Low-Fat Strawberry Vanilla Cake

low-fat strawberry-vanilla cakeThere's a story behind this delicious Low-fat Strawberry Cake! What happens when I have an urge to eat a cake but my weighing scale glares right back at me, reminding me of the zealous workout at the gym this morning which merely burned 300 calories?? I try to talk myself out of the urge, but the chef inside my head feels otherwise, and a new low-fat strawberry vanilla cake is born!! Generally, there's more to it than just this; a battle between my wits and desires often forces me to simply evade eating any desserts, but with my pantry loaded with fresh hand-picked strawberries that we got back from our strawberry-picking weekend, I somehow convinced myself to see that strawberries are really good for health, and so are baked goods! So it wouldn't be a sin to try a hand at this souffle-like vanilla cake that has strawberries in every bite, which is way more filling and delicious than a simple strawberry smoothie:). Flavored with a hint of cardamom & vanilla, and with half the calories than a regular cake, this strawberry dessert recipe is an out-and-out winner!

This recipe is totally an original one that I came up with to suffice my craving for a low-calorie, low-fat dessert. Hence I have substituted some key high-carb ingredients like all-purpose flour, butter and egg-yolk with healthier options like whole-grain and whole-wheat flour, low-fat, low-cholesterol olive oil and egg-white only, which has 40 different proteins and water, and minimal fat content. Also, I used only 1 cup brown sugar, which makes this a little less sweet cake, but combined with the strawberries, it is still rich and sweet enough, and considerably reduced in saturated fats and calories than its original counterpart. I was pleased that even without egg-yolks, the cake came out soft and spongy. So this is definitely a recipe I'm going to hold on to and splurge in with fruit variations for my diet-desserts! Off this goes to Equal Opportunity Kitchen for the Tried,Tested & True event, where they are asking for healthy and delicious recipes!

Make one 9x9 loaf or 6 mini-cakes

6-8 large strawberries - washed
1 cup whole-grain pastry flour
1 cup wheat flour (use all-purpose flour for a richer cake)
1 cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar (divided)
1/2 cup skimmed milk
1 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn baking soda
1/2 tspn cardamom powder
1/2 tspn salt
1 large egg (whites only)
3 tbsp olive oil (or smart-balance light spread)
2 tspn vanilla extract
strawberries - sliced for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9" x 9" baking pan or 6 medium ramekins with cooking spray.

Slice the strawberries vertically to form thick slices(about 4-5 per berry). Reserve 6 slices for garnish, and sprinkle 2 tbsp brown sugar on the remaining ones. Toss in a bowl gingerly to evenly coat with the sugar. If your strawberries are really sweet, you can omit the sugar at this step.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and salt.

In another medium bowl, whisk the sugar, egg-white, and oil until smooth. Beat well to make it fluffy and airy, about 1 min. This step is important as this will determine how much your cake rises. As we are using only one egg-white, beating it adequately is required for a spongier cake. Whisk in the milk and the vanilla essence to this.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry flour mixture and stir just until blended.

Now arrange 3 sugared strawberry slices on the base of the ramekins. Scrape into the prepared pan or the ramekins. Pour the batter over it, then again layer with another 3 strawberries and finish with the batter on the top, taking care not to fill more than 3/4th of each ramekin, allowing room to expand. If you are using a cake pan, just layer all the strawberry slices below then top with the batter.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (about 25 mins if you are using the ramekins), until the cake is springy to touch, shrinks from the sides and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

By using whole-grain wheat and pastry flour, just 1 egg, and olive oil instead of butter, we can cut down significant amount of calories from this dessert, The whole-grains make it a filling treat, and the combined recipe makes it a low-fat cake which provides only the good carbs and fats to the body.

Strawberries when baked tend to lose their sweetness a little, hence rolling them in sugar at the beginning is recommended. Plus, the cardamom adds a wonderful aroma and a hint of flavor to the vanilla batter which beautifully compliments the strawberries. Its a great way to enjoy a guilt-free treat any time you want, without compromising on the taste!

For a lavish dessert, top it with some whipped cream, or dust it with some icing sugar. This also makes for beautiful individual desserts when entertaining. I really enjoyed my low-fat version of vanilla strawberry cake, and now have a delicious solution for dessert cravings that do not antagonize my weighing scale!

Similar Recipes:
Low-Fat Pear & Almond Yogurt Cake
Low-Fat Blueberry Muffins
Healthy Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti

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Gattina Cheung said...

