My husband’s birthday is this weekend…and obviously I want to make him a cake.
Yet he is a diabetic, so my days of baking as if I were from Mississippi…(which I am)…have long passed.
But this year for his birthday I am bound and determined to make him a cake that he will actually eat…and enjoy.
Since we don’t normally indulge in sweet things such as cake, I want this to be an extra special treat that he will feel free to devour.
So I have done my homework as to how to make him a cake that is both healthy and delicious…a cake that uses healthier alternatives than the Southern Cooking Holy Trinity—cream cheese, powdered sugar, and Cool Whip.
Let’s take a look at what some of those healthier alternatives include…
- One of the best things you can do for your health is to give up processed foods…and white flour is definitely a processed food…and less healthy for you than other flours that are out there.
- White flour…or what most of us call “all-purpose” flour is less healthy for you because it has been “processed” to remove the outer layer of the grain…which is where all the healthy stuff, like fiber, are found.
- Better alternatives include whole-wheat, nut flour, almond meal or buckwheat flour.
- You can read more about these healthier alternatives in this post post by Self magazine.
Fruits and Veggies
For years I’ve heard that using applesauce instead of sugar is a much healthier way to still make delicious cakes and cookies, but if you’re like me you’ve been hesitant to try it.
However, when you’re married to a diabetic such as mine, who goes to great lengths to make sure that his whatever stays whatever, it starts making sense.
Applesauce can be used as a substitute for either the sugar or the fat in a recipe, but you don’t want to replace both the sugar and the fat with applesauce.
To use applesauce to replace the sugar, use the same amount of applesauce as the sugar listed in the ingredients, but use less of the liquid—normally milk or water—by 1/4C for every 1C of applesauce added.
To use applesauce to replace the oil or butter, replace half the fat with applesauce…so whenever a recipe calls for 1C oil, instead use 1/2C oil and 1/2C applesauce.
For more about baking with applesauce, check out this article from Taste of Home.
Other fruits that can be used In baking to help cut back on added fat include mashed banana.
If you are planning on subbing mashed banana for the butter or oil called for in a recipe, use the same amount of mashed banana as the amount of butter or oil that the recipe originally called for.
For more about using fruits and veggies other than the expected options of applesauce or banana, check out this article from Organic Authority.
One of the nutrients…or should I say anti-nutrients…that we all should think about in our quest to eat healthier is saturated fat.
And ordinary butter contains a lot of saturated fat. In fact, each tablespoon of butter contains 11.52 grams of fat, which is 36%DV…not to mention over one hundred calories.
That’s in just one tablespoon…
And how many cakes have you ever made that require only one tablespoon.
Normally you have to use at least one whole stick…meaning that you are adding about 58 grams of fat, which is 290%DV…not to mention over eight hundred calories.
Don’t you want to make better batter than the batter you make with butter?
Instead of butter, consider using one of the following…
- olive oil
- rapeseed oil
- sunflower oil or spread
Using these as a substitute for butter, not only lowers the amount of saturated fat, but will also give your cake a lighter, moister texture.
For more about baking with healthier fats, check out this article from Health Line.
As far as sugar goes, healthier options would include honey, maple syrup, stevia, and dates.
For more information about sugar substitutes, check out this article from Food Revolution.
The Icing on the Cake
If you’ve gone to all this trouble to make a healthier cake, you don’t want to ruin your efforts by using the standard high-sugar frosting or icing.
Instead of your standard frosting or icing, try one of the following instead…