Key Lime Cake with Whipped Yogurt Frosting

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I’ve written about how I’m not crazy about cake mixes. They usually have hydrogenated oils, but sometimes I get lucky and find one that doesn’t.SAM_4933

Or if I’m really lucky, one that uses whole, unrefined sugars and flours. But that’s rare.

But people like those cake mixes so much! It’s hard to please a crowd with unrefined tastebuds.

So here’s a compromise I made for a very special someone’s birthday. He likes key lime pie, a lot. Now he likes key lime cake, too.

IngredientsSAM_4921

1 box of angel food cake

1 large lime or two small

1 container of key-lime-flavored yogurt

1/3 cup healthy whipped topping (try a soy type or Troo Whip)

DirectionsSAM_4931

-Prepare the angel food cake as directed, but add in some fresh lime zest and a little squeeze of juice at the end. The cake should still taste light and fluffy with just a hint of lime flavor, most of which comes from the topping

-Let cake cool, of course. But once it cools completely, you can begin making the whipped yogurt topping. It’s as simple as mixign the yogurt and whipped topping together, drizzling all over the cake, serving chilled, and if you like, sprinkling with fresh zest or coconut shreds.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

 

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Quick-Fix Angel Food Cake

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Do you every just want an easy dessert? A quick dessert? And ideally, a healthy dessert?

I can help.

I’ve introduced you to my Instant Brownie Trick.This one’s similar, but features angel food cake. I love angel food cake because it’s one of the few packaged cake mixes you can find in stores that isn’t made with hydrogenated oils. I tell people to avoid these modified fats at all costs. Yes, I would like this dessert trick so much better if it was less refined, too, but in moderation–and for the sake of being easy–I like it just fine.SAM_4956

So here’s how easy it is to make: Pick a safe, trans-fat free cake mix (make sure it says 0g Trans Fats AND no hydrogenated oils in the ingredients list), determine an appropriate portions size, divide and portion accordingly, prepare as directed, only reducing bake times and temperatures if necessary.

So for example, if a box of angel food cake gives 12 servings, determine how many ounces are in each serving by dividing the ounces written on the front of the package by 12. Use a measuring cup or spoon that lists ounces on side, if possible. Likewise, if the recipe calls for 3/4 cup of water, you would divide that by 12, too, making it so that you need only give 1 T of water instead of 12 (16 T = 1 cup).SAM_4958

Okay, to do this you obviously need some knowledge (or research skills) to figure out conversions. This could thwart the purpose of quick and easy baking, yes, but every good baker knows his or her conversion rates. I recommend learning them. It can only help, right? And if you like math, it’s kind of fun.

You can bake in the oven as directed, but I’d recommend dropping the baking temperature a few degrees and, of course, cut the baking time down by at least a third of the usual time. I actually made mine in the microwave, believe it or not. Just like my instant brownie, the finished product won’t be as moist as possible, but a minute and a half on high will make it as fast as possible, and it’ll still taste so sweet.

I topped mine with some fresh strawberries and a sprinkle of stevia. I’d love to hear other topping ideas though!

Cake Cups + Filling Ideas

This is more of a great idea (or two) than it is a new recipe.

Cake cups!

Like cupcakes, but reversed.

In a cake cup, you add in something you love. For me, it was my healthified fro-yo fix, which you can make simply by taking your favorite yogurt and freezing it for about an hour. Garnish with some sweet fresh berries and voila! A dessert that does a body good.

To make, simply follow any one of my single-serving cupcake recipes. But instead of filling the muffin tin slot as you normally would, gently press the dough up the sides of the slot. Bake for about 5-6 minutes (less time is needed because the dough is spread more thinly). Let cool and add in your favorite filling.

I’ll copy and paste the sweet-pink strawberry dough recipe I used below, but get creative!

I also did something similar with my super-moist chocolate blueberry cupcake recipe, but I made the cups smaller by dividing into two, scraped out the sides, and filled with a one-part peanut butter and one-part cream cheese frosting filling.

Yes, I was proud of this secondary cake cup, too. It tasted just like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, only cakier!

And in case you’re wondering, no you can not taste the blueberry, but you will be amazed at how moist the fruit puree makes the cake.

Strawberry Dough Ingredients

3 T flour ( I used spelt)

a pinch of baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla

1 heaping T milk

1 T stevia

.5 t vegan butter

1/5 egg (mixed, or flax egg)

.5 t maple syrup or agave

1 t strawberry preserves

1 medium to large strawberry (ripe, pureed or well smashed)

Directions

-Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.

-Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl; push to one side. On the other side, mix all wet ingredients. Combine wet and dry thoroughly. It’s okay if there are some chunks of fruit in the batter, but too many or too large of a chunk will bake into a gummy texture you won’t like.