This recipe looks wonderful... and very healthy as well!
That slice of strawberry on the cupcake is a sweetheart!

Manggy said...

Nice cake Mansi! 300 calories at the gym is good-- that's already 1 slice of cake. Assuming you consume 1,500 calories a day, you still need the other 1,200 calories just to do normal activities and breathe! :)

Anonymous said...

I don't mind going to the gym everyday if I get such a tasty treat every night!! that looks beautiful Mansi, and I love the presentation!:)

keep them coming girl!


Rachel said...

Wow you spent your we/end picking strawberries...My kind of activity..strawberry and cardamom...very interesting combo....

FH said...

Can't beat that Strawberry and Vanilla combo, drooling!:)

@the_whisk_affair said...

looks like these are must haves for "not-so-healthy" me!! for gifting us with such delightful posts, there is something for u on my blog!

Mansi said...

Manggy! thanks so much for boosting my confidence, now I can eat more of these:) hehehe

gattina, ann - thanks for your feedback and encouragement ppl!

rachel - yeah, the hint of cardamom does work well; you could even add it to the berries with the sugar at the first stage, or use nutmeg instead of cardamom:)

asha - this does fit in your exercise schedule, so go for it!

JZ - thanks for the compliments, and the gracious award gal!:)

Finla said...

Really good recipe.
With all the healthy food you are making i am going to come and live with you.

Rosie said...

Oh this looks wonderful mansi!!

Just adore strawberries and what a great way to use them in a low fat cake!

Rosie x

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious and it's a bonus that this is low in fat - love that part! Fighting a few winter pounds myself. Weather's been so rotten I think my body still thinks it IS winter!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Battle between wits and desire? That's the story of my life! The numbers on the scale will tell you who wins those battles most frequently!

The cake looks great even if it is low fat. I love the strawberries on top. Now that they are in season, I'm having so much fun finding everyone's strawberry desserts.

Anonymous said...

Low fat is what I need these days - summer is here and so is my need to shed some weight:) This looks delicious!

Kalai said...

Gorgeous cakes, Mansi! Love strawberries and thanks for the guilt free dessert. :)

Anonymous said...

I know it have a great taste.I like this "Low-Fat Strawberry Vanilla Cake".Thanks for sahring detail.

Usha said...

What an interesting idea !! Love it !!
I always love any idea that allows me to indulge my sweet tooth without as many calories as usual.

Unknown said...

Me too had the same feeling few dazs back so I baked a low fat carrot cake,Stawberry cake is a great idea.It is bookmarked.I think it is better to cut down on fats if we bake often.

notyet100 said...

loks delicious,..nice combo of strawberry and vanilla//

SMN said...

Manasi, lovely cake recipe. loved ur cups..

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Looks very tempting. I sometimes think that I only need to look at food to put on kilos!:(
This is a great recipe.

Vanamala Hebbar said...

Looks wonderful ...soft cake

ranji said...

delicious cake mansi..that too a low fat version..a sure winner:)

test it comm said...

That strawberry vanilla cake sounds really good. I like the use of the cardamom.

OhioMom said...

This cake looks really light, something I should bake more often :)

Thanks so much for submitting it to the SMF.

Miri said...

Looks delicious - what a nice low fat treat!

Anonymous said...

I tried this for fathers day, [since we're all trying to cut back on our weight!] and we all thought it was delicious.

Since I'm restricting my cals and fats, I decided to today actually run the numbers on these little delicious treats.

Using regular white flour for both and 2% milk instead of skim....I was shocked: 364 calories and 8.8 grams of fat!!!
I suppose this is better for you than other full-fat cakes with butter but...almost 9g of fat? Yow- That's pretty high. I had a dessert last night of a biscuit, sliced strawberries and vanilla fro-yo that was also delicious- and dang near hald the fat and cals.

I guess next time i'll run the numbers first!

Mansi said...

thanks for running the numbers for us Adriene! that's why I used whole-grain flour and wheat flour instead of regular white-flour!:) that should've reduced the number by another 5-6%:)

glad you all enjoyed it!:)

Anonymous said...

This looks wonderful. I like how you've used the ramekins - makes for better portion control.

giz said...

Thank you Mansi for this wonderful submission to Tried Tested and True Two. I so love the idea of a guilt free dessert and that you created a whole new recipe is pretty amazing.