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Healthy Cake – Have your cake and eat it too!

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Healthy Birthday Cake! It holds its own against any boxed cake mix, with none of the sugar or artificial ingredients:

Do you think sugar makes kids hyper?

It’s a widely-held belief that sugar makes kids act crazy, but I’m not sure I believe it. Especially at birthday parties, with all the presents and balloons and ice cream and games… who wouldn’t get excited in such a revved-up atmosphere? And the experts are split: some swear childhood hyperactivity and sugar are linked, while others argue no solid evidence exists to back up the theory.

No matter the truth, there are still many other reasons to be wary of America’s favorite sweetener. Excess sugar consumption has been linked to gum disease and cavities, blood sugar spikes, mood swings, Diabetes, and obesity (which can lead to high cholesterol, heart disease, etc.).

One thing is certain: as a whole, we are consuming way too much sugar. According to a study conducted by Family Circle, the average teen is taking in roughly five times the AHA’s recommended daily sugar limit of 6-9 teaspoons. And eating sugar leads to craving more sugar:  Penn State researchers found that the more sugar children consumed, the less they ate vegetables, fruits, and other healthy foods.

So what’s a sugar-craving, health-conscious dessert lover to do?

Healthy Cake Recipe - Chocolate-Covered Katie

Have a piece of cake!

That’s what.

With a light and fluffy texture, the following healthy cake recipe can hold its own against any boxed birthday cake mix. It’s been kid-tested and approved, so you know it must be good. Yet it offers you fiber, selenium, manganese, and protein… all while tasting like real, sugary birthday cake!

The cake above is frosted with my recipe for Healthy Strawberry Frosting.

(No, I don’t think it’s bad to have a slice of processed, sugary, white-flour birthday cake every now and then. But if you can make a healthy cake that tastes just as good, why not save your empty sugar calories for something else?)

Healthy Birthday Cake

Kid-Approved Healthy Cake

Adapted from Homemade Donuts.

  • 1 1/3 cups milk of choice (320g)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white or apple cider vinegar (23g)
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract (15g)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp veg or melted coconut oil (50g)
  • 2 loosely-packed cups spelt or all-purpose flour (or Bob’s gf, plus 1 tsp xantham gum) (240g)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup xylitol or sugar of choice (140g)
  • 1/8 tsp pure stevia, or 1/4 cup more sugar of choice
  • jam, frosting, sprinkles or Hannah’s Homemade Sprinkles

Healthy birthday cake recipe: Preheat oven to 350 F, and line two 8-in round pans (or one 13×9) with parchment paper. Combine first four ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk well. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir very well. Pour wet into dry, stir until just evenly combined, pour into the pans and immediately put in the oven. Bake around 22 minutes, or until cakes have risen and no longer look undercooked. Allow to cool 10 minutes, then gently go around the sides with a knife and invert the pans onto large plates. (The frosting recipe I used is linked directly under the second photo of this post. If you use that particular recipe, I recommend frosting the cake just before serving.)

View Healthy Cake Nutrition Facts

For more specifics on the amount of sugar in this healthy white cake recipe–even if you use all sugar and none of the optional substitutes–see the nutrition facts above.

Healthy Birthday Cake

For the birthday cake photoshoot, I called my roommate at work and asked her if she knew where the matches were. Her response was a suspicious “Why are you looking for matches?”

Ever since I set a pot on fire about a year ago, she doesn’t trust me with matches. 😕

Link of the Day: 14 Homemade Larabar Recipes

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Lisa says:

    Oh gosh, I totally think sugar makes kids hyper. I’m SUPER sensitive to it and as a kid my parents had to monitor my sugar intake because I’d go insane for a while and then completely crash (in a bad way). And now I have blood sugar issues like hypoglycemia, so maybe that has something to do with it? Who knows 😉

  2. Katie, this looks fabulous! I could really go for a piece of cake right now. The frosting looks especially delicious. I think I might make it today. 😉

  3. I love the pictures of this cake, they are just beautiful! From what I’ve learned in psych, sugar and excitability has been researched by many psychologists and most are in agreement that the sugar itself does not cause excitability. However, we are definitely consuming way too much sugar and a cake like this is a perfect alternative. Love the frosting too!

