Recipe swaps: 6 healthier versions of classic cakes

Incorporating healthier meal choices into our daily lives is a great way to stay committed to overall wellness. These healthy options aren’t only available for your main course – desserts like indulgent cakes can easily retain all of the flavors while focusing on healthy ingredients. If you’re eager to swap some traditional ingredients like refined sugar and flour, fats, and added fillers for healthier options full of fiber and vitamins, then try these six cake recipes that are sure to impress everyone at your table.

Streuseled Zucchini Bundt Cake. Photo courtesy of Taste of Home.

Streuseled Zucchini Bundt Cake

Bundt cakes are a wonderful centerpiece for family meals and gatherings, and many recipes lend themselves to this whimsical shape, including this healthy twist on a streusel cake using zucchini! The moisture and fiber from the zucchini and yogurt mean that you’ll add less fat and filler than your typical cake. By including traditional spice-cake flavors like cinnamon and allspice, you’ll offset any hint of zucchini flavor. Drizzle the top with a simple frosting, or just add a little fruit glaze for a fresh summer option!

Cranberry Coffee Cake

Weekend mornings often call for a slice of coffee cake while you relax and read the paper. Fortunately, you don’t have to abandon this tradition just to stay true to your nutritional goals. This cranberry coffee cake recipe is a great way to indulge in the flavor of weekend mornings without all of the refined sugars and fats. Coconut oil is a healthier alternative here to the traditional butter, while ground oats replace refined flour – sweeten with honey, and you’ve made the perfect healthy coffee cake. The added cranberries provide additional sweetness with just the right amount of tart bursts. You won’t be missing any of your usual coffee cake flavors when you swap to this healthier recipe!

Keto Chocolate Brownies

Not many people can resist a good brownie, so set yourself up for success by making these keto brownies that are gluten-free, sugar-free, and low carb! And if that’s not enough to convince you, then the fact that everything can be mixed up in only one bowl should push this recipe into your “yes!” pile. Using flax meal and coconut flour, you’ll add fiber and whole grains to the brownies, while stevia acts as a healthier sweetener. For added crunch, mix in your favorite nuts to increase the protein! Not only will you love these brownies, but your family won’t ever be able to tell that they’re a healthier alternative to traditional recipes.

Photo: Getty Images

Upside-Down Pineapple-Ginger Carrot Cake

A staple of summer, the typical pineapple upside-down cake is delicious – but packed with refined sugar and flour, it can quickly derail your healthy eating habits. If you’d like to make this cake a more regular part of your healthy diet, try this alternative recipe that uses carrots and whole wheat flour to add some nutritional density. The added ginger also boosts the flavor of this cake and gives it the perfect amount of spice. You can also think of this cake as a substitute for the traditional cream cheese topped carrot cake; fresh pineapple slices are a healthier choice and make the cake lighter and brighter!

Black Tie Cake

Always a decadent dessert to serve for guests (or keep all to yourself!), a chocolate mousse cake is sure to feel indulgent. This recipe doesn’t skimp on the flavor or texture, but because you’re making the mousse yourself, you can choose to use fat-free dairy and less refined sugar than commercially prepared versions. By topping with a white chocolate mousse (and perhaps some berries?), you’ll produce a beautiful black tie cake that doesn’t overindulge while delivering flavor and class.

Yogurt Cake

For a healthy take on a basic cake that you can dress up for various occasions, this yogurt cake takes, well, the cake. Not only is this recipe healthy, but you can prepare the entire thing in one bowl for under about $5 – minimal cleanup and budget-friendly are always a bonus! Because the moisture and some sweetness come from yogurt, you can significantly reduce the amount of refined sugar and fat in this cake. After baking, glaze the top with a little bit of fruit jam if you’d like to infuse additional flavor; choose something that complements other items in your meal or use seasonal fruits for the freshest summer cakes! You’ll be making this yogurt cake on regular rotation in no time.

Whether you love chocolate or fruit, complex or simple, these healthier cake recipes are sure to become favorites at your family table for years to come!

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