In the world of dieting, cheaters never prosper, except when they’re cheating with low fat cakes. Most cakes are a health nightmare, packed with sugar, calories, and of course, fat in the form of butter or oil. Fortunately, there are low fat options such as angel food or sponge cakes as well as fat-trimmed versions of carrot and spice cakes or other teatime favorites.
Angel food cake really does seem to be what angels eat, at least those who are on a diet and resisting more sinful distractions. There is only 0.8% fat in angel food cake, which goes a long way in pulling down the calorie count as well. Given that this otherwise heavenly treat contains a lot of carbs, though, it’s best for those watching their fat intakes to limit themselves to a slice once in a while.
A lot of beaten egg whites give angel food cake its wings. Cake flour, sugar, or another sweetener and a little cream of tartar are the only other ingredients in the classic recipe, plus a few drops of vanilla extract. There are many fruity variations on the theme, however, so no one will ever get bored.
Adding some diced, fresh peaches to the batter makes a sweet treat. Pineapple, strawberries, or raspberries, either individually or in combination, are also options. Some cooks indulge a sweet tooth a tad by adding chocolate to the batter. For those determined to avoid fat, another way to create rich-tasting low fat cakes is by using pure extracts such as coconut or almond.
A list of low fat cakes wouldn’t be complete without mention of a low fat sponge cake. Sponge cakes are related to their very fattening cousins, pound cakes, so named because some recipes call for an entire pound of butter. A lighter treat made from eggs, a little flour, and corn starch plus baking powder and, of course, sugar or other sweetener will hit the spot. Neither sponge nor angel food low fat cakes require frosting. A few berries or some sliced fruit is usually all it takes to taste completely satisfying. For those who crave a creamy little something, a dollop of Greek nonfat yogurt along with the fruit should make these low fat cakes sing a happy tune.
One clever way to trim fat out of recipes is by replacing some of it with unsweetened applesauce. The applesauce does double-time by adding a little sweetness and nutrition while helping the cake stay moist. This little trick works with all types of homemade low fat cakes.