  4. Sarah the Official CCK Drooler says:

    Sugar TOTALLY makes kids go hyper, though i guess it depends on the kid. Some of my siblings eat sugar, and then end up acting like Honey Boo Boo on steroids (sorry for that visual)- but its true. Then the others, can eat sugar and have no problems.
    But i never advocate children eating excessive sugar in the first place.
    I do, however, strongly disagree with some parents I know who will go to such lengths as making a whole wheat cake for their kids (who don’t have allergies) to take with them to a party. Not only does that make the child feel left out, but I think its a little rude to the host. And come one people, live a little!
    I personally stay away from refined sugar most of the time, and cut myself some slack for the special days, where I really don’t care what I eat (within reason, though). I think its all about achieving a balance and not being extreme, unless you have to for health reasons.
    But for those parents who have to send their kids off with an alternative birthday cake to parties, this one seems to be a winner!

  5. I have never been affected by caffeine, but sugar for sure! I remember on one particular occasion I decided to have a baking spree (about 3 years ago) and then ate sugar-filled baked good after sugar-filled baked good. I was bouncing off the walls! Thankfully I had a marching band performance soon after to burn off all of that pent up energy! 😀

  6. Erica says:

    OMG! This wus posted on my bff’s birthday! what a coincidence!

  7. Suzanne says:

    Mmmm birthday cake; this one is a contender for my own birthday cake! I only have 3 weeks to find the ideal dessert, eek!

  8. I love your healthy twists on party foods :) If I’m at a birthday party, I’ve probably already eaten my fair share of calories, so a lightened up cake is perfect.

  9. Oooo, this looks wonderful! Perhaps I’ll make a Father’s Day cake. :)

  10. Hannah says:

    I think sugar certainly effects some kids behaviors! Most get hyper, but when my brother who is 10, eats a lot sugar he doesn’t really get hyper, but he gets really agitated and moody… and, well, mean! My sister on the other had gets extremely hyper, and I do to

  11. melissa l says:

    I never believed that sugar made people hyper…until I had kids. I totally think it depends on the person. My daughter rarely ever gets sweets; we call it a “special treat.” So when she gets a piece of cake with icing and has all of that sugar in her, she changes into a different person. My husband and I think it’s b/c she doesn’t consume that kind of food very often but that’s just my opinion. My son is 1.5yrs old and has never had any “special treats” yet so I can’t vouch for him yet.
    Thanks for all of the great recipes.

    1. saraaa says:

      Just fyi, after many studies showing that sugar doesn’t actually produce hyperactivity in anyone (and children), a lot of psychology studies suggest that it’s normally the parents’/others’ behavior and the situation which makes children hyper. For example, telling a child “you’re gonna get a special treat!” excites them….plus, think about the situation when they do get a special treat (guests are over, PARTIES, birthdays, being rewarded, etc.). These situations and the way people react to the children basically determines the child’s behavior. Interesting huh?

  12. Marci says:

    Thank you for this, Katie! I need a birthday cake for my son’s party for our family whose collective food allergies include gluten, cow dairy, cane sugar, nuts and chocolate. You’ve saved me!

  13. Gi says:

    Wow Katie your photographing skill have become just so good they never cease to amaze me; but THOSE photos I think are even better than the other of the other posts! Or maybe it’s just because of the subject? xD

    Btw thanks for sharing an other wonderful recipe with us all (:

  14. Cristina says:

    I definitely like my empty sugar calories, but I love the idea of your recipe for the strawberry frosting. I’ll have to try it!

  15. This is so beautiful! What frosting did you use to pipe the bright pink? It looks like the strawberry frosting is spread all over the top? I am always looking for healthier frostings for cake decorating and piping. I hope you celebrated something really fun with this!

  16. Jess says:

    This is beautiful! Look at that one little green sprinkle hanging on to the edge. How did you make your frosting?

    1. The darker is storebought. In retrospect, I wish I had used the strawberry frosting shot recipe for both. The frosting recipe is this one:

  17. Summer says:

    Personally I’d avoid xylitol as a substitute, because we really don’t need more chemicals in our bodies, ESPECIALLY if we’re feeding it to children! Coconut sugar and agave are both great, low-glycemic alternatives that are much healthier and offer many benefits. For anyone not avoiding honey, raw and unfiltered local honey is best so that you get the benefits of the pollen and other particles in it.

    1. Sunnie says:

      Actually, xylitol isn’t a chemical; it’s a sugar alcohol and is natural. It actually occurs naturally in a lot of fruits and vegetables. It’s no stranger to isolate xylitol from produce than it is to isolate cane sugar from the sugar cane. :)

      1. krys says:

        Actually xylitol is highly processed and most often made from GMO corn. Xylitol is NOT a healthy alternative by any stretch. It is produced by hydrogenation using an aluminum alloy. It’s loaded with heavy metals once processed and sold in it’s white crystalline “healthy” sweetener form.

