet Cupcakes
Source: not sure, but someone at Weight Watchers is a genius


  • 1 box cake mix (any flavor)
  • 1 1/4 cup of diet soda (any flavor)


  1. Mix cake mix and soda together. Place in cupcake tins and bake as directed.


  1. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, because I’ve tried doing that fool-proof recipe three times now and every. single. time. it comes out awful. I”ll cook it forever and it’ll never set; it’s always just a gummy mess. I may (emphasis on may) attempt it again, because I would very much like to eat cake without guilt.

    • The Nifty Foodie says:

      I’ve heard that adding 1 or 2 egg whites is another variation on this recipe. Perhaps that would make it less gummy? I’m sorry you have bad results, though! It’s definitely NOT your normal cupcake, texture wise, but it is pretty close.

    • this isnt guilt free? theres so much sugar in boxed cake mixes, jusssst so you know

  2. So box cake mix and soda are good for you now? I think I’ll just stick with healthy eating…

    • The Nifty Foodie says:

      I’m sorry for the confusion, but I didn’t say that these were healthy. They are just a diet friendly option. Thanks for reading!

  3. What a fun color combination!

    It’s too bad they’re running around nude, though – they could certainly use some frosting decency. 😉

  4. even without the frosting, these look quite delicious. :)

  5. I feel a little silly, like I’m missing something here. Did you say how to get the mix of colors like that?

    I was thinking you could just separate the batter into two portions and color each separately, then pour them into the cupcake tins half and half or something. But I’m not sure if that would work or if that’s how you did this.

    Anyway, they look great! Just wish I knew how to get the color to look good.

  6. eat to live live to eat says:

    really… if you want diet cupcakes… or diet anything… SKIP THE SODA… diet or not. you wouldn’t even need weight watchers if you left the soda in the grocery store… keep it out of your house, car…. keep it out of your life! Drink water. It’s good… and naturally fat-free.

    You’d be better off just making REGULAR fatty cupcakes FROM SCRATCH, with real buttercream frosting, but just eating ONE instead of trying these nasty cupcakes. Sorry… but what’s the point? If you moderate your food intake, eat small portions and EXERCISE EVERY DAY… you can eat whatever you want.

    • The Nifty Foodie says:

      Thanks for reading! I’m pretty sure I would still need Weight Watchers, soda or not, but thank you for your comment. It is just a recipe idea, by the way. I’m not forcing anyone to eat these cupcakes. :-)

  7. I felt forced to eat 8 of these cupcakes when I really wanted to be having naturally fat free water. THANKS. *rolls eyes*.

  8. Hey snarky- no one asked for your RUDE (and over-dramatic) opinion. Move along.

  9. L to the B says:

    No. Just no. Ditto everything that eat to live live to eat said. I wouldn’t feed this to my dog, let alone my children :(

    • The Nifty Foodie says:

      When did I say “feed this to your kids”? The technique of adding food coloring to the cupcakes is for the kids, and if you read the full entry, you’ll notice there is a soda free from-scratch cupcake recipe linked in the post.

  10. What a great idea–thanks! I’ll definitely be trying out the color trick on my next batch of cuppies for my 3 kiddos. Right after I remind them that if they don’t have something nice to say then they shouldn’t say anything at all. :)

  11. MeaganLikesIt says:

    I don’t understand why some commanders are being so rude. If you would feed them to your family, then don’t make the damn cupcakes. If you have something else you’d like to make and share, go start your own blog about it.

  12. Too healthy for me. Maybe if you would have added regular soda in the recipe, I might have tried this.

  13. My dog was also offended by your use of diet soda. Some people………………………….

  14. Oh wow this has been quite entertaining!
    Hey #eattolivlivetoeat I had a diet coke and a “REGULAR fatty” cupcake together… would that be considered a balanced diet?
    I mean, you did say the fatty cupcake in moderation was better for me :)

  15. Wow… Just wow girl! Some of your commenters are a little crazy! I have never heard of doing this! I think I am going to have to try it really soon! :-)

  16. Listen EASE up everyone SHEESH! Go to the weightwatchers site if you’re SO concerned about the “diet” aspect. What happened to just posting a recipe for creativity.