-To form cookies, roll into small balls. If you’d like, however, to make doughnuts, you can simply shape a doughnut round by using a specialized pan, or doing as I do, which is using the rim of a muffin tin slot to shape an O. You could also use a cookie cutter that’s shaped like an O, but if you do this make sure the dough is thick enough–consider layering two or three Os.

-Bake for about 6-7 minutes.

Chocolate Blueberry Dough Ingredients

2.6 T whole-wheat flour

2 t cocoa powder

pinch of baking powder, baking soda, (scant) salt, and vanilla

1.5 t stevia

1 T and 1 t vanilla yogurt

1.5 t applesauce or coconut oil

1 T and 1 t almond milk

1 T and 1 t blueberries

Directions

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a cookie sheet or prepare with a cupcake liner.

-Puree blueberries or mash with a fork. Then mix in vanilla, oil, and milk. Set aside.

-In a small bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Transfer these to the wet ingredients, mixing in slowly. Be sure not to overmix.

-Spoon batter into cupcake tin and bake for about 11-13 minutes.

These toppings could be really fun. You could go more muffin like, as I did, with fresh coconut cream and blueberries. Or you could add icing because, essentially, this muffin could pass as a cupcake, too!

Let the sweetness last as long as you can :)

My Good Morning Blueberry Muffin

A piping hot, fresh out of the oven blueberry muffin is a classic treat.

And Lord knows how I love classics.

And treats.

And blueberries!

Yes, I still have blueberries stockpiled in my freezer from my summer love affair with Berry Patch Farm. They are so close to gone, so I knew I had to make one more blueberry recipe before I ran out for good.

Until next summer, Berry Patch Farm. But right now, in the middle of winter, I’m warming up with this sweet summer fruit baked in the best way possible.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp spelt flour (30g) (or ww pastry)
  • dash of baking powder
  • 1-2 T blueberries (chopped or whole)
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 T organic vanilla yogurt
  • 2 T nondairy milk
  • 1 T stevia

Directions

Preheat oven to 330 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin or a single silicone cup. Set aside. (Note: You can microwave for 1-1.5 minutes for a quicker muffin, but it will probably turn out less moist.)

Mix dry ingredients; then blend in wet ’til combined, but don’t overmix.

Pop in berries or smear them around for a little tie-dye blue effect.

Bake for about 13-15 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Orange Dream Cupcake

Remember my sweet lemon solo cupcake from late August? It was delicious & zesty, yes?

Well now that we’re in the dead of winter, I figured it was high time for another fruity cake, but one more appropriate for the season.

An orange one!

And you know the fruit won’t be expensive considering most grocery stores are selling oranges by the bag for just a few dollars this time of year.

The recipe is below. I’d recommend pairing with coconut flakes or almonds. Or if you like a little sweet, cream cheese frosting. Check out my healthy Neufchatel cream cheese frosting recipe, featured earlier on my fluffy carrotcake cookies.

IngredientsCooling off in an individual silicone cupcake mold.

(makes just one cupcake)

  • 3 tbsp flour (30g) (See directions for flour notes)
  • heaping 1/16th tsp salt
  • little orange zest, if you like
  • 1 tbsp applesauce, oil, pre-melted margarine (I used French vanilla yogurt), or a combination
  • 1 tbsp nondairy milk
  • 1 t freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 to 1 1/2 packets of stevia should be about right. If you use liquid sweetener, cut back a tiny bit on the other liquid.)

Directions

-Preheat the oven to 330 degrees.If icing isn't your favorite, you can also eat this cupcake plain (more like a muffin)...

-Mix the ingredients and pour into an oiled (or sprayed) muffin pan. Smooth top of batter. Bake for about 10 minutes or so.

-Alternatively, you can cook in the microwave, in a greased mug or ramekin. (Microwave times will vary, depending on the flour you use and the strength of your microwave.

Mini Chocolate Lava Cake

If you know me by now, you know I have a weakness for warm, melted chocolate. Honestly, half of the cookies and cakes I feature on this blog are dabbed with a little melted dark chocolate right after I snap a pretty, chocolate-free photo.

Or if there’s chocolate chips already in the recipe, it’s promptly melted and devoured. So I’ve always been drawn to the idea of a molten chocolate center.

Okay, I have to be a little honest here. I think chocolate lava cakes are a little hokey, a cliche fixture on every franchise restaurant menu, right? But I guess this just means I’m not alone. People love melted chocolate!

A few problems in my quest to find the perfect mini chocolate lava cake recipe: 1. They’re very complicated, and 2. they’re rarely healthified enough for my taste.

That’s why I was so jazzed when I came across this healthy, simple recipe from my new favorite site: Clean Eating. One tiny pediment though. I read this recipe as one of those where the center stays ooey gooey, making for a molten center without any additions. When I baked as directed, this molten center was not achieved.

