Thursday, December 25, 2008

A "better for you" snack cake

In my efforts to "eat clean" I have been working with alternative sweeteners and flours as well as probiotics.
I made a "yogurt chocolate chip cake" recently and adapted a recipe from the Stoneyfield Yogurt cookbook. I made the following substitutions:

I traded white whole wheat flour for AP Flour. White whole wheat has all the fiber and nutrition of traditional whole wheat, with milder flavor and lighter color. It is a great way to sneak fiber into your diet.

Instead of white sugar, I used Agave Syrup. Agave syrup is made from the agave plant, and is considered a natural sweetener. It is sweeter than white sugar, and so you can use less of it when substituting it for white sugar. It is lower on the glycemic index than white sugar is, making it a good alternative sweetener for diabetics, since it does not raise the blood sugar as high as white sugar does. I especially like it because it goes into both hot and cold liquids without any problem.

Instead of butter, I used Earth Balance Vegan "Butter" sitcks (79% vegetable oil).
I used 2 egg whites in place of the 2 whole eggs.
First I creamed the Earth Balance with the Agave Syrup, then added the egg whites:

Instead of yogurt, I used Kefir, a cultured milk that is considered a "probiotic" since it contains live cultures.

After creaming, I added the Kefir and vanilla, blended those ingredients in, and added the dry ingredients (white whole wheat, salt, baking soda/powder and the choc chips).

One of my favorite places on line to order baking supplies is King Arthur Flour. They are one stop shopping for all things "baking". I used their mini chips for the cake:
The cake also had a topping. For the topping, I used earth balance, white whole wheat, cocoa powder, more mini chips and Sucanat instead of sugar. Sucanat is another alternative sugar and ranks the highest in nutritional value of the sweeteners, containing a smaller proportion of sucrose than white sugar does. It is a light brown sugar, though grainy and not crystalline as true brown sugar is.
For the topping, I mixed all of the ingredients w/the mixer and then put little mounds of it onto the batter.

I had never made this cake before, and the topping actually baked into the cake - I'm not sure if that was supposed to happen, but it actually was a nice effect.

Due to the high moisture content of the agave syrup and the Kefir, the cake was extremely moist, and lasted a long time without going stale.

Take a Bite!
Yum - good stuff!
Check out the alternatives when baking, they can really make a difference. Please email me if you have any questions regarding any of the ingredients I used for this cake (

Here is the recipe (with my changes):
1/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Stick (EB)
2/3 cup Agave Syrup (AS)
2 egg whites
1 cup plain Kefir (I used 1%, but fat free is good as well)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup White Whole Wheat Flour (King Arthur Flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used mini chips)
1/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Stick
1/3 cup Sucanat
1/2 cup White Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup semi-swee chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.
Cream the EB and AS. Add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in the Kefir and Vanilla.
In a separate bowl blend together the dry ingredients (not the chips).
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir to mix.
Stir in choc chips.
Pour into a greased 9x13 baking pan.
For the topping, cream the EB, Sucanat, flour and cocoa until well blended.
Stir in choc chips.
Sprinkle the topping over the cake batter.
Bake 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.