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Jan 20, 2008 03:29 PM

Itching to bake a cake WITHOUT Butter (NOT Angel Food)

I was about to embark on the LA TIMES Upside Down Lemon cake only to discover I am out of butter. I do not want to make an angel food cake (too many eggs). I have some left over chocolate frosting in the fridge and I'd like to use it to frost a lemon cake (received two boxes of Meyers from sis in Florida and have to start using them). I have a stick of crisco and non fat yogurt. Anyone know if I can use to substitute for butter in a cake recipe?



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  1. you could probably use some veg oil but i don't know amounts. what about muffins? they almost always call for oil not butter. oooh.. a nice lemon muffin, that sounds good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: winebarb

      That sounds good. I think I saw a recipe in LA Times for those too-using whole chopped meyer lemons. Thanks for reminding me.

      1. re: Densible

        is this the recipe you meant? you could easily use crisco oil in place of the melted butter. personally, to lighten them i'd do half yogurt & half oil. but that's just me being my usual health nut self :)

        Meyer Lemon Muffins

        * 2 c. flour
        * 1 c. plus 2 T. sugar, divided
        * 1 t. baking soda
        * 1 t. salt
        * 3 Meyer lemons, divided
        * 2 eggs
        * 1 c. milk
        * 1/2 c. butter, melted.
        * 1/2 t. Ceylon cinnamon

        Heat the oven to 400°. Combine the flour, 1 c. sugar, the baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

        Cut two lemons into 1-inch pieces. Put them in a blender and pulse until the lemon is finely chopped. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the milk, butter and chopped lemon. Stir.

        Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the lemon mixture. Stir just until all ingredients are moistened.

        Spoon the batter into well-buttered cups of muffin pans, filling each half full.

        Combine the remaining 2 T. sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle about 1/4 t. over each muffin. Cut the remaining lemon into 9 paper-thin slices; cut each slice in half. Top each muffin with half a slice of lemon.

        Bake about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Run a small spatula or knife around each of the muffins to loosen, remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm. Makes 18 muffins

        Each muffin: 160 calories; 3 g protein; 24 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 6 g fat; 4 g saturated fat; 38 mg cholesterol; 214 mg sodium.

        — From Los Angeles Times test kitchen director Donna Deane

        you could also try this recipe:

        Tangy Meyer Muffins

        2 meyer lemons
        ½ c. granulated sugar
        ½ c. canola oil
        ½ tsp. vanilla extract
        2 eggs
        ½ c. milk
        ½ c. lemon juice
        1 c. AP flour
        1½ c. cake flour
        ¼ tsp. salt
        ½ tsp. baking soda
        1 Tbsp. baking powder

        Carefully peel the lemons, so that you have 4 quarter-peels. (I used the pampered chef citrus peeler). Scrape all white pith from the inside. Then cut/chop finely. Set aside. This is a time-consuming step, but well worth it.

        In mixer, combine sugar & oil till well mixed. Add vanilla, eggs & lemon peel; mix. Pour in milk & beat till just mixed. Add lemon juice & beat.

        In another bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add ½ of the mixture to the mixing bowl & beat till just combined. Scrape down sides & add remaining dry ingredients. Beat again, scraping down sides. Set aside.

        Put muffin liners in pan(s). Equally scoop batter into liners. Bake 18 minutes till a toothpick comes clean. Cool individual muffins on metal rack.

        happy baking!

      1. re: brittle peanut

        I don't have a recipe handy, but try googling a "savoie sponge". I made it once in culinary school and, bascially, you sift the dry ingredients (nut flour, ap flour, salt) then fold them into egg yolks (beaten) with sugar, then fold in a meringue. It's extremely delicate.

      2. As a kosher cook, I have had to deal with this whenever I need to make non-dairy cakes. I usually use margarine in place of butter rather than Crisco. Crisco will make a nice pie crust, though, and you could make a lemon meringue pie. I do frequently make chocolate cakes subbing margarine for butter. In my experience Crisco is not as good a direct sub as butter contains some water while Crisco is all fat... i.e. recipes do not turn out the same way. Chiffon cakes do work well as do sponge cakes. You could do a sponge cake jelly roll with lemon curd filling as well.

          1. re: Emme

            Thanks everyone. I ended up making the Lemon Yogurt Cake. In my haste and my lack of baking finesse, I mistakenly added the lemon juice to the batter instead of using it to make a syrup to pour over the baked cake. I topped the cake batter with thinly sliced lemons and sprinkled the finished cake with powdered sugar. It looked beautiful and tasted quite good (and was quite moist in spite of lack of syrup bath) but without a lot of lemony tang I was hoping for...assume using the lemon juice in the batter rather than the syrup accounted for this?

            I am going to do the lemon muffins recipe above from goodhealth gourmet posting next