This sweet and buttery Yellow Cake is so light, fluffy, and moist, you’d never know it’s sugar free, low fat, gluten free, and dairy free too! And as a surprise bonus, it’s only 120 calories per slice!
*jaw drops to floor*
What’s the difference between a “white cake”, “vanilla cake”, and a “yellow cake”?
Yes, the final color of the cake is most of the differentiation, but the true difference between the cakes comes down to the ingredients:
- a White Cake uses egg whites, shortening, and clear vanilla extract to keep the cake as white as possible, as egg yolks, butter, and regular vanilla extract can tint the cake a yellow-tan.
- a Yellow Cake uses whole eggs (sometimes with extra egg yolks added), butter, and regular vanilla extract.
And what about Vanilla Cake? Trick question, both White Cakes and Yellow Cakes are Vanilla Cakes, since both of the cakes are flavored with vanilla ?
You can also sometimes tell the difference between cakes just by looking at their frostings. White Cakes are generally frosted with a Meringue Frosting and Yellow Cakes are usually frosted with a Chocolate Frosting, as seen here in this post!
But really, you can use whateeeever frosting your heart desires ?
My number one goal on the blog is to make classic dessert recipes healthier.
And after 8 years of blogging, I’d like to think I have been pretty successful at it! I’ve healthified Soft Sugar Cookies, Fudge Brownies, Vanilla Cake, and Red Velvet Cake. Even a VEGAN Red Velvet Cake! But it took me years to get the kitchen confidence to make these classic recipes. I steered clear of them because, to put it simply, they kind of intimidated me.
Would my healthified version taste remotely like the real thing?
Would my cookies taste just as buttery?
Would my brownies be just as fudgy?
Would my cakes turn out just as fluffy and moist?
After a good run of successful recipe testing (chewy Peanut Butter Cookies being the latest feat!), I thought, why not make a Yellow Cake?
I did some research and found a few recipes online. I remembered why healthifying this cake seemed especially daunting — typical recipes call for 1½ cups of sugar, up to 8 egg yolks, and 1 cup of butter. Those 3 ingredients alone have 2930 calories, 232g fat, and 192g of sugar! Replacing those ingredients seemed like a difficult task, but I tried anyways. I settled on a recipe I found online and tried swapping out the unhealthy ingredients with healthier substitutes.
For round #1, I:
- replaced the white flour with sorghum flour and oat flour
- replaced the white sugar with granulated erythritol + stevia extract
- replaced the butter with coconut oil + applesauce (a healthy butter/oil substitute)
It was a COMPLETE. FAIL.
The cake rose nicely in the oven but sunk as it cooled on the counter. The flavor was alright, but definitely could have used more vanilla extract and a tad bit more stevia extract. Whenever my gluten-free cakes sink, it’s usually because the flours are too “heavy” and there isn’t enough “lift.”
For round #2, I:
- replaced some oat flour with arrowroot starch
- added 2 egg whites
- reduced the coconut oil
- increased the applesauce
- increased the vanilla extract
- increased the stevia extract
The cake texture and flavor definitely improved this time around, but it was still a bit dense and didn’t have that vanilla “oomph.”
For round #3, I:
- replaced more oat flour with arrowroot starch
- added 1 egg white
- omitted the coconut oil
- increased the applesauce
- used Vanilla Paste instead of vanilla extract
3rd time was the charm!!
This Yellow Cake turned out light and fluffy, perfectly sweet, and FULL of vanilla flavor!
Since Yellow Cakes are usually frosted with Chocolate Frosting, I whipped up a healthy (and fudgy) Chocolate Frosting for my cake. I blended cottage cheese with cream cheese for the base, used stevia extract instead of powdered sugar to sweeten, added cocoa powder for flavor, and tossed in some chocolate protein powder to thicken it all up without losing that chocolate flavor. It sounds like a strange blend of ingredients, but I really enjoyed the frosting’s flavor and texture!
Healthy Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting
One bite and you’ll be so surprised to know that this cake is healthy. I would even call it guilt free!
This cake is everything you’d expect from a Yellow Cake — it’s moist, buttery and rich, just without the butter, flour, egg yolks, and sugar. Because really, who needs those ingredients? No one ?
Make this healthy Yellow Cake for birthdays, holidays, get-togethers, or as a special treat for no reason at all!
With love and good eats,
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