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Dec 18, 2013 03:24 AM

Whole grain desserts?

I've recently had to change my diet, and am avoiding white flour, moving to whole grains. I usually do a lot of baking for the holidays, and wondering if I can convert my favorite cake and cookie recipes to use more whole wheat flour, or other flours. Or if anyone has suggestions on other desserts that fit the bill.

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  1. Heartier cookies do fine with about half we flour, spelt flour or we pastry flour. King Arthur site has some nice whole grain recipes. Quick breads can use all WW flour usually.

    1. I make apple crisp with white whole wheat flour, oats, slivered almonds, and earth balance.

      I've also subbed white whole wheat flour for 1/2 the regular in choco chip cookies

      1 Reply
      1. re: cheesecake17

        Pineapple upside down cake works well with white whole wheat flour also.

      2. Agree about subbing 1/2 WW and 1/2 regular. When you do a full sub, you're entering new territory, like it or not.

        But if you're "needing" to do all WW, just go for it.

        I sub in ground oats (i.e. oat flour--just grind oatmeal in the food processor) for half the flour in my chocolate chip cookies and people think they're the best cookies ever... They don't taste healthy, but are substantial and bake up into gorgeous bakery-like cookies.

        Cakes are much harder IMO. I'd also probably sub in applesauce in place of 1/2 the butter or oil to keep things moist.

        What else are you changing in the recipes? Are you still eating butter/oil? Milk? Cream?

        Not to sound crotchety, but I've never thought the switch to whole grain flour will make much of a difference if baked things are eaten in moderation like they should be... The bigger culprits are the fats.

        1. There's an entire article this week in the New York Times about baking holiday cookies with whole grains.

          1. i make most quickbreads with whole grains and reduced sugar and fat. since things like bananas and pumpkin provide moisture you can get away with it and not sacrifice too much flavor either.

            this is a great basic recipe:


            using this as an example, i would reduce the oil by half, replace 1.5 cups flour with white whole wheat, 1.5 cups with spelt flour, and 1/3 cup with flax meal. i reduce the sugar by one cup and use brown sugar for the rest. add one large grated apple with the skin. i add toasted nuts and sometimes chocolate chips (if your diet allows) to make it seem richer.

            you can apply this formula to most breads or muffins that call for purees. if you want it to seem more like dessert just bake it in a cake pan and drizzle a little flat icing on top (water and powdered sugar) or turbinado sugar on top before you bake it.