Healthy cakes still seem to be highly contradictory for most people. I regularly see posts and responses where people look at my recipes and say that it must be extremely unhealthy and calorie laden. I do understand though. Looking at my photos showing cakes with heaps of cream and chocolate sometimes makes me wonder if someone is actually buying in on the fact that they are vegan, often sugarfree and without any dairy. But don’t be fooled by mouthwatering images – it’s the ingredients and techniques that make a cake unhealthy not the look of it.
So here I am sharing some hacks and ideas which I use on a daily basis to make my cakes not only healthier, but also wholesome, nutritional and filling! If you have any questions about my baking hacks or you need some more information please leave a comment below!
- Make your buttercream from beans – not butter: You haven’t tried my bean buttercream yet? Well, it’s about time. Making buttercream from beans sounds weird but it tastes fabulous and consistency is perfect to ice cakes, cupcakes and biscuits. Plus the beans are a fabulous source of protein. I have used it in some amazing recipes like my chocolate slice with coffee cream and my amaranth sandwiches with chocolate buttercream . It’s perfect as it’s so close to the original and cholesterol free, high protein and low fat. Plus it makes you full much quicker due to the beans.
- Use dates/bananas instead of sugar: This is probably old news for you anyways. Date and banana puree make amazing substitutes for sugar. Date puree adds a very caramel like flavor whereas bananas add sugar but also a strong banana flavor. So use banana if that fits your cake, dates are perfect all-rounder! If you start experimenting with date puree and want to get a feel for it, try these amazingly easy Raw Salted Caramel Morsels .
- Use raw chocolate: When using chocolate opt for raw unprocessed chocolate – this way you cut out the additives and added sugar in chocolate, while also getting a healthy dose of antioxidants.
- Try other sugarfree icing alternatives: I love experimenting with different ingredients so one that I found perfect for icing is sweet potato. Try this sugarfree icing: mix 425g pure sweet potato puree with 283g semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped. In a pan bring the sweet potato puree to a simmer, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Cool until the mixture is at room temperature and the consistency of canned frosting. Ingredient Tips: If you don’t have access to canned sweet potato puree, roast pumpkin pieces in the oven, de-skin, and blend until you get a superfine texture. But I hear that the freshly cooked and pureed sweet potato can be too granular sometimes.
- Use the right butter: The idea is not to cut out butter but to use substitutes here which are lower in calories, cholesterol free and plant based. For example: substitute avocado for butter. In doing so, substitute half the amount of butter in a baking recipe with mashed avocado. Avocado is not only the healthier choice but it also creates a softer, chewier baked good. In brownies and other dark baked goods, prune puree makes for a perfect low-fat butter substitute cutting more than half the calories and fat. Combine 3/4 cup prunes with 1/4 cup boiling water, and puree to combine. Sub in equal amounts in most dark baked good recipes! Other great plant based alternatives are nut butters. Try these Nut Butter Pralines for a start or these Coconut Blueberry Bars using Coconut Butter.
- Don’t bake at all: Of course I am not saying you shouldn’t bake but how about a raw cake for a change? It saves you baking time and raw cakes make you full so much faster because of the nuts that you hardly be tempted to overeat – trust me I have tried it, not possible. For some easy raw cakes try the Cookie Dough Slice with Chocolate Coating or my Raw Peanut Butter Cheesecake.
- Use more spices and save on sugar: Seriously by adding spices like cinnamon which is a very sweet spice and also vanilla you add a massive flavor punch to your cakes. Therefore you can save on your sugars without your creations tasting dull.
- Talking about Toppings: A cake/cupcake is nothing without a great topping, right? Apart from bean buttercream there are great alternatives you can use to top your creations without using sugar laden sprinkles and chemical fondant. Instead use popcorn, dried fruits like banana chips and freeze-dried strawberries or even real fruit. If you cannot live without a good chocolate topping try making your own chocolate sauce (from coconut oil, vanilla, cocoa powder, and maple syrup) and drizzle your cake with extra melted peanut butter and top with whipped coconut cream.