December 13, 2018

View as List 6 Healthy Cake Recipes

  • slice of layered white cake

    The biggest challenge in creating a healthier cake recipe is to reduce the fat without sacrificing moistness or tenderness. We’ve devised several strategies to accomplish that. Some of our recipes use buttermilk, which, despite its name, contains no butter and gives cakes a tender crumb. Yogurt, used in our Pumpkin Cheesecake, has the same effect. Shredded vegetables can provide moisture and add a fair amount of sweetness. Prune butter, make from thick, puréed dried prunes, is a good fat replacement and adds moisture to dense cakes like brownies. And when only a little real fat will do, we replace butter whenever possible with heart-healthy olive oil.

  • 1

    Nutty Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

    pecan nut carrot cake with cream cheese icing on a wooden board next to raw carrot

    This one-layer cake with a light cream cheese frosting is perfect for decorating, and it freezes well if you want to make it ahead of time. (Freeze it unfrosted, then frost and decorate it just before serving.) Three cups of shredded carrots make it a good source of beta-carotene, while chopped pistachios contribute selenium, an essential mineral.

    Get the recipe.

  • 2

    Lemon Poppyseed Cake

    poppyseed cake

    Buttermilk gives an especially tender texture to this cake, a low-fat update of a classic recipe. The recipe yields 16 slices, making it a good choice if you’re feeding a crowd or contributing a dessert to a party. 

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  • 3

    Pumpkin Cheesecake in a Ginger Crust

    pumpkin cheesecake pie

    A good source of beta carotene and B vitamins, this healthier spin on cheesecake combines reduced-fat and fat-free cream cheese with plain yogurt, pumpkin puree, spices, and a drop of rum for a much lower-fat but still decadent dessert. A bonus: Simple ingredient substitutions (which we’ve included with the recipe) allow you to switch the crust to vanilla-walnut or lemon with ease.

    Get the recipe.

  • 4

    Chocolate Cheesecake

    Chocolate Cheesecake

    Tofu in a cheesecake? You’ll be surprised at how rich-tasting soybean curd can be when it’s combined with low-fat cottage cheese in this easy recipe. We use silken tofu, which has the smoothest texture, but you could also use regular tofu. The delicious crust comes by way of chocolate wafer cookies.

    Get the recipe.

  • 5

    Mexican Chocolate Angel Food Cake

    chocolate cake slice, on a plate

    There’s a scant 2 grams of total fat per slice of this light but flavorful cake, which gets its name from a combination of chocolate and spices common in Mexican cooking. Angel food cakes need to cool upside down so that the cake—which is leavened by beaten egg whites—doesn’t collapse.

    Get the recipe.

  • 6

    Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze

    chocolate bundt cake with chocolate glaze

    Beets (yes, beets!) are the secret weapon in this recipe, adding not only fiber and the B vitamin folate but also moistness, a rich dark color, and a hint of sweetness. Start this one early if you plan to serve it right away, since it needs to bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes and must cool completely before you glaze it.

    Get the recipe.