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Healthy Cakes – Myth or Reality?

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Cakes!! What is the first thing that pops in your mind, when someone yells “cake”? Yay!! It’s a birthday!! Is that it? Is there anything like Healthy Cakes?

Well, cakes today are much more than just birthdays. Now, a cake is a dessert, an emotion, an expression, a status symbol, a gift and a celebration in itself. It can lift up the dull spirits, thanks to the endorphin-releasing sugar 😉 😉

Jokes apart!! Do you remember when your mother would bake you a cake, just to celebrate your highest marks in Maths? Or you were hurt and she wanted to make you smile and celebrate “you”? While the cake was baking, how the whole house would be aromatic? And you would peek every five minutes to check if it’s done? See, how it has the power to make you nostalgic and feel that moment!! Yes, the cake is love too!!

Homemade Death Chocolate Cake

Cake in modern times

Today cakes have also become a part of the Indian celebrations. It has replaced the traditional Indian mithais in so many ways. Be it weddings, anniversaries, baby announcements or farewell/graduation, the list is endless. We have adapted the flavors as per our Indian taste buds and create fusion cakes too; the famous rasmalai cake is the best example. In short, the humble or not so humble looking cakes have become an integral part of our lives.

Is Eating Cakes Healthy?

In today’s health conscious and well-informed society, this seems to be the most lingering question?

  • Is eating a cake healthy?
  • Can we make healthy cakes?
  • Is cake junk food?

A lot of questions‼️

I have always read that one should eat everything in proportion. Anything eaten in abundance can lead to a problem, even a salad for that matter!! The same rule applies to a cake too. Small portions with a half an hour walk should be the motto.

However, talking about commercially baked cakes, they add several enhancers and preservatives for texture and shelf life. But this is also the case with several other things that we buy off the rack, like chips, biscuits, ice-creams, sauces, etc. Then why question only a cake? If you are looking for answers, keep reading.

The major reason we blame a cake is because of the high sugar and refined flour content.  

Sugar Substitute

What does sugar do to your body?

Now that we know people avoid cakes because of the high content of refined sugar, we must understand the impact of sugar on our body. Refined sugar is just 100% calories and no nutritional benefit. We have listed a few disadvantages of excess sugar.

  • Lead to diabetes
  • Affects skin quality and lead to premature wrinkles.
  • Hormonal imbalance.
  • Sugar addiction with intense cravings.
  • Tooth decay and ruin your dental health.
  • Weight gain and obesity.
  • Hair loss and dry scalp

How much sugar is too much?

Is there anything called as too much sugar? Unfortunately, the answer is yes!! As per the American Heart Association, women can eat up to 6 teaspoons per day and men can eat up to 9 teaspoons per day. But again the quantity of sugar changes from person to person. As a healthy person has more room for it while an obese or diabetic person needs to control it. I wonder who can put a number on it, our doctors’ maybe?

What happens when you stop eating sugar?

We all know sugar does more harm than good. But our body requires everything in proper proportions to function well. A certain amount of sugar is required every day and not eating sugar at all can lead to lack of energy. You can have severe sugar cravings which can make you moody and bloated too.

You also need to remember that refined sugar is not the only source of sugar, there are better choices. These choices can be used to make healthy cakes.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Healthy cakes – is it possible?

The answer is YES! With the passing time, our cakes have evolved. You can now find eggless options, gluten-free options, and diabetic friendly options too. All you need is the willingness and curiosity to try different versions.

We can make healthy cakes by using whole wheat or other grain flours. You can also use palm sugar, jaggery, stevia, fruit sugars to sweeten your cake. Avoid using sugar syrups. Try and use organic ingredients. Flourless cakes are also another option.

Types of cakes:

When it comes to cakes, everyone has their favorite. Which one is yours? Did you say chocolate or flourless chocolate cake? Well, there are various kinds of cakes, you can either divide them by flavors or the way those cakes are made. Let’s talk about some of the types of cakes:

Tea Cake:

Teacake is basically a no frill, loaf-shaped cake with various flavor possibilities, which you can have with tea/coffee. For example, date and walnut loaf, lemon loaf, etc. They ideally do not have any icing or toppings and are served as warm slices. These cakes are made with regular ingredients like sugar, butter, flour, eggs, leavening agents and the chosen flavor. But, traditionally speaking, tea cake is from England and is yeast fermented sweet bun. Surprised to hear about yeast in a cake? Then you might like to check the recipe of Yeasted Lemon Cake!

