Have you thought about trying to reduce some of the fat in the cakes that you bake at home? There are some quick substitutions you can make to trim the fat grams from some of your favorite treats. I’ve been testing out lower-fat concoctions for many years, and found that some work extremely well while others just don’t make the grade.
The three ingredients that are added to most boxed cake mixes are water, oil and eggs. Since there’s no fat in water, that ingredient is just fine for our low fat cake. Eggs have about five grams of fat in the yolks, so the obvious idea here is to separate the eggs and use only the fat free egg whites. Plan on using one quarter cup of egg white for each egg that the recipe calls for. Or, you can take the easy route and use a packaged egg substitute such as Egg Beaters.
The oil added to a cake mix is what renders the cake rich and moist, but it’s also full of fat. One tablespoon of canola oil contains 14 grams of fat. This is where a substitution makes the biggest difference. The substitute which you choose to use in place of this oil depends on the flavor of cake that you are making. The four most common oil substitutes I’ve tried are yogurt, applesauce, canned pumpkin and prune puree. For a yellow cake, vanilla or maple cinnamon yogurt work quite well. Canned pumpkin will give the yellow cake a noticeable pumpkin flavor. Applesauce is a good choice for a spice cake, and the prune puree or plain yogurt work well in a chocolate cake.
You can replace the oil in the recipe with the same amount of substitute, or use a bit extra. I usually add the entire container of yogurt to the mix, although that sometimes requires a few minutes of extra baking time.
Making a frosting without a lot of fat is a little more challenging, since butter is usually a key frosting ingredient. Last week I made a yellow cake with banana frosting. I added a mashed ripe banana to about five ounces of whipped cream cheese, along with a dash of vanilla extract and enough confectioner’s sugar to make the frosting sweet and spreadable. Another option is to make the cake in a bundt mold and drizzle it with a glaze made from confectioner’s sugar and almond or coffee liquor. It takes far less glaze than frosting to give the cake a finished touch.
The next time you want to make a cake with a lower fat content, try one of these substitutions. Hopefully, your taste buds won’t even know the difference.
Sources: lots of trial and error with home baking
Nutrition Label on Carlini Pure Canola Oil