Noshing on chocolate cake needn’t be a completely regrettable endeavor. By making a couple healthy choices during the cake-making process, you can avoid classically unhealthy fats and sugars by following some of our following tips. Here’s how you can make chocolate cake so much healthier.
Avocados Replace Butter
The fats that are found in avocados are quite different from those in butter. Luckily, though, they’re of a fairly similar texture and consistency at room temperature and can function similarly in chocolate cake recipes. Puréed avocados can replace butter in a one-to-one ratio.
Black Bean-Based Flour
That’s right: You can increase your protein intake by using puréed black beans in place of flour. One cup of black bean purée equals one cup of flour. If it seems like we’re hating on all-purpose flour, it’s because we are.
Ditch All of Your All-Purpose Flour
Basic all-purpose white flour lacks many of the beneficial properties of heartier flours. Whole-wheat flours and nut flours (you can find almond, coconut, and quinoa flours in stores) will provide you with nutritional benefits (e.g. more fiber) that get stripped away in the process of creating white flour.
Pick Your Peanut Butter Wisely
If your chocolate cake recipe calls for peanut butter, think twice before reaching for a standard jar of Jif. Consider switching to a natural peanut butter option with only one or two ingredients listed on the jar. Standard, non-natural peanut butter brands often add sugar and other oils not found naturally in a peanut. Choosing a natural peanut butter with only peanuts (and maybe salt) on the ingredients list will immediately boost your cake’s nutritional characteristics.
Replace Sugary Toppings with Beneficial Foods
Reaching for candy or sprinkles to top your freshly-baked chocolate cake? Hold it right there! Consider topping your cake with a healthier alternative. Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries go quite well with chocolate and carry along an extra antioxidant punch which sugary toppings lack. There’s no reason not to healthily indulge while you’re healthily indulging, though, so consider topping your chocolate cake with rich dark chocolate.
Swap Applesauce for Sugar or Fat
Applesauce (in its unsweetened form) can function as a replacement for sugar or fat in cakes. Applesauce should replace sugar in a one-to-one ratio. Instead of a cup of sugar, use a cup of applesauce. You’ll probably want to reduce any other liquid in the recipe by a quarter cup or so for every cup of applesauce added because it contains much more water than sugar. If you’re replacing fats like butter or oil, take the original fat amount and cut it in half. If you were supposed to use six tablespoons of butter, use just three and replace the other three with applesauce.
The accompanying slideshow is provided by special contributor Emily Jacobs.