Cheesecakes:

Now who doesn’t love cheesecake? I am yet to come across someone who says, “Cheesecake, Nah!” There are two versions of it, baked one, which is known as the New York style cheesecake and a no-bake version. Cheesecakes have a base of graham crackers and melted butter to add that extra flavor and texture.

The classic New York style cheesecake is made with cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla, poured on that biscuit base and baked. It’s creamy and cracks free when baked to perfection. And the no-bake version is made with cream cheese, cream, gelatin, and the chosen flavor. Mixed and poured on to the biscuit base and frozen for a couple of hours, to set. So which one is your favorite?

Cream Cakes:

This is the most common of cakes. Cream cakes are cakes that can be layered and filled with flavored whipped cream. Black forest cake, white forest cakes come under this category.

Pound Cake:

One of the classics, this cake got its name from the fact that all the ingredients used were one pound in quantity. It is the simplest to make and yet the hardest because there is no room for errors. It is particularly known for its dense texture.

Angel Food Cake:

I believe this cake gets its name from its snow white like color. It is basically made with egg whites, flour, sugar, and no butter. It is made in a tube pan and cooled upside down to avoid any collapsing of cake.

Fondant Cakes:

The most common questions about these cakes are what is fondant? What is fondant cake? What is fondant made of? Let us try and answer these questions.

Fondant is a French word for “melting”. In simple words, it is like a dough of icing sugar, made with sugar, corn syrup, water, and glycerine. You can buy readymade fondant or make your own too. There are several recipes available online.

 There are mainly two kinds of fondant:

  • Rolled fondant
  • Pouring fondant

The pouring kind is cooked and poured over the cake for a thin fondant layer

Rolled Fondant cakes are the regular baked, filled and crumb coated cakes, covered with rolled fondant.

Fondant cakes are customized as per your requirements. Fondant cakes are the latest trend, be it birthdays or weddings or bachelor/spinster parties. The theme possibilities are infinite when someone is working with fondant. Fondant cakes are expressive and a status symbol in today’s time.

Is fondant edible?

You can love it, you can hate it but you cannot ignore it. Fondant is here to stay. Another most common question people ask is if fondant is edible? Yes! It is. It’s nothing but sugar, water, corn syrup, and glycerine mixed and rolled into a dough like consistency. Colors are then added to get desired colored fondants.

It is definitely edible, but whether to eat it or not, is a personal choice. Some people, mostly kids love the taste and some people prefer to peel it off before eating the cake. If there is something inedible used, ideally the baker would tell you not to eat it.

Chocolate Banana Cake

Benefits of Eating Healthy Cakes

I am sure this sub-head has your utmost attention. Health benefit and cakes in the same sentence have to be a prank. Well, there can be health benefits when we make cakes healthy.

  • Healthy cakes are made with whole wheat flour and other whole grain flours.
  • Replace sugar with jaggery, stevia, fruits, etc for healthy cakes.
  • Try and bake at home to ensure the quality of ingredients, freshness and it will be preservative free or buy from a reliable baker.
  • Use beetroot, zucchini, bananas or other fruits in your bakes, kids will never know.
  • Keep an eye on what kind and how much fat are you using.

These are few of our pointers and not an exhaustive list. You can be creative and explore.

Again it’s a personal choice and an endless debate about which cake is better and whether it’s healthy or not. These were my 2 cents on it.

But if you know the art of replacing unhealthy ingredients with healthy ingredients and you are able to remove refined (flour and sugar) from your cakes, your cakes are certainly going to be much better than what you eat today.

If you would like to learn, how to make eggless whole wheat healthy cakes, muffins and brownies yourself, check this video.

And if you like to join the course, here is the link for you

https://academy.anybodycanbake.com/product/everyday-cakes-and-muffins/

Happy Baking!

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Sonia Gupta

Baking Instructor & Food Blogger

I’m Sonia Gupta, and I am on my mission to transform home-makers into home-bakers. Baking is an essential skill that every mother must know so to avoid their children eating unhealthy market baked items. My goal is to help you learn a skill that will keep your children happy and healthy.

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