HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Do you have an easy, 'heart-healthy' cake recipe?

Hi Everyone,

Can you recommend a favorite cake recipe that's:

- Heart-healthy (whole grains, low fat, etc.)
- Really easy to make
- Has easy to find ingredients
- Not too light and fluffy in texture

A denser texture is preferred, so there won't be a lot of air holes on the surface when baked (it's for use in a decorative cake mold).

Also, please let me know if I can put your recipe on a website, with whatever attribution or links you'd like, of course.

Thanks very much for any suggestions and recipes!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hi there! I have just finished off my home-made healthy cake that my friends who stayed over for the weekened simply loved so I thought I'd share the recipe with you. Here goes:

    - 200 grams of light spread cheese (like Philadelphia) or 400 grams for a bigger cake (200 grams serves 4 and 400 serves 8)
    - Using the spread cheese container as a measure, 1 full pot of Muscovado sugar (you can use molasses or honey if you prefer)
    - 1 1/2 pot of self-raising wholegrain flour
    - 1 tablespoon baking powder
    - 2 eggs
    - a Splash of milk (optional)
    - chopped dates and/or walnuts, almonds, blueberries or other dried fruit or nut

    Method: Preheat oven at gas mark 4. Grease a baking tin ( I use low fat oil spray and flour). Mix the spread cheese with the sugar in a container until well blended. You can add a splash of milk to add more moisture to the cake if preferred. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add the sifted flour and baking powder gradually and mix well. Lastly, add chopped dates, blueberries or other dried fruit of your choice.
    Pour the batter into baking tin. Add walnuts or roasted almonds on top. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a kinve comes out clean. Enjoy!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Paula76

      For those of us who are GasMarkedly challenged, gas mark 4 = 350 degrees.

      1. re: oakjoan

        Thank you, oakjoan. I am also Potly challenged--what would 1 1/2 pots of flour be?? Thanks!

        1. re: Marge

          The "ot" is the empty cheese container.

      2. re: Paula76

        Hi Paula,

        Thank you so much! I have been searching to find the equivalent of a pot and then reread your post more closely. You made it simple by using the cream cheese container! Thanks! I'm trying this recipe tomorrow.

      3. Nigella Lawson's clementine cake is flourless, not lowfat but the fat is from heart healthy almonds, and I have successfully made it with egg substitute. It's very dense...and very delicious.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Marge

          Thanks Marge,

          Wow, clementines and almonds, I can't wait to try this one too! And really simple to make.


          1. re: Marge

            The recipe looks delicious but can you tell me what size springform 21 cm 'translates' to in inches?

            1. re: serious

              8 inch springform---click on "view with US measurements" on the recipe page, it converts everything to US measurements.

              1. re: Marge

                just reread the recipe and noticed this, thank you.

                1. re: Marge

                  I made this cake. It needed more cooking time even though the 'tester' came out clean. I will try it again, it is flavorful and interesting and light. I would the next time use 6 clementines and might even add some small amount of orange flavored liquor. It doesn't rise. And that's odd considering eggs and baking power. I would try it in 9" springform and like it just fine if it was shorter but think it might rise in bigger pan. If it had, it would have spilled all over the oven. It didn't even completely fit in specified 8". I would also lightly toast the almond. They did taste slightly raw. And I can't at all figure out why one hour of boiling the clementines wouldn't be enough.

                  1. re: serious

                    I tried this cake yesterday, using Meyer lemons instead. I didn't have the right sized springform pan and since I thought it might be more like an English pudding than a cake (it's not), I used a small rectangular corningware casserole. It actually did release when inverted - a little stuck to the bottom but it would have been perfect if I'd put parchment in first. It rose substantially but the dome lowered by about a half inch as it cooled. I'm not crazy about the flavor or texture. The Meyers weren't very sweet so I added 3 packets of splenda to supplement the cup of sugar. I also added 1/4 tsp almond extract and it still could have used more almond flavor. Though the texture is light, oddly, the slice of cake feels surprisingly heavy. Nuts vs. flour, I suppose.

              2. re: Marge

                This cake is much too moist to use in a decorative mold, though it is a wonderful cake.