        1. Hi Krys,
          Look into Xyla brand. It’s made from birch, not corn.

        2. krys says:

          Some Xylitol is made from birch, but the process is still the same and results in a heavy metal laden processed sweetener. But, knowing what you’re eating is allowing you to make informed decisions. I personally chose my health over zero calorie processed sweeteners.

          1. Lisa says:

            @Krys: Your uneducated comment shows just how little research you did before feeling the need to leave a comment. Xylitol is not in fact a zero calorie sweetener. And for some people like my husband who are diabetic, it is the best option. If you think sugar is the best option for you, then by all means do what is best for you. But don’t look down on people for doing what they believe is best for them even if you don’t agree with it.

          2. Krys says:

            I’m sorry, I miss spoke regarding the zero calorie sweetener. I do apologize for that. As far as uneducated, I am a clinical nutritionist, holistic nutritionist, herbalist and have a MBA in molecular biology, and what I do for a living is heal people from disease. I have saved more lives than I can count in my practice and it is my job to know all I can about certain “foods” on the market, how they are created and the dangers of such foods. Again. I am hardly looking down at anyone for their choices, simply informing people so they too can make educated decisions. I’ve seen the damage first hand that Xylitol can do to the gut alone. I deal with many type 1 and type 2 diabetics in my practice and this is not something I would recommend for them. But again, everyone’s choices are just that, their own. Have a wonderful day! :)

          3. Krys says:

            haha, make that B.Sc. not an MBA. Autocorrect genius.

          4. Jessica says:

            Krys: you OWNED that xylitol argument 😉 I just started doing research on this product myself. I own a cake business and am trying to make my cakes as healthy as I can for my customers. I came across this recipe, then looked up the xylitol sweetener after seeing it in the ingredient list. In my VERY short time researching, I found MUCH evidence that this is not a natural product. Here is just one site that did real research:

            I am also questioning the use of Xanthan Gum for my Gluten free items for similar reasons.. Peace&sweets! – Jess

          5. Kim says:

            What have you found that is the healthiest to use? I want to avoid consuming and buying all these. I want a recipe with just one natural sugar and low amounts. Do you use Stevia? I’ve never tried it myself

          6. Jessica says:

            @Kim: Honestly, I haven’t found anything that is better than (Organic) Evaporated Cane Sugar to sweeten a treat of any kind. Outside of just using fruit of course. But then you have to alter the flour to liquid ratio.. which just means more testing! Blessings! – Jessica

          7. butyouare says:

            For all those “ist” things you are still not a doctor….

          8. Elizabeth says:

            So I made this recipe for my birthday yesterday and I decided to use erythritol instead of the xylitol… I am new to these types of products, but I heard that erythritol is the better option… Any opinions on that? I am curious what people think..

  18. trajayjay says:

    What bothers me even more is that some people still think that sugar is healthier than fat. Like, in my culinary class, we made a supposedly nutritious bread, which was healthy because it was “low fat” but it was made with refined flour and had 3 tsp of added sugar per serving. The most nutritious thing about that bread, was the 1 cup of applesauce we put in it. So basically, we were consuming 4 tsp of applesauce per serving, all with 12g of added sugar. At least it was low fat! Hahah just kidding, but still, I’m mad that they make reduced fat peanut butter too, and as usual, that has added sugar, way to deceive the public! Oh well, sugar is addictive, and not as filling as fat.

  19. Sunnie says:

    How funny! It’s my little sister’s 16th birthday today and, being the sweetie that she is, she asked my mom to make her cake vegan so that I could eat it, too. :) I think that you would approve: it’s a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting!!

    1. Oh yes, would definitely approve. Tell her happy birthday for me!

  20. Sarah says:

    Looks yummy! I’ve heard that it isn’t sugar, it’s the event surrounding the sugar – big sugar intakes are during exciting days. They did some study on it.

  21. Ava says:

    Sugar does not make me hyper… Alcohol does. The cake looks good but a little dry is it moist?? And is xylitol sugar natural? I find that fake sugar really messes up my body. What are the calories if you use real sugar? And with frosting and jam?

