Healthier Cakes

These days everyone is trying to eat healthy, but it's hard to refuse cake! So why not make healthier cakes?

Flour

Instead of using regular white flour, why not switch to whole-wheat? If you think it will be too much of a shock to your family to change overnight, gradually change the proportions of the flour. Start with 25% whole-wheat and 75% white flour and then go to 50/50 and then to 75% whole-wheat/25% white flour. If you get finely ground flour your family will hardly notice the difference. You can even buy 80% whole-wheat flour to use in some recipes if you feel that 100% whole-wheat flour is too heavy for your cakes. Remember, whole-wheat flour is denser than white flour so you may need to add more liquid than you usually use in your recipe.

Sugar

Most recipes use way to much sugar so you can easily cut the sugar in your favorite cake recipe by a third. Another thing you can do is to switch to demerara sugar, dark brown sugar or organic brown sugar. This won't affect the taste but will be healthier than white sugar. You can also substitute juice concentrate for sugar. You just add the juice concentrate to the other liquid ingredients and then add that to the flour instead of putting sugar in the dry ingredients. And again you need to use less as juice concentrate is very sweet. You can also use honey instead of sugar in some recipes.

Fat

Using oil instead of margarine or butter can make for a healthier and moister cake. Just mix the dry ingredients together and add the oil to the egg and the water. If you use a better quality cold pressed oil then you can even cut the quantity of oil. For example if you normally use a third of a cup of regular canola or sunflower oil, you can substitute a quarter of a cup of cold pressed oil.

Cocoa

Why not try cocoa in your recipes? It has the same chocolaty taste but is much healthier for you than using drinking chocolate powder which is usually already sweetened with lots of sugar. You can also use carob powder instead. Carob is sweeter than cocoa so you need to use less sugar or juice in your cake.

Eggs

Many cake recipes use too many eggs and so try and reduce the egg number by at least one. If you beat the eggs for longer they will contain more air and help make your cake lighter. As long as you adjust the liquid quantity appropriately you shouldn't have any problems. There are even egg substitutes you can buy if you prefer.

Liquid

Instead of substituting low-fat milk or soya milk for regular milk in a recipe you can just use water. Remember also that different flours need different amounts of liquid so add the liquid slowly. Be prepared to add more liquid if conditions are very dry or you are using 100% whole-wheat flour.

Cookbooks

There are many healthy cooking and baking cookbooks available, but why not ask your grandmother for your family's wartime cookery book? Cooks had to come up with all sorts of ingenious ways to get around the wartime rationing of fats, eggs and sugar. These ways were usually healthier too!

Healthy cakes are just as delicious as regular cakes, if not more so, and because they are usually more filling you probably won't want another piece!

Check out the rest of our site for more cake baking and decorating ideas.