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?
Have a piece of cake!
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?)
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.)
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.
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