    1. Yes, xylitol is an all-natural sweetener. Some brands are better than others; I use the Xyla brand for recipe testing:
      I offer it as a sugar-free option for people wanting to cut back or for people who can’t have sugar, but it’s best to not go crazy and eat too much (just like with anything else). Personally, I use it for recipe testing and have no problems eating it. (It tastes just as good as sugar in most recipes)… but if I’m making something that isn’t a recipe test, I’ll usually use coconut sugar or evaporated cane juice, simply for the sake of variety.
      Calorie-wise, xylitol is actually not a calorie-free sweetener. I think it has a little less than sugar, but people use it to cut back on sugar, not to cut back on calories. Sorry, I don’t have nutrition info for the cake made with frosting and jam. Just get the calories for the entire frosting recipe and divide by however many number of servings your cake gets. That’ll be the amount of calories from frosting per piece. Hope that helps!

  22. Katie this looks gorgeous!!! Like a real Birthday cake!!! I will have to try this!!! :-)

  23. Rhonda says:

    I’m hosting a teen birthday at my home this Friday. I’m going to try, if for nobody else but me :-)

  24. Grace says:

    Hi Katie!
    This looks stunning, as usual! I really want to make it… like NOW! 😛

    I was wondering though, would almond meal/flour work in place of the spelt/all purpose flour that this recipe calls for?

    -Grace :)

    1. I don’t think so. It would crumble.

  25. T. Marie says:

    Hi Katie,
    I love your blog and I’ve made and love many of your recipes. I am hesitant to even write this comment–but I was wondering if you are aware that Tyson Frozen Food products (aka frozen meat sticks) are sometimes advertised at the top of your web page? I bring this up only because I would want someone to make ME aware of this if I wasn’t, since I am a 99.9% vegan for ethical reasons as well as health reasons. Maybe you know and are ok with it and I respect you either way. But just incase you didn’t know, I thought I’d say something. And on a much more positive note, thank you for your amazing recipes!

    1. Yeah… I just noticed one of those last night and am waiting to hear back from my ad network rep. I DO have a no-meat preference stated in my contract. However, the rep who was assigned to me just left for a new position, so the only thing I can think of is that the preference got lost in transition (i.e. she failed to tell the new person about it). So hopefully it is an easy fix! I’m vegan first-and-foremost for ethical reasons as well.

  26. Emily says:

    sooo cute..
    cutie cake for my kids..
    i’ll definately try this one..

  27. I’ve got 3 o’clock-itis and this just looks like the most amazing thing in the world! I’m just wondering though where the protein comes from – is it in the spelt flour?

    1. Yes, even all-purpose flour has around 3g of protein per 1/4 cup (according to the bag).

  28. Lucy San says:

    Holy moley! You’ve posted this TEN days before my birthday! Awesome!

  29. Laura says:

    What can i put in instead of coconut oil?i don’t have that one and is very expensive here:(

  30. Your cake looks amazing and I love the ingredients in it! Beats the stuff in the box!

  31. Tiffany Nay says:

    I immediately started racking my brain to see who has a birthday coming up so I can make this…

  32. Sarah says:

    I agree with you on the whole sugar thing. Kids are eating way too much sugar, but I don’t think people should view sugar as “bad”. Yes, processed/refined sugars are the ones you should stay away from, but sugar in fruits or something natural like coconut sugar is great for your body :)

  33. Grace says:

    Katie this recipe is amazing! You have posted it at the perfect time as my mum’s, brother’s and sister’s birthdays are this weekend! Now I can have a slice of all three cakes!! 😀 thank you!

  34. Alyssa says:

    That’s hilarious :-) How did you set a pot on fire!?!

    1. I’m still not even sure what happened. I was trying to make sugar caramel… I accidentally added the vanilla extract before cooking, so maybe that was it. In any case, the entire pot suddenly exploded into flames. I even got a photo… should probably post it someday :).

  35. Jenn says:

    This looks yummy! My birthday is in a month and I may make this for myself. Happy birthday to me! I used your chocolate cake recipe for my daughters birthday (with Nutella buttercream icing, definitely not vegan) and I ha so many compliments on it! Can’t wait to try this one.

  36. Blair says:

    On your nutrition facts it puts everything in grams. I don’t know about other people but I have no idea what 96 grams of cake looks like. Can you please put it in the form of 1/8 or 1/16 rather then grams. Thanks

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      It does say the number of servings on the nutrition fact page if you read the page.

  37. Cookie says:

    Mmm…I love jam-filled cakes. Like a jelly doughnut :)
    I noticed that you use a lot of xylitol in your recipes and wondered where you get it. Also, what can you tell me about it as far as nutritional stats? I’m always a little wary of artificial sugars, but I’ll admit that there are many I don’t know much about.
    Beautiful cake decorating by the way 😀

    1. Xylitol is actually not an artificial sweetener. It’s a natural sweetener from birch (well, sometimes from corn, which is why I recommend this brand:

  38. Raluca says:

    Can we use applesouce or mashed banana instead or oil?