  17. Jessann says:

    I love the recipe and the idea. My mother always made cupcakes with diet coke, and they were always so moist and perfect! The coloring of the cupcakes is adorable as well! :)

  18. Wow this must be the recipe people love to hate?! 😉
    I think they look great- I’m always looking for lower-cal dessert options. What kind of diet soda did you use for yours? I don’t want to create any weird tastes by using diet coke or something when I should have used something else.

    • The Nifty Foodie says:

      My favorite is orange soda with white/yellow cake…dreamsicle, but for this one, I believe I used diet root beer. :-)

  19. I just really had to laugh at the ‘only 2 ingredients’ part… Have you ever read a box of cakemix or a can of diet soda? That’s at least 20 ingredients each 😉

    By the way, you just might want to do that sometimes… It’ll cure you from wanting to eat these cakes, permanently. Sorry for raining on your parade, it’s not meant moody!

    • The Nifty Foodie says:

      Thanks for reading. I do bake mostly from scratch, but there are boxed mixes out there for convenience. I don’t see why you feel that it’s OK to judge people who use them. If you don’t like the recipe I posted, don’t use it.

  20. WTHeck is wrong with you people….why is it necessary to be so snide. If you’re not interested in this type or recipe, then don’t read it! I guess if being rude to a total stranger (who is simply trying to give people some new recipe ideas) is what you need to feel good about yourselves, then we should probably pity you all, bc you clearly have nothing else in your lives.

  21. Wow, I cannot believe some of the comments you received for this post. It is unbelievable how rude some people can be.

    While I myself am a strong believer in healthy eating (cooking/baking from scratch, etc) I cannot believe the amount of people that would critisize you so harshly for simply sharing a recipe.

    If some of the people reading this would learn to just pass up a recipe (no rude comment required) when they are uncomfortable with the ingrediant list… the blogging world would be a much better place.

    The author in no way claimed these were “healthy”, “kid friendly”, or “all natural”. So get over it and bake your own damn “healthy” cupcake.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. Interesting idea. I’ve never heard of it before. Lovely photos. :)

  22. Interesting idea! Might have to try these some day soon.

    To all the hateful, rude commenters: If you don’t like the recipe, MOVE ON. No one is making you make these cupcakes, and no one is trying to make you eat them for that matter. She said it was a DIET FRIENDLY cupcake as opposed to a regular full calorie cupcake.

    Gosh. Some people just feel the need to tear people down for no good reason…

  23. LOL at these comments! I just saw this post on your Top 10 in 2011 post and had to come over to see why it was so controversial.

    What kind of food blogger are you suggesting people eat posionous cake mix!! And diet pop!! The horror! 😉 haha. People need to lighten up a bit….for real.

    FWIW, I LOVE diet pop and will use a cake mix on occasion. I especially love the WW recipe with a spice cake mix and pumpkin…so good! :)

  24. I think this is an awesome idea! I helped my sister so a rainbow themed party for my neice earlier in the month and we really could have used this idea.

    Keep up the great work!

  25. Hey, I was reading some comments and realized they are wrong!!
    There is a sugar free option out there!
    They make a few variety’s of sugar free cake mixes now think Pillsburys the one with the blue box right along side the regular versions.. they have splenda to sweeten them and of course I would choose a soda sweetened with splenda or agave over aspartame any day! So I hope this helps someone who is weary try this out I think I might but am not sure if i will be successful im an awful baker after all. I love trying to lighten myself up and still indulge a bit– but its always a challenge.

  26. To the lady that posted to leave out the soda and you wouldn’t need weight watchers… you might want to read the label on a diet soda..there are ZERO calories and most everything else is ZERO. Zero doesn’t make someone fat. You can have sugar on weight watchers too, that is why they say you can enjoy the things you love. The point is you can have diet friendly foods that have some fat, some sugar and flavor. Will try this recipe soon. Thanks

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