                1. re: Marge

                  I second that clementine cake. It's deliciously unusual and has no butter or oil, if I remember correctly. I've also successfully made it with oranges.

                  1. re: Marge

                    Third the clementine cake. I made it with xylitol from globalsweet.com , no one noticed and everyone raved.

                  2. This apple cake recipe calls for canola oil and no butter. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/mag...
                    I have made it with white whole wheat flour and had good success. II have also veganized it by subbing the 3 eggs called for with ener-g egg substitute and apple sauce. t is a really delicious and very fall cake.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Super Salad

                      Thanks SS,

                      I was looking for one with apples or apple butter. Yes, perfect for fall! Walnuts, cinnamon and apples are another of my favorite flavor combinations. That's probably universal :)

                    2. Sorry about the confusing 'pot' reference! I hope you like the cake and enjoy it guilt-free! You can pour some honey on top or warm dulce de leche (although that would make it a little more sinful). :-)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Paula76

                        I love the pot reference! Super easy to measure and just throw the container away after! Brilliant! Can't wait to try it tonight.

                      2. I found a cocoa/buttermilk cake that is pretty low fat. I reduced the sugar from 2 cups to 1.5. Also, I made the icing on the runny side (I think it was a little undercooked) and it only took about the half the amount to cover and fill the cake (I made two 8" rounds). We could not stop eating it.

                        Having said that, I am still looking for the cocoa cake long-ago Swedish neighbours made. I'm pretty sure it had buttermilk in it and it was baked in a loaf tin. It was denser than this one.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: waver

                          I regularly replace eggs with egg beaters and fat with unsweetened applesauce in cakes, quick breads, and brownies. Moist and tasty: no failures yet. Works best for denser cakes, I believe.

                        2. Crazy cake has no eggs (no cholesterol), you can use whatever kind of oil you like, and it comes out quite moist and dense. I bet you could use whole wheat flour, and cocoa is very heart healthy (high in antioxidents). And it's easy. Really easy.


                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            Use whole wheat pastry flour and you're good to go.

                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                              I bet you could sub applesauce for some of the oil, too. I'll have to try it!

                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                I made cupcakes from this batter for our department holiday potluck (one of the organizers is vegan, and I wanted to make something she could eat). I used half applesauce-half olive oil and it came out great -- I got lots of kudos on them.

                                I also fancied them up a little by putting a teaspoon of raspberry coulis (I'm sure a slightly thinned raspberry jam would work as well) on top of the batter in each up before baking. When the cupcakes rose the raspberry sunk down and made a little pocket of raspberry in the middle -- I brushed the tops with more raspberry just before serving.

                          2. This is wonderful. DATE CAKE: Process in Cuisinart until smooth 1 cup dark brown sugar, 1 cup water, grated rind 1 lemon, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 eggs or Egg Beater equivalent, 2 tablespoons Canola oil, and 1 tsp soda. Then add 1 cup flour and process briefly to mix in flour. Now comes the interesting part. You are going to add about 10 oz pitted dates and a handful of walnuts. If you want the cake to be just cakey, add them at the very beginning so they will become one with the batter, totally processed. But if you want a coarse date-nut torte texture, add them after the flour and process just briefly to chop them coarsely---so you get little chunks of date and nut when you eat the cake. Your choice. Bake this for about 25 minutes at 350* in either an 8 x 8 pan or a pie pan or cupcakes (but small ones, as this is rich). Serve with Redi-Whip (you did say heart-healthy but if you don't care about that use real whipped cream) or dusted with powdered sugar. This is a marvelous recipe. It tastes like dates; if you make it the coarse way it's an almost instant torte; it freezes perfectly; and it's very quick to make. One of my ten favorite recipes. Don't omit the lemon rind---it makes a difference.

                            1. APPLESAUCE: Others have mentioned it and I agree; I've yet to find a recipe that wasn't if not just-as-good, then certainly good enough replacing oil with applesauce 1:1. I haven't tried it, but it occurred to me tonight that pumpkin puree might work as well. Using applesauce usually increases cooking time a hair.

                              I make a carrot cake that my kids call a "fruit-and-vegetable cake" with no oil/fat. It's not perhaps "easy" because there are quite a few ingredients but it's incredibly delicious. Does that count?