    1. Sorry, I haven’t tried so I really can’t say.

  39. Brandie says:

    Hey! Long time no comment, I know… but I’ve been stalking still… 😉 I was just thinking, as I read this post, that you are doing Healthy Food a disservice by saying “it’s ok to have REAL birthday cake now and then.” That implies that a healthier version is somehow not real, or, fake. I hate it when people ask me about my “fake food,” just because it’s not the full-fat/sugar/HFCS/artificial crap that’s in a lot of boxed/processed foods.

    I argue that your recipe, and other healthier versions, are the ‘real’ food. Thanks for sharing this one – I have lil man’s birthday in ONE week, so I have cake on the brain!

    Just sayin’.

    1. You are so incredibly right! Ugh, and I should know better. Changing my post right now!

  40. Birthday cake is the best – Healthy birthday cake is even better. :)

  41. Amy says:

    It looks so cute with the pink frosting and sprinkles! But based on my picky-eater childhood, I know that kids won’t eat cake based on looks alone, so this MUST be delicious! And with my own birthday coming up… 😉

  42. Heidi says:

    Do you think you could come up with a healthy angel food cake recipe? I’ve wanted to do this myself, but if you feel up to the challenge, perhaps you’d like to try it.

    1. It is on my list of things to try. :)

  43. nessa says:

    I have to make sure to try this!

  44. Chris says:

    Can you make this with a mix of hemp protein and almond flour so that it can be grain-free?


  45. Kika says:

    Regarding the question of sugar causing hyperactivity – children who have overgrowth of yeast in the gut or yeast allergies can have serious reactions to sugar. This can look like hyperactivity or tantrums/emotional meltdowns. They do react to refined sugars without a doubt (my youngest daughter is one of these little people).

  46. Heather mason says:

    I am a registered dietitian and there is absolutely no scientific data linking high sugar consumption to hyperactivity in children. In studies, when parent’s believe that there children consumed a sugary beverage or candy they rated their child’s behavior as “hyper” although they were only given a placebo which contained no sugar.
    However, I definitely do agree that sugar is not healthy for you and high sugar consumption may be linked to various chronic diseases.

  47. Richard says:

    This looks so delicious Katie. I love the idea of using coconut oil. So much healthier. Oh and I’m not allowed near matches either, ever since the BBQ lite up like a A-Bomb :)

  48. Marissa says:

    This was posted on my birthday. How perfect :) Thanks Katie!! This looks really good and I can’t wait to make it! What did you put between your 2 layers of cake?… It looks like a jelly or something..?

    1. Yes, just strawberry jelly. I really love a brand called Sorrell Ridge right now.

  49. Heather says:

    I love your recipes. I fooled everyone with the chocolate chip Blondie’s. I also love that you put the weight watchers points at the bottom for those of us trying to watch our weight. Thanks!!

  50. Nicole says:

    I know that the anti-artificial-sweetener monsters will raise a stink about this BUT…have you ever had jello cake? It’s basically a white cake (typically boxed) baked in a 9×13″ pan. When it cools, holes are poked in it and hot liquid jello is poured over it. The cake is cooled and the jello becomes well….jello consistency. Anyways, I think that this cake would be awesome as a jello cake :)

    1. I have been meaning to try that! Not with jello, but maybe with fruit juice… or some kind of chocolate syrup :).

  51. Jamie says:

    When talking about sugar, we need to be specific. FRUIT has plenty of sugar in it, and people who eat masses of fruit and little else are generally healthy. Sugar and complex carbohydrates are energy for our bodies, and if you are going to say children should eat less sugar because it is unhealthy, consider that fruit is a major source of sugar, yet you are saying that fruit is healthy for children? Be specific, processed fatty, salty, sweetened products with no vitamins or minerals are unhealthy, but sugar itself can be very healthy.
    On another note I really love the stuff you post, it always looks so good!

  52. Davenport House Physiotherapy Clinic says:

    Looks and sounds delicious Katie! You’ve surpassed yourself once again with this one!

  53. LaNita says:

    Hello Katie!
    I want to make this for my daughters birthday on Thursday and am wondering how many times would you multiply the strawberry frosting recipe to ice this whole cake, sides and everything? Making more is fine but I do not want to make less.
    Thank you so very much! :)

    1. LaNita says:

      Awesome Thank you!

  54. Kat says:

    My birthday was just about a week ago ( and since it is my 30th I deserve AT LEAST a birthday MONTH (if not a birthday quarter haha), so I am pretty sure this cake can fit into my birthday cakety-cakeness heaven :) Thanks!

