There’s nothing like a bit of cake to make everything seem OK with the world once more. However, just like everything that tastes amazing, there not the healthiest thing you can choose – all that sugar, flour, butter… Damn it, why do they taste so delicious.
However, you can make cakes that are that little bit more on the healthier side, enabling you to indulge your sweet tooth and even get some health benefits on the side.
First up, baking cakes at home is always a healthier option than buying them. You’re in control of the ingredients you put in, so you can always reduce sugar or chose high quality organic ingredients. Many shop-bought cakes contain stuff like hydrogenated fats, additives and salt, so if you’re desperate for a healthier cake hit, it’s time to get your apron on and get baking.
Secondly, there are tweaks that can be made to most recipes to ensure they’re not quite as heart-stoppingly bad, but still as delicious.
Swap butter for olive oil
Olive oil has less saturated fat than butter so substituting this for the yellow stuff can potentially make your cake much healthier. Olive oil is also packed full of antioxidants, which can help fight inflammation and lower your cholesterol.
TRY: Bake Off’s Nancy Birtwhistle’s recipe for Ginger And Orange Olive Oil Cake
Ditch refined sugar
Every cake contains sugar, which we all know is not good for our body in high amounts. Try baking with alternatives. Honey is not only rich in vitamins and minerals, but it has anti-inflammatory properties. Mashed banana is another good choice, as it not only is super sweet, but can be used in place of butter.
TRY: BBC Good Food’s Sugar Free Banana Cake
Use porridge oats instead of flour
We all know that porridge is great for us, and oats can also be used in baking. Substitute oats for up to one third of the amount of flour in any recipe. Oats are not only low in fat, but are also full of fibre and lots of vitamins and minerals. They’re also more filling than flour so you may be inclined to reach for extra helpings!
TRY: Allrecipe’s Easy Oat Cake
Veggies in cakes is nothing new – carrot cake is has been popular forever – but there are lots of other great veggies you can try such as courgette, beetroot and avocadoes. Not only do they help produce moist, delicious cakes, but it means you’re getting one of your five a day – bonus!
TRY: Sugar Free Londoner’s Fudgy Chocolate Avocado cake
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If you had told me a few years ago that I’d be singing the praises of chocolate avocado cake today, I’d probably have laughed in your face. Avocado was something you’d mash into a guacamole, full stop. But guys, a lot has happened since then. I have become woke about vegetables in baking ???So trust me with this one: This chocolate avocado cake is soooo fudgy!! You’d never guess this decadent-tasting dessert is sugar free, dairy-free and Keto – and there’s a Paleo option, too. You cannot taste the avocado at all – it makes this recipe deliciously moist yet surprisingly light. The recipe is brand-new on the blog today, so click through via the link in the bio!
Go for cacao instead of pure chocolate
If you use cacao nibs or powder (the raw form of chocolate) in your baking, you’re adding a huge dollop of healthy stuff to your cake. They’re packed with fibre, antioxidants, magnesium and potassium, plus they do magic on our neurotransmitters to make us feel happy.
TRY: Flourless Cacao Fudge Cake by Epicurious
Whether you use almond flour or ground almonds instead of flour, this will add a protein hit to your cake. They also contain lots of healthy heart fats and vitamin E, which is great for your skin and immune system.
TRY: Nigella Lawson’s Venetian Carrot Cake
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Midweek treat: #RecipeOfTheDay is Venetian Carrot Cake. And, should this interest you, it also happens to be #glutenfree and #dairyfree, and completely wonderful. Photograph by Lis Parsons And to get the recipe, click on link in bio. To clarify, proceed as follows: tap on my name, which will take you to a page that has a link on it that says www.nigella.com/instagram. When you click on this link, it will take you to a page of photographs: click on the photograph of the recipe in question!
Think less is more when it comes to toppings
Oh, we really do love those cupcakes that have has much frosting as cake, but as yummy as they are, that’s a whole lot more of refined sugar on your cake than needs to be. Create lighter frostings that use Greek yogurt, meringue or even avocado; replace the cream on the side with much healthier yogurt and instead of chucking sprinkles on top of your cake, use fresh fruit or dark chocolate.
TRY: Chocolate Covered Katie’s Greek Yogurt Frosting