Pastry: 5 Tips To Lighten Cakes
If you love to bake, you probably already know that this passion is not without consequences on the silhouette. Fortunately, there are simple and ingenious ways to reduce the calories in recipes, without making them lose their deliciousness. We suggest you discover 5 tips to lighten cakes.
1- Replace butter with applesauce
If traditional cakes like pound cake and kouign-amann are so high in calories, it is of course because of the high proportion of butter in the recipe.
But, unless you're making these Breton recipes where butter is a must, in more ordinary cakes, it's possible to replace the fat with applesauce.
This first trick to lighten cakes is well known and very often used in vegan baking, for example to prepare a vegan nugget cake or any other cake without animal fat.
Applesauce has the advantage of providing the same creaminess as butter but with much fewer calories: 102 calories for 100 grams compared to 753 calories for butter! And of course, it does not contain saturated fatty acids that raise bad cholesterol levels.
In practice, to adapt a recipe, you can use applesauce instead of butter in equal or 50% quantities. So if the recipe contains 100 g of butter you can put in 100 g of applesauce or 50 g of applesauce and 50 g of butter.
Unless you want to add a particular fruity flavor to your cake, we recommend using applesauce (not banana sauce, for example).
Applesauce has a very neutral taste that allows it to be used in all kinds of recipes, including chocolate cake!
2- Use mashed banana
A second tip for lightening cakes is to use mashed banana.
This fruit has a sweet taste and creamy texture and is very handy to replace not only butter but also eggs and some of the sugar in your baking recipes.
Replacing butter with banana helps to reduce calories since banana is 90 calories per 100g.
This fruit also allows you to make your cakes and other desserts more healthy because it displays an interesting content of magnesium and potassium.
Whether you decide to make a banana bread or a nice cream (i.e. a vegan ice cream without milk), this tip is a great way to reduce food waste by using overripe bananas that we don't always know what to do with...
3- Replace the heavy cream with skyr
The third tip for lightening cakes and desserts is to replace heavy cream with skyr.
Skyr is a dairy product of Icelandic origin made from long-drained skim milk.
Its advantages are that it has a consistency close to that of heavy cream and is rich in protein.
Naturally fat-free, skyr is 5 times less caloric than fresh 30% cream. It provides 60 calories per 100 g versus 300 calories for 30% fat cream.
In practice, you can use it in your custards and in the filling of your pies or even use it instead of whipped cream to accompany a brownie.
To note: in custards and entremets, vegetable juices such as almond or hazelnut milk are another interesting alternative to make lighter and more digestible desserts, while retaining an interesting calcium and mineral content.
4- Reduce the proportion of sugar by 30
In traditional recipes, sugar is one of the basic ingredients of the pastry.
However, it is now known that an excessive consumption of refined sugar promotes many diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
So, if you want to reduce sugar in your diet, remember that it's better to prepare your desserts at home :
- to avoid very sweet industrial cakes and desserts
- to decide for yourself how much sugar you will use
- to favor healthy ingredients and avoid, for example, palm oil or questionable food additives.
If you use your grandmother's recipe book or old cookbooks, know that you can easily reduce the amount of sugar indicated in the recipes by 30 to 50% without the result becoming bland.
5- Enhance the taste without sugar or fat
In pastry, it is often the fat and sugar that bring their flavor to French specialties, such as madeleines or Breton cakes.
The final trick to lightening cakes is to use other ingredients to give flavor without adding calories.
Spices are a good way to do this, and in particular cinnamon, which adds a sweet flavor to the cake batter when you reduce the sugar in the recipe.
You can also enhance the flavor of a Chocolate cake with grated tonka bean, add a hint of ginger to a lemon cake or gingerbread spices to an apple cake.
No-sugar-added cocoa powder is also a great way to make chocolate cakes...without chocolate!
Keep in mind that chocolate (whether dark, white or milk) averages 530 calories per 100g. So try our recipe for cocoa and cherry cake and you'll be blown away by its little black forest taste!
Think of the juice and zest of citrus fruits like orange and lemon to add flavor to a simple, light yogurt cake.
Finally, it's obvious that a cake will be lighter if you choose a fresh fruit filling, rather than a chocolate or praline cream.
Chopped, grated or compote, fruit is a great way to sweeten desserts without adding refined white sugar.