Cakes needn't be heavy: try these healthy ones

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 January, 2012, 12:00am


Ho Tim-sum asks: Can you give me a couple of healthier cake recipes?

Carrot cake

Fruits and veggies add flavour and texture to cakes, and keep them soft and moist. You can vary the dried fruits you use and substitute equal amounts of another vegetable, such as parsnip or courgette, for the carrots. The icing is optional.


3/4 cup reduced-fat milk

2 tsp white vinegar

1 cup wholewheat flour

1 cup plain flour

2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

3 large eggs

3/4 cup muscovado sugar

1/2 cup rapeseed oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

400g canned pineapple, drained

2 cups grated carrots

1/2 cup raisins


340g reduced-fat cream cheese

1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon lemon juice


1 Preheat oven to 180 C/350F. Line the base of a 9x13-inch baking tin with greaseproof paper. Grease the bottom and sides with a little oil.

2 In a small bowl, add the vinegar to the milk and set aside.

3 Mix the two flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.

4 In another bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, milk mixture, oil and vanilla extract until well blended. Add to the flour bowl and stir. Fold in the remaining four ingredients.

5 Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely before icing.

6 Prepare the icing by beating the ingredients together until combined. Spread the icing over the top of the cooked cake.

Nutritional info per 100g: 213kcal, 897kJ, 9.2 protein, 9.2g fat, 29.8g carbohydrates, 1.5g fibre

Steamed banana cupcakes

These no-oil treats are easy to make, and come out soft and springy, perfect for any time of the day.


2 eggs

1/3 cup caster sugar

2 ripe medium bananas, mashed

1 cup self-raising flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract


1 Fill a wok or large pot with water and place a rack in the centre. Cover and bring to the boil over a medium heat.

2 Sift the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.

3 Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl until the mixture has doubled in volume and is thick, pale and creamy.

4 Add the mashed bananas and beat until well combined.

5 Fold in the flour mixture, then the yogurt and vanilla extract.

6 Pour the batter into 10 small ramekin dishes. Place the ramekins onto a heat-proof dish or bowl.

7 Steam the cakes for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Nutritional information per serving: 198kcal, 840kJ, 5.6g protein, 2.3g fat, 41.3g carbohydrates, 1.2g fibre

Wynnie Chan is a British-trained nutritionist. If you've got a question for her or would like to be featured in this column, e-mail