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Monday, September 28, 2009

BB: Birthday Sheet Cake

This month, we had two cake recipes for Barefoot Bloggers. I was happy to make Beatty's Chocolate cake and share it with friends, but I didn't have an occasion for the other recipe, Birthday Sheet cake. I decided to take the recipe and try to make a clean version. It was quite a challenge, as I had to switch out butter, flour, eggs, and sugar - all the things that make cake great! Armed with knowledge I've picked up from reading Clean Eating Magazine, I set out to twist this recipe and make some clean cupcakes. (I should note that I have no idea if cornstarch is clean or not, but I kept that ingredient in the recipe).

In my first attempt, I used whole wheat pastry flour to replace the white flour, and sucanat to replace the sugar. The results were delicious, but nowhere near a white cake. The sucanat is closed to brown sugar than white, so it imparted a nice molasses flavor to the cake. I think my baking soda was a little old, causing a failure to rise properly. I blended some cream cheese, agave nectar, and lemon zest together for an impromptu frosting and it was fantastic! The recipe ended up being a start to a great carrot or apple spice cake - so I can't wait to experiment further!

For my second attempt, I set out to try and correct the recipe by switching to spelt flour and agave nectar for a lighter flavor. I got a little confusing in the grocery store, since it was my first time buying spelt flour. I got what was labeled as spelt flour, and probably should have gotten white spelt flour. The regular spelt flour looks a lot like the whole wheat pastry flour, but I was trying to go for something lighter than that. Maybe next time I'll get the white spelt flour and see how the cupcakes turn out then! Using agave nectar has it's own complications, since it's a liquid about the consistency of thin honey. To compensate, I needed to increase the amount of dry ingredients by I'm-not-sure-how-much. Luckily, my first attempt at making cupcakes with agave nectar turned out great! Armed with new baking soda, my cupcakes had gorgeous high domes. I tried a few different levels of batter in the muffin tin, and ultimately preferred the ones that were 2/3 full. Like others that made the original recipe, these are very dense cupcakes.

I wasn't sure what kind of frosting to make for these. My original vision was to use a chocolate cream cheese frosting that I'd seen in Clean Eating Magazine, but in tasting the cupcakes, that just didn't seem right. Then I tried a peanut butter cream cheese, but that wasn't right either. I ended up using the same simple frosting I'd made for the first batch of cupcakes, and it was a perfect, light complement to the dense cake.

If you aren't as crazy as I am, and want a normal sheet cake, see the recipe here, and see how the other Barefoot Bloggers fared with the recipe, here. Otherwise....

Makes 12 cupcakes
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 2 ounces greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup spelt flour
  • 1 3/4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1. Add oil, agave nectar, egg white, flaxseed, yogurt, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, salt and baking soda. Whisk to combine.
3. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, combine thoroughly.
4. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Fill liners 2/3 full with cupcake batter. Bake at 350 for 18-24 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool a few minutes in the pan, then remove and cool on a wire rack before frosting.

Simple Cream Cheese Icing
  • 8 ounces low fat cream cheese, softened
  • 8 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat until smooth. Spread on cooled cupcakes.

Nutritional Information:
(Per cupcake, assumes 1 batch of frosting spread equally between 12 cupcakes)
Calories: 220
Fat: 7.1 g
Sat Fat: 3.1 g
Cholesterol: 13.6 mg
Sodium: 183 mg
Potassium: 83 mg
Carbohydrate: 34.4 g
Fiber: 3.3 g
Sugar: 20 g
Protein: 4.8 g


Shari 3 boys said...

do u know the calorie count in these?
love your blog by the way!!!!

TPOX said...

Shari - I don't, but it will be easy to calculate. I'll try to get this post updated tonight with that information! Thanks!

Jessica said...

I am looking forward to trying this for my birthday coming up in 2 weeks!! (ShesGotAWay from the Nest)

Jessica said...

I got around to making these for my birthday with the white spelt flour. They were phenomenal! :-) We didn't frost them because neither I nor my mom had cream cheese for when I made them at her house!

Chelsea said...

Can you sub applesauce for the oil? Great blog by the way!!

TPOX said...

Yes, I think you could sub applesauce for the oil (1:1), although I haven't tried it!

Rachel Page said...

I just made it this morning and posted about it! Great cake and frosting, thanks so much for sharing