  55. Jessica says:

    I actually made this for Father’s Day. It was SO good. Everyone loved it. I added in some strawberries and it tasted a little like strawberry shortcake-but even better! 😀

    1. JuliaB says:

      THANK YOU for reviewing this recipe!! Everyone else seemed to be speculating, but I wanted to know if it really was good. I’m planning to use it for a rainbow cake for my daughter’s birthday, but before I go adding my (expensive) natural food colors, I wanted to check on the tastiness of the recipe. Your comment helped!!

  56. Beth says:

    Could this cake be made chocolate? If so, how?

      1. Beth says:

        Thank you!

  57. Emily says:

    This cake looks fabulous. Can it be made a day ahead of time? If so, should it be kept in the fridge or on the counter? Thanks!

  58. Pamela says:

    Another year done by… I must request red velvety cake!

  59. Pamelahaley says:

    I tried this recipe today and made cupcakes. It tasted good but, they came out very heavy and more muffin like. Also, I tried Louana pure coconut oil… that stuff tastes of burnt rubber. Back to Trader Joes.

    1. Melissa says:

      How long did you bake the cupcakes for? I wanted to make them tomorrow

  60. Melissa says:

    Could this be made into cupcakes? How long would I bake for if I wanted to do them as cupcakes? My daughters birthday is in 2 days and she wants to have a tea party with cupcakes but my son can’t have sugar. He can have xylitol though, so this looks like a perfect option. Thanks!

  61. Jessica says:

    Hi Katie! I can’t seem to find a way to directly message you, so I’m hoping I can get a hold of you here! :)

    I am on a mission to create a healthy birthday cake like this- but for my daughter’s first birthday!

    This cake is almost what I’m looking for, but I’m hoping to make it even more allergen friendly. As a baby, I had almost any allergy in the book, so we are being very careful when we introduce allergens to our children.

    The kind of cake I’m needing has to be gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, salt-free and refined sugar-free.
    I’m not sure if babies can have stevia/xylitol/etc, but I know they can’t have honey. I was thinking of using a banana for the sweetness instead of sugar.

    It’s kind of a big project to tackle…I know I could come up with something, but something that tastes and looks good… that’s another thing. 😉

    If you’re willing to try and figure out a good “Baby Birthday Cake” version of this recipe (or something different!), I know a lot of mamas out there would love it, and I would happily spread the recipe around when I take her “Smash the Cake” photo shoot with her healthy cake. :)

    Thanks so much Katie! I hope you can help me!

    1. I can put it on my list of things to try :)

  62. I always struggle to stick with my healthy eating plan when birthdays come. It’s definitely very difficult to have a birthday party without cake after all and cake is pretty unhealthy. This recipe however, makes it easy to enjoy the birthday party, cake and all. The ingredients are so much healthier than regular cake and they taste great too. So the kids don’t feel like they’re missing out and the adults don’t have to break their diet.

  63. Rick says:

    Do you think it would be possible to add real strawberry slivers and a small handful of gummy fish to the recipe?

    My (almost) 4 year old has a very specific request for her birthday cake: a strawberry and “goldfish” cake (she loves the Pepperidge Farm goldfish and doesn’t get it but I figure I can creatively accommodate.


  64. Janelle says:

    Hi Katie! That looks awesome! Have you ever thought about making a healthy magic cake? It’s swarming around on pinterest right now- you make one batter and it magically separates into three layers with custard in the middle! You should look it up! :)

    1. I will definitely have to look it up!

  65. nicky says:

    any reason why this should go in oven directly? i wanted to soak the flour for a bit in the liquid first. have just made and out in tins but popping to markets – is it going to fall apart?

  66. koryn kirkpatrick says:

    I dont really see the healthy substitutes. i’m doing a school project on healthier cakes and i think for sugar or fat- applesauce is a healthier substitute instead of artificial sweetners. (which are also bad for you). but i think it would be good for you to try a applesauce and banana substitute for a cake. if you can make that taste good, you know you’re a amazing baker!

  67. Ray says:

    Well yes it makes them hyper, but some are more sensitive than others. My coworker cut the sugar on her two kids and they are like other persons. My boyfriend (27) still gets hyper and stress ed when he had too much sugar, sometimes he’s all figgidy and a tad obnoxious and I can tell he had nothing but sweet snacks the whole day. Sounds exagerated, I know. It’s not. I’m a whole other story. I just get colics. (Sexxy)

  68. Priyanshi says:

    Yummy that recipe is sure the best. I am sure it will win me first prize.
    Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    Love xoxo

  69. Meagan says:

    OK, I just made this cake and the frosting,yesterday, for my son’s 2nd birthday at the grandparent’s house. It was a HUGE hit!!! It was even better because it resembles the type of birthday cake normally eaten here, in Denmark. I’ve never had it,being vegan and it having tons of whipped topping, so I thought it would be fun to make this because of how closely it resembles their traditional cake. They thought it tasted exactly the same. My omni in-laws had 3 servings of it!

