so i have started a new diet ... actually more of a different mindset on how i eat/live. anyway since i do cakes and cupcakes i would really love to know what i can use to substitute different ingredients in a recipe to make them low calorie and healthier. if you have an amazing recipe or tips, please share. thank you
Good for you for trying to take better care of yourself!
IMHO, "low calorie" and "healthier" are not the same thing! You can make baked goods with healthier ingredients (i.e. no Crisco, no refined sugar, organic) but that does nothing for the calories. There really is no substitution for flour that will save calories either. But you can try using natural sweeteners in place of the sugar that can be better for you by lowering it on the glycemic index, which is important on how your body processes sugar and turns it into fat. The lower it is in the gycemic index, the better. So stuff like agave syrup (although it's a highly processed and refined chemical), Stevia, and honey (raw organic) can help your body process the sugar better then refined white.
You can save some calories by using applesauce in place of fat in your recipe (get unsweetened organic), and make a fresh fruit glaze in place of your typical buttercream (fruit cooked with agave or honey in place of the sugar).
Agave can replace corn syrup 1=1.
Buttermilk is also much healthier for you then milk or cream, has less natural sugar and has lower calories. If you can get Bulgarian buttermilk in your area it's even better, it has lots of active cultures and can help digestion. Used in cakes it makes them super moist and takes out some of the extra sugar that the cake really does not need (normally).
But really the best low calorie option is portion control and moderation.
Best of luck to you!