This may be due to the fact that I adapted this from a four-serving recipe to a single-serving one. It may also be that the baking time they recommended was too long.

I wasn’t going to take a risk, the second time around. No, my solution was to pop a dark chocolate Ghiradelli square in the center before baking, folding it in the center of my batter.

Cheating? A little bit. But hey, I’m a busy grad student and teacher who needed a quick molten center.

I like to think I was resourceful.

Ingredients 

INGREDIENTS:

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2T + 1 t unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 heaping t stevia or Sucanat
  • 1.5 t unsweetened applesauce
  • 1.5 t coconut oil
  • 1/4 of an egg (with a bit more egg white if you can manage it)
  • 2 T spelt or whole-wheat flour
  • dash of pure vanilla extract
  • strawberry slices, for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 4-oz custard cup or a muffin tin slot.
  2. In a small bowl, combine cocoa and sweetener; then whisk in applesauce and oil.
  3. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk egg before adding to cocoa mixture. Once you combine, whisk all until smooth.
  4. Stir in flour and vanilla until well combined, but do not over mix.
  5. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake for 9 minutes.
  6. Ideally, you remove these when the centers are still soft, but sides have firmed up. But hey, if you want an extra chocolate-y center, you can always pop in some chocolate.
  7. Gently pop out cake onto a serving plate. Garnish each cake with fruit slices, if desired, and serve warm.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie in a Mug

‘Twas a late holiday season night,

pumpkin

and I needed sweet delight

in light fluffy pumpkin form

that requires little perform

-ance on my part.

So I adapted this recipe

from Chocolate-Covered Katie,

and let the microwave baking start.

Graham crackers

Makes one big, ooey-gooey mug pie.

Ingredients

1 T + 1 t spelt or whole-wheat flour

1 T stevia

6-7 T pumpkin puree

heaping dash of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice

a less heaping dash of baking powder

1 t flax egg

2 T almond milk

splash of vanilla

Directions

-In a small bowl, combine all dry ingredients; then mix in wet.

-Transfer to a lightly-greased mug or microwave-safe ramekin. Pour in pie filling.

-Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove and use a small spoon to test the consistency of the pie, pressing the sides away from the edge. Microwave on high for one more minute. If you’d like a firmer, somewhat cakier consistency, microwave for 3 minutes in total.

Serve warm. I sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs, but if you’re gluten-free or paleo, I’m sure you can top with some sweet coconut flakes, almond slivers, or dark chocolate.

Mini Spice Cake

Most people start baking spice cakes later in the season, closer to Christmas, but I love to indulge this seasonal cake as soon as possible. Maybe that’s because spice cake reminds me of my mom. We both love this kind … Continue reading

Carrot Cake Cookies for One + Cream Cheese Frosting

If you like carrot cake, you will flip when you try this recipe.

To make, simply follow my carrot cake for one recipe, but omit egg. Bake at 350 degrees on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 7-8 minutes.

When you take them out, they should be soft, light, and fluffy. Allow them to cool.

Now if you also like cream cheese frosting on your carrot cake, guess what? I have a new recipe for cream cheese frosting that’s 100% guilt-free and incredibly easy to make.

To make one serving of cream cheese frosting, mix 1-1.5 T Neufchatel cream cheese with 2 T stevia and a splash of vanilla. Mix well and refrigerate if you like a colder, thicker frosting.

When the cookies have cooled a bit, spread on the sweetness and enjoy!

“Squashed” Bread Pudding

So I had a lot of butternut squash leftover and wasn’t sure what to do with it. Until, that is, I found a dessert recipe for butternut squash.

Hmm. I’m always up for trying new desserts, especially ones featuring squash.

Much to my surprise, the end result was pretty good. You’d never know squash was in this recipe. And it tastes almost exactly like warm bread pudding.

Top it with a dollop of ice cream and you’ve got a winning combination.

Winter isn’t my favorite season, but winter squashes are quickly becoming my favorites! Try this recipe next time you’re feeling adventurous.

Ingredients

2 T + 2 t squash puree

1 T stevia

2 t vegan butter

2 t lemon juice

1/5 of an egg, mixed (or try a flax egg)

1.5 T spelt flour

dash of baking powder, ginger, salt, cinnamon, and allspice

Surprise! I shaped a hole in the center of my pudding and filled with a little chocolate cake batter. Yum.

Directions

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a small ramekin and set aside.

-Mix puree, stevia, and butter. Blend in juice and egg.

-Then slowly add in the remaining dry ingredients. Once well mixed, transfer to ramekin and bake for 12-14 minutes.

If you like a gooey bread pudding, take the dish out a little early.

And don’t skimp on the ice cream. You deserve it!