The first year, I made a no sugar, no egg cake. (The adults had the bad stuff, hehe). Check out that recipe HERE
The second year, I made a no sugar cake, sweetened with agave nectar. I made everyone try it! While most of us are used to the tooth-rotting sweetness of refined sugar, everyone agreed that it was still very good. Check out the recipe HERE
NOW for the third birthday celebration- I am debating between two choices. I am allowing a bit of sugar these days on very rare occasions, so the first recipe does have some...(Even though there is only one cup of total sugar in the recipe between many servings...I still might omit some and substitute some agave nectar)
Blueberry Crumb Cake
(Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, pages 192-193)
Yield: 8 servings
For the Crumbs:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1⁄4 cup sugar
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
For the Cake:
1 pint (2 cups) organic blueberries (preferably fresh, or frozen, not thawed)
2 cups plus 2 teaspoons organic unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1⁄2 lemon or 1⁄4 orange
3⁄4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1⁄2 cup buttermilk
Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square pan (Pyrex is great for this) and put it on a baking sheet.
To Make the Crumbs: Put all the ingredients except the nuts in a food processor and pulse just until the mixture forms clumps and curds and holds together when pressed. Scrape the topping into a bowl, stir in the nuts and press a piece of plastic against the surface. Refrigerate until needed. (Covered well, the crumb mix can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
To Make the Cake: Using your fingertips, toss the blueberries and 2 teaspoons of the flour together in a small bowl just to coat the berries; set aside. Whisk together the remaining 2 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Working in the bowl of a stand mixer or in another large bowl, rub the sugar and zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Add the butter and, with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the sugar with the butter at medium speed until light, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, beating for about 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla extract. Don't be concerned if the batter looks curdled - it will soon smooth out. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately, the flour in 3 parts and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients). You will have a thick, creamy batter. With a rubber spatula, gently stir in the berries.
Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and smooth the top gently with the spatula. Pull the crumb mix from the refrigerator and, with your fingertips, break it into pieces. There's no need to try to get even pieces - these are crumbs they're supposed to be lumpy and bumpy and every shape and size. Scatter the crumbs over the batter, pressing them down ever so slightly.
Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool just until it is warm or until it reaches room temperature.
The other option is The Vanilla Agave Nectar Cake/frosting
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Recipe courtesy of Ania Catalano (author of Baking with Agave Nectar)
Makes 2 cups (frosts one 9” layer cake)
Ania says, “This is my favorite frosting. It’s a real buttercream, rich and creamy, but not too sweet. It’s great on any cake or cupcake.”
½ cup unsalted butter
6 tbl. Madhava's Light Agave Nectar
1 cup nonfat dry milk
1 ½ tsp. Vanilla extract
4 tbl. Whole milk
pinch of sea salt
Cream the butter with an electric mixer until light in color. Slowly add the agave nectar and beat until fluffy, about one to two minutes.
Gradually add the dry milk and beat again. Add the vanilla extract and the milk, one tablespoon at a time, until completely blended. Add the salt, turn the mixer to high speed, and beat about two minutes, or until very fluffy.Store in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Agave Sweetened White Cake
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 cup light agave syrup
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325. Grease and flour a 6 inch round cake pan.
- Beat the eggs and agave in a mixing bowl on med speed. Meanwhile, melt the butter being careful not to brown it, and add it to the eggs slowly.
- Let the mixer continue to beat the egg mixture while, in a medium bowl, you measure out and combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder). Turn down the mixer to the lowest speed and slowly add the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer back up to medium speed once the dry ingredients are moistened and continue to beat, while measuring and adding the water and vanilla extract. Beat until well combined; it will look like thinned out mayonnaise, kind of.
- Pour the batter into your pan; pan should be about half full. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn cake out of pan, and let cool completely.
I will post pictures once I decide on which one to make! Let me know if you have a favorite "healthy" cake recipe!