Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a healthy cake. And let there be no doubt, just because it is healthy, it doesn't mean it won't be as fluffy, flavourful or fancy as your typical cake! In fact, you can bake a cake without butter, sugar, flour, even eggs, you just need to think a little outside the box. Trust me, the creativity is worth it. From olive oil to coconut flour, you will be surprised by the combination of ingredients that you can use to create a delicious and decadent desert. A sugar free, dairy free, flour free cake… you aren't dreaming, it does exist, so keep reading!
HOW TO MAKE YOUR HEALTHY CAKE TASTY
There are many things you can do to make your healthy cake just as satisfying and tasty as your regular cake. From cocoa powder to frozen berries, the list of ‘add ins’ is limitless. Just because your cake doesn't have sugar or butter, does not mean that it will be tasteless or unsweet. The beauty of a healthy cake is that you can use natural sweeteners such as agave syrup, maple syrup and honey. These sugars have a rich, sweet taste and complement healthier flours such as almond or coconut flour, so don’t be afraid to ditch the white sugar for a few tablespoons of drizzling honey or a splash of some sweet syrup.
To add extra flavour to your cake, try folding in some frozen summer berries to your mix, or even chopped cherries to provide a fruity pop of freshness, perfect for these summer days! Or if you can't resist a good old chocolate fudge cake, consider adding a couple of teaspoons of cocoa powder and a handful of chopped dates to add that chocolate caramel taste.
CAN I MAKE A CAKE WITHOUT FLOUR
Good news, yes you can and it has never been simpler, with the rise of health crazes and gluten free recipes, there are many other options readily available for you to use instead of flour. Ground nuts are a great option, high in protein and help to provide a light and spongy texture. You can find products such as ‘Almond flour’ in most supermarkets. However, if your desired nut is not sold as a flour, simply buy the nuts whole, and blitz them into a flour using your go-to NutriBullet or food processor! Another brilliant alternative to flour is coconut flour, this exotic taste packs a tasty punch to your everyday baking recipe, and creates an airy texture. Why not give chickpea flour a try? The nutty taste complements a rich cocoa cake rather well. Or, give brown rice flour a shot, this high-fibre flour substitute has a light texture and does not have an overpowering taste, it’s a great option for making a vanilla Victoria sponge.
VEGAN? TRY THESE INGREDIENT SWAPS
Searching for a vegan recipe? No problem, even one of your favourite non vegan recipes is possible with these ingredient swaps, from coconut oil to chia seeds, you do not have to panic, for there are many options to satisfy your sweet tooth needs!
- Chia seeds - 1 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 3 tbsp water.
- Banana - 1 medium ripe banana to replace 1 egg, this adds moisture and a sweet flavour
- Apple sauce - 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce to replace 1 egg, this reduces calories but increases flavour!
- Coconut oil - 1:1 for other fats such as butter, a great dairy free option!
- Olive oil - 3/4 olive oil for the amount of butter, this helps to cut down the amount of saturated fats in your recipe.
Cream (buttercream or whipped cream) alternatives
- Coconut cream - mix with a natural sweetener and enjoy your healthy cream!
- Oatly oat fresh - a great alternative to whipped or buttercream, light and fresh.
5 TIPS TO MAKE THE PERFECT SIMPLE BIRTHDAY CAKE
Add some fruit to your cake batter to ensure bursts of fruity freshness.
Add some freeze dried raspberry pieces on top of the cake to replace the classic birthday cake sprinkles, it adds an element of fun, but these tiny pieces are full of intense flavour.
Get as much air into the cake as you cake by whisking, this helps to achieve the lightest cake possible.
Always remember to line the sides and bottom of your cake tin to avoid having to slice away potential burnt edges.
Always let the cake cool, don’t be impatient waiting until you can ice and decorate your cake.
HEALTHY AND SIMPLE BIRTHDAY CAKE
(2 layer 8 inch cake)
3 cups almond flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup honey
90 ml olive oil
1 lemon zest
1 cup frozen summer berries
Decoration & filling:
Sprinkle of sliced almonds
Sprinkle of freeze-dried raspberries
300ml (or more) Oatly oat fraiche
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees and line 2, 8 inch cake tins with non-stick baking paper.
Whisk together almond flour, sea salt, baking powder and baking soda.
In another bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the honey, olive oil and lemon zest.
Slowly fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture, making sure everything is thoroughly incorporated.
Gently fold in the berries and pour the mixture equally into the 2 cake tins.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.
Leave to cool completely.
Once cooled, spread 2/3 of the oat fraiche on one layer of cake, place the remaining layer on top and spread the remaining 1/3 oat fraiche on top.
Lastly decorate with sliced almonds, freeze dried raspberries and fresh strawberries.
This cake should keep for 3-4 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Try cupcakes instead
If you wish to, you may also divide the mixture equally amongst (about) 16 cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes. This option is great for spreading the birthday love around to friends and neighbours during social distancing times.
There is also the choice to add cocoa powder to the mixture (at step 2) and to the oat fraiche (by stirring in at step 8), to add a rich chocolatey taste!
Feel free to swap the lemon zest, to orange zest, ditch the berries and replace with small orange segments to create a fresh orange and almond version!