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When I was growing up, there was always dessert. I learned to bake from my mom and I got my love of all things sugary from both my parents.  As an adult, I have always looked forward to birthdays and holidays and visits with my parents because I can bake treats for them. Then, a few years ago, my dad was told by his doctor to limit/cut out all sugar from his diet. This was before the whole “everything comes sugar-free” revolution. When Father’s Day or his birthday rolled around I was at a loss.  Finding sugar-free recipes isn’t easy. They usually have unrecognizable ingredients or don’t taste that good. I’ve tried baking with Splenda and have never liked the results.  And “moderation” was never a thing that my family has been good at. I was always (and still am) confused by those people that can eat one cookie or slice of pie and stop. I’ve never been able to do that. It was always a running joke in my house that when we got a one pound box of See’s Candy as a gift it would be gone by the end of the day. And that was no joke; it was usually true.

A few years ago I discovered sugar-free chocolate melts through An Occasional Chocolate. Since then I have also found them at Winco, which is a local grocery store where I live. (They have tons of bulk bins and lots of sugar-free stuff.) Once I found those, I was able to start doing chocolate-covered sugar-free cookies (like Oreos or Murray’s brand). I’ve even made sugar-free Oreo truffles.

But the one thing I hadn’t been able to make that my dad really loves is cake. Growing up, birthdays meant a Duncan Hines (or whatever brand was on sale) sheet cake with a healthy layer of frosting on top. Those always lasted about as long as the See’s Candy did. So, imagine my excitement when I was cruising the baking aisle and saw that Pillsbury is now making sugar-free cake mix (frosting and brownie mix too). I was so excited! I immediately bought a box of yellow cake mix and a can of the chocolate frosting. I was curious how it would taste.

But, in typical fashion for me, I couldn’t just make a yellow cake or cupcake. I needed to do something else. Because my dad loves pudding of all sorts, I decided to fill the cupcakes with sugar-free pudding to make them extra special.

cupcakes filled with pudding and chocolate frosting and words on photo

I baked the cupcakes according to the package directions. While the cake was cooling I made a box of instant sugar-free vanilla pudding and then piped it inside the cupcakes, then frosted them with the sugar-free chocolate frosting.

The cake tasted exactly like regular cake mix. There was no sugar-free after taste. The frosting was harder than usual frosting (piping it on top of the cupcakes was a pain-in-the-hand, so next time I’ll just use a knife). It had the slightest sugar-free taste, but not bad. My dad liked them. Jordan wanted to add those “All Star” flags because she thinks her Papa is an all-star. (So do I.)

cupcakes cut in half and filled with pudding and chocolate frosting

Now, if you don’t need to eat sugar-free food, just use regular cake mix, frosting, and pudding. This would be an easy recipe for flavor variation: chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, cheesecake pudding…the combinations are endless.

I’ve written the recipe below for the entire cake mix, frosting, and pudding mix. However, I only made a dozen cupcakes. Remember the whole “moderation” thing? The fact that my family lacks the ability to do it? I figured my dad didn’t need two dozen cupcakes staring at him. Instead, I made a dozen cupcakes (had some frosting and pudding left over) and made one 9″ round cake layer. I froze that for later use. “Later” was this past week when we saw my parents again. 

What to do with a little bit of frosting and a frozen cake layer?

Make cake balls, of course.

I crumbled the cake and added about 1/4 cup of frosting. Mix it all together and form your cake balls. Freeze them for about 30 minutes, then dip in melted sugar-free chocolate. I made large cake balls this time because making small ones sometimes can drive a girl to go insane. It. Takes. So. Long.

So, sugar-free cupcakes and cake balls, all made with Pillsbury Sugar-Free mixes. I give this product two-thumbs up and hope it sticks around for awhile.  (Again, you can substitute all regular, not sugar-free ingredients in these recipes.)


*This is NOT a sponsored post. I just wanted to try out the products and share my results, in case you know someone who also is in need of sugar-free baking.*

cupcakes cut in half and filled with pudding and chocolate frosting

Boston Cream Cupcakes (Sugar-Free)

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  • 24 vanilla cupcakes , baked and cooled (You can use your favorite recipe or a box mix. For the sugar-free version, use the Pillsbury Sugar-Free Yellow Cake mix.)
  • 1 (small) package instant vanilla pudding (sugar-free, if desired)
  • 1 ½ cups nonfat milk
  • 1 can chocolate frosting , or use your favorite recipe (for sugar-free cupcakes, use Pillsbury Sugar-Free Chocolate Frosting)
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  • Prepare your pudding according to the package directions, using the 1 ½ cups nonfat milk.
  • Fit a disposable pasty bag with a round decorating tip (#230) and fill the bag with the pudding. Place the tip into the center of the top of the cupcake and fill. Alternately, you can cut a small hole in the top of the cupcake and add a spoonful of pudding.
  • Frost the tops with the chocolate icing. Note: the sugar-free icing is very thick. I recommend using a warmed knife to frost the cupcakes instead of using a pastry bag.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Last Updated on August 19, 2022

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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  1. What’s great brotheris diabetic and of course he loves sweets.
    So,I am going to make these cupcakes for his birhhday party on friday..thanks for sharing this delicious boston crean vupcakr recipe 

  2. Hi,
    I saw your recipe over at Something Swanky. It looked so good!
    I’m hosting my first link party Cast Party Wednesday and would love it if you came over and shared all your amazing recipes with us.
    I hope to see you there!