Healthy Cakes. A common oxymoron.
Because cakes are the one acceptable, glutenous pleasure that shouldn’t be bothered with if it isn’t laden with butter, sugar and flour right?
Well, not exactly.
The conscious dietary platform has reared it’s healthy head more than ever in the last couple of years. Decorating trendy cafes with Bliss Balls and Slices, with the words ‘Gluten Free’, ‘Refined Sugar Free’, ‘Dairy Free’ and ‘Vegan’ boldly written behind the looking glass.
Grounding almonds with dates while mixing in some cocoa powder was never a combination you’d ever hear uttered by the likes of Delia Smith or Julia Childs.
Nevertheless, conscious baking has slowly but surely begun to find it’s place inside the kitchens of everyday mums.
But now it’s time to extend the simple ‘healthy snack’ practice to a fully fledged ‘HEALTHY CAKE‘ experience for our kids and for ourselves!
After four years of trialing (with many errors), I’ve managed to collect a handful of simple, mouthwatering and genuinely healthy cake recipes that have landed successfully with my daughter and her little friends.
And by ‘healthy’ I mean no refined sugar, no gluten, limited saturated fats while packed with nutrients.
Here are 4 of the best sugar free/gluten free cake recipes out there:
1. TAHINI CARROT CAKE
Credit for this cake goes to the wonderful Ambitious Kitchen who saved me the trouble of failed testing for my daughter’s 4th birthday cake. And let me tell you, YUM-MY!
This recipe calls for a happy salad of carrots, tahini, raisins, walnuts, shredded coconut, coconut oil and 100% natural maple syrup. Then the add-ins of coconut flour, almond flour, eggs, almond milk, vanilla and cinnamon/nutmeg.
There’s really little in this cake to feel guilty about. Even the called for 3/4 cup of maple syrup (for an entire cake) is easily justified when considering the amounts of iron, calcium, zinc, manganese and potassium as well as anti-oxidants it contains.
Having made this for Acacia’s birthday I felt it slightly unkind not to add some element of frosting.
After a good day of research into which non-refined sugars have the lowest glycemic index, as well as containing several minerals and inulin (for further justification), I landed on Coconut Sugar.
I hesitated initially, since Acacia has never had any kind of sugar except for honey and maple syrup (used sparingly in foods). But it felt like the right time to slowly introduce another alternative.
So using my newly bought organic coconut sugar, I made up a scrumptious (albeit decadent and fatty) frosting of coconut sugar, butter and cream cheese.
The kids won’t ever know the difference with this one!
2. POLENTA, ORANGE & HONEY CAKE
This one I found just in time for Acacia’s 2nd birthday celebration, then repeated it for her 3rd it was such a hit!
Polenta (packed with vitamin A), oranges, pistachios and honey with eggs to bind. A slightly reorganized version of polenta-egg scramble with a side of OJ, if you will.
Thanks to another foodie mum blogger, you can read the method for making this perfect everyday cake here.
Add a hearty serving of coconut cream on top and you’re on a winner!
3. QUINOA, AVO COCOA CAKE
Sugar free, gluten free, vegan and eggless.
This one is one of those ‘I can actually eat this as a meal replacement and it’s perfectly acceptable’ kind of cakes.
Indeed, so much so that I made this particular dessert for Acacia’s first birthday party. So yes, it’s THAT healthy.
Thank you to Nest and Glow, who are paving the way for more plant-based, nutrient-based food for all, and for coming up with the world’s most gentlest, nutrient dense, moist, creative and tasty cake I have ever come across.
Who wouldn’t be happy to munch away on quinoa, avocado, chia seeds, cocoa, dates and maple syrup any time of the day because they can?
Or more importantly, feed it to their one year old because it’s actually that nutritious and ‘sweet-lessend’.
4. OLD FAITHFUL FRUIT CRUMBLE
This is one of those timeless desserts I feel all mums grab hold of in desperate times when dessert is needed, but all they have is three apples and half a kids pack of raisins.
In saying that, any fruit you have have left over from the week (apples, pears, berries, plums, apricots, nectarines, peaches) will do, just stew. All that’s left to do then is top with some oats, chia seeds, flaxseed, shredded coconut, honey and butter.
Adding nuts, seeds, cocoa powder or dry fruit pieces certainly can elevate this kid favorite to a decadent treat for adult guests.
Replace the scoop of ice-cream with a good dollop of plain yoghurt and voila!
Dessert for breakfast. Breakfast for dessert. All without jeopardizing anyone’s health (emotional as well as physical).
So there you have it. From my kitchen to yours.
Let’s stop giving ‘healthy’ a bad name and start giving cake a healthier one.
Because your child’s health is just one more thing YOU have control over. Something that will greatly increase the quality of their lives today, tomorrow and for every birthday they celebrate for the rest of their lives.
And to further assist you in your quest for the next Healthy Cake, here are a few resources you might like to try:
Ok, so I know it’s not ‘technically’ a cake, but this made the cut purely because it’s such a staple in our home as a ‘healthy dessert’ that doubles up as breakfast for the next week
Join the conversation by commenting below!