    To Lisa, the poster below- I always assumed that sugar makes a kid crazy-I know I always got hyper when I ate a bunch of sugar (or that’s what my parents told me- it could also have been the freedom I felt from being at someone else’s house-my parents were incredibly strict or from the excitement of the party). My son has had sugar on a few occasions,very rarely because I want him to grow up understanding that it is for special times, not all of the time. I keep expecting him to become super hyper as he’s already a very energetic boy, but it doesn’t seem to. He’s even had it right before a nap and slept fine, and now because he crashed from the sugar either. He just doesn’t seem to get hyper at all. Weird,but true. I’m very surprised myself. Who knows, maybe that will change. I’ll be keeping an eye on things,that’s for sure.

  70. Haley says:

    Hi Katie!
    This was perfect…
    I just made this using 1/4 cup sugar and Splenda for the rest, and I used 1.5 cups all-purpose flour and .5 cup white whole wheat flour.
    I made it into a 13×9 pan size cake and it is SO delicious! I never like cake topped with jam, but my homemade raspberry jam on top of this is perfect. Because the cake isnt super sweet, putting frosting on it just overpowered the taste of the cake.
    It does come out a little more dense than a boxed cake (maybe the texture is like cornbread?) but I really like that a lot because it makes you feel fuller quicker! And it’s still very soft and moist.
    I. Am. In. Love. Forever. I might as well marry this cake, because I feel we will be partners for life!!!
    Hoping for a chocolate version of this baby!

  71. Marnie says:

    What sugar alternatives would you suggest? I avoid xylitol, agave and stevia (mainly for the after taste). Would honey or maple syrup be a good alternative?

    1. Erin says:

      Hi Marnie! Did you ever try this cake recipe with honey or maple syrup? I would like to do the same thing.

  72. Rory says:

    Heya ☺️ first of all, tried your white bean blondes last week – OMG

  73. Nikky says:

    I can see the recipe for the cake and the link to the pink frosting but what about the white icing? Is that just your regular icing sugar recipe?

  74. Rachel says:

    i am waiting for this cake to cool to taste-test it, but easy to make. will be topping with lemon frosting (using the “Fat-Free Vanilla Icing” recipe as a base) and LornaDoone cookie crumbs.
    will add more commentary later.

  75. Janessa says:

    I made this recipe just yesterday, and I’m surprised by how good it was! Experimentally, I added 1 1/4 cups of mini dark chocolate chips and it turned out tasting like a giant chocolate chip cookie!
    The middle caved in a little – not sure why – but otherwise it was delicious. :)

  76. Alison says:

    This turned out perfectly the first time I made it (with all purpose flour and vegetable oil) but had a rubbery texture the second time (same flour, grapeseed oil, also Wilton’s gel food coloringfor a multicolored cake).

  77. Jennie greene says:

    Hi Katie!

    Love your recipes! I have not made a cake without eggs before and wondered if I could add eggs to this cake and if so how I would do that? I’m worried it may be a little flat without the eggs??? This is the one my daughter picked out for her birthday! Can’t wait to try it :)

  78. Trilby Bias says:

    Do you think whole-wheat pastry flour would work instead of spelt flour or all-purpose flour?

    1. Trilby Bias says:

      I used whole-wheat pastry flour and am absolutely in awe! Katie, you are a genius! This recipe is fabulous! It’s even more moist than a box cake! I’m shocked at how good it is! I made it instead of buying shortcake for strawberry shortcake and my family was loving it! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  79. Clement says:

    Sweet bt vry dangerous

  80. JENNIFER says:

    Katie, what would the nutrition facts be without the frosting or filling?
    A friend of mine is on Weight Watchers and she said 5 is too much. My daughter made this cake into cupcakes and my friend could take the frosting off if that would lower the points from 5.

    Thank you

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      That’s for a double-layer cake. Do just a normal single layer cake and it is only 2 points per slice!

  81. Victoria Fielding says:

    Just wanted to say this is my GO-TO cake/cupcake recipe. It is perfect and so versatile when you consider all the different toppings, frostings, and add-ins you can use. I Every time I bring it to a party, at least one person asks for the recipe. Thank you for posting this!

