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Wednesday
Apr012009

Guest Blog Post: How To Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

Sweet n Sinful
There's no doubt about it--cake is delicious. Sometimes too delicious--which can wreak havoc on a healthy diet. But is it possible to find a healthy balance while still letting yourself eat some cake? Happily, Courtney Phillips of culinaryschoolguide.org was able to offer some tips. Here's Courtney's guest post:


I know they say you can’t have your cake and eat it too, but where there’s a will, there’s definitely a way. Cakes are good, cakes are delicious, cakes are fun; and that’s why we all love cakes. But they also have a downside – being loaded in sugar and calories, they tend to make us fat and unhealthy lumps of flesh (Cakespy Note: fat, unhealthy, and...utterly content). If you’re a cake addict who can’t say no to these baked bits of heaven, and if you’re also concerned about your health, here’s what you need to do when you’re about to bake a cake or go shopping for some:

  • Read the recipes carefully: Choose cakes that feature fresh fruits or vegetables, especially ones that are easily available, where the word “sugarless” is prominent or where a healthier sugar substitute is used in place of sugar, and where you don’t have to add dollops of butter to improve the taste. Replace traditional icing with whipped cream that’s been sweetened a bit, cream cheese or a fruit glaze. Substitute whole wheat flour for the unhealthy white flour that most cakes use. Remember though, not to overcook this cake – since you’re limiting the fat content, baking it for too long could cause it to become dry and tasteless. Also, whipped cream frosting tends to go flat in a while, so be prepared to put on the finishing touches just minutes before the occasion.
  • Don’t buy cake mixes: Contrary to popular belief, cake mixes are not healthy. Yes, it’s harder baking a cake from scratch, but at least you know what’s in it rather than taking your chances with the mix whose ingredients you’re not too sure about.
  • Sponge cake is a safe bet: It’s light, it’s airy, and it has no cream. Of all the cakes in the world, the sponge cake is one of the most delicious and the least fattening. And best of all, it makes a great dessert with some fat-free, low-cal ice cream.
  • Go organic: Cakes that are baked using organic and natural ingredients are healthier than and just as delicious as the traditional ones. You could use whole wheat, oat and barley flours, and agave nectar or similar products instead of sugar. Organic sugar, butter and free range eggs add to the taste and do their bit for the environment too.

With health on your mind and interesting recipes at hand, you can see it’s easy enough to both have your cake and eat it too!

This post was contributed by Courtney Phillips, who writes about Culinary School Rankings. She welcomes your feedback at CourtneyPhillips80 (at) gmail.com.

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Reader Comments (6)

And my bit of advice- Share around! Get together with lots of friends and have a few bites of a lot of desserts. :)

April 2 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

I love you, Cakespy. But -- although this post has its merits -- I don't come to you to hear about how all the wonderful sweet goodies I covet create "fat and unhealthy lumps of flesh." I'm glad you added the note after that sentence.

P.S. I've baked with whole wheat flour, and it does work well in certain cases!

April 2 | Unregistered Commenterandrea jean

Use alternatives flours like almond flour and coconut flour. A nut torte sweetened with a sugar alternative fits the definition of a healthy cake quite well (and you don't have to watch the fat--just the carbs!). Use real organic butter for optimal health benefits and flavor.

That said I do love all of the food porn you provide here, Cakespy. :) It's wonderful eyecandy!

April 5 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Um. You can't just substitute whole wheat flour for white flour completely. Often times you'll get a brick instead of a cake!

As someone who has definitely done his share of alternative baking methods (gluten free, wheat free, or vegan) as well as "normal white flour & butter baking" I would definitely suggest looking into recipes that utilize different flours or sugar substitutes (I'm not a fan of artificial sweetners, but agave nectar and honey both have nutritional value that far exceeds the empty calories of white table sugar). But a simple 1 to 1 substitution isn't always appropriate.

Or better yet, just indulge less often. Nothing wrong with a little cake now and then - everything in moderation right?

April 6 | Unregistered Commenterjackhonky

Hannah: Great advice!

Andrea: haha! I guess it is good to have a place to go where you don't worry about getting fat! :-) Fun to have a guest's point of view too!

Lauren: You know, I have never even HEARD of coconut flour! I am curious about it.

Jackhonky: I think I like your resolution best of all--and I think that is the one I subscribe to: "Indulge less often. Nothing wring with a little cake now and then - everything in moderation"! Yes!

April 6 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

Go for lots of walk and after that reward yourself with more cake!

April 6 | Unregistered CommenterMable

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