  82. Sarah says:

    Hi! I will be trying out this cake recipe in Denver, which has a high altitude (5,000+ ft). Should I make any modifications to the recipe, with that in mind? Thanks

  83. Rose says:

    I was asked to make a healthy birthday cake. This recipe looks like just what I need. But help me out with a healthy frosting which seems like an oxymoron. tia

  84. joyce says:

    Hi Katie, ur cake looks fabulous. I tried but not sure what went wrong. Mine turned out firm and springy rather than fluffly. The changes I’ve made are using a 8″square pan, cos I don’t have 2 round 8″. Also I used less sugar cos I like it less sweet, used 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup coconut sugar. I baked for almost 35 min until almost no crumbs came out fr the skewer stick. Any idea what I’m doing wrong? Mayb i baked it for too long? I’m really scared to undercooked as end up with a sticky texture. Thanks!

    1. joyce says:

      Btw, it does taste sweet enough for me though I cut away 1/4 cup of sugar. Sugar has a strange effect on me, it makes me cranky. Plus I’m baking for someone with diabetes, hence I want to reduce sugar as much as possible, without compromising on the texture.

    2. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      You made changes to the recipe (big changes) and therefore how can you blame the recipe for a negative turnout when you did not follow the recipe directions?

      My advice would be to read Katie’s FAQ page at the top of the blog. And when you make a recipe, it is always a good idea to make it exactly as written at least the first time you try it. After you see how it is supposed to turn out, then you can experiment with a recipe.

      1. joyce says:

        thanks Unofficial CCK helper. being inexperienced, I didn’t realise the cut in sugar is a huge change. but certainly no offense meant and no doubt that this is a good recipe. I should have tried the other recipes available with lower sugar than this to meet my dietary requirements rather than altering the sugar. and so blur of me, just realise that if I were to make 1 layer, should use 13×9.

        1. JuliaB says:

          Baking is a bit different than just cooking. There are chemical reactions between the ingredients, and sugar and fat do provide some of the fluff and texture of the cake. In a recipe that doesn’t use eggs, like this one, it is important to follow the recipe as-is. If a person with special diet needs can’t eat a full-size piece maybe that’s the compromise for the cake turning out correctly.

  85. Emma says:

    Love your site – the recipes are so easy, they’re great when you just want something yummy but whipped up in less than an hour!
    Ive a question though and its regarding mannnnnnnny of your recipes – why do you always call for one tablespoon of vinegar? i understand that you might call for it in recipes that contain baking soda – but even the ones wher eyou only use baking powder, you still use vinegar? what base does the acid ie. vinegar react with? because the baking soda in the baking powder is reacting with the acid already in the baking powder (so the acid/base reaction that occurs with the baking powder is all used up – theres nothing left for the vinegar to react with!)
    Im all confused! :(:(

  86. Lucy says:

    Would this work if I did it all in one tin instead of double layer? And if it would, how much longer would it take! Thank you! Looking forward to making this with white spelt flour, xylitol and “better than peanut butter” to frost. (btw how much frosting would i need? One recipe? More, less?)

  87. Cassie says:

    I don’t get sugar highs. I get sugar LOWS :( bummer, right?

  88. Alexas C. says:

    I was looking at your chocolate/cauliflower cake and this for my son’s birthday in the next few days. I really prefer this recipe better, but he wants chocolate. Any suggestions?? I also plan on using your strawberry frosting recipe (which works GREAT, since he wanted pink!), but wasn’t sure how much to make for a cake since the recipe is just for the shots!

    SO glad I found your blog by the way, and thanks for creating it!

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      Try either the 100 calorie chocolate cake recipe or the Chocolate Obsession Cake in Katie’s cookbook, which is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. If you have the book, I highly recommend it!!

  89. sheba says:

    Hi love the look of this! But since I am not vegan I don’t mind the addition of eggs would that work in this recipe? And how much egg should I put in? I just like the softness of cakes with egg

  90. Katie says:

    This looks AMAZING. Just one question: do you use liquid or powdered stevia?

  91. Wayne says:

    While kids may get a short spike in energy from sugar I believe that dyes and replacement sugars are the true culprit. Eat real organic sugar, in moderation of course.

  92. Nancy Paul says:

    Waw.. So cute cake. I really like it. Looks very yummy. I ma going to try this .

  93. Gabby says:

    I actually read an article about how sugar has the OPPOSITE effect, even though they only tested on mice so far ( Weird, huh?