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Reduce the fat by adding fruit to your cake mix instead of butter.
Cake is an indulgent dessert food that might be off limits if you're watching your weight, however, it can be part of your balanced diet, occasionally, if you use the right, low-fat ingredients. Bake a cake with low-fat alternatives to butter, shortening and eggs without sacrificing the flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture. Healthy ingredient substitutes can help you reduce the fat and cut down on the overall calories.
Eggs are a standard ingredient in traditional cakes and many recipes call for three or four whole eggs. Harvard Medical School notes that one large whole egg contains about 72 calories and 4.7 grams of fat. If you make a cake with egg whites only, you can reduce the fat to only 0.06 grams and 17 calories per egg. Alternatively, make your cakes with egg substitutes such as apple cider vinegar mixed with baking soda, buttermilk, fruit purees, egg-replacement powders or tofu.
Butter and Shortening
To make a low-fat and low-calorie cake mix, replace some of the butter or shortening in a recipe. Substitute half of the butter required in a cake mix with plain fat-free yogurt. Just a half cup of butter contains 92 grams of fat and 814 calories. You can also replace vegetable oil shortening such as olive or canola oil with the same quantity of fat-free sour cream or fat-free plain yogurt.
Fruit purees such as applesauce or blended plums or berries can be used to replace much of the butter and shortening in a cake. Make your own unsweetened applesauce by cooking chopped apples in a small amount of water until they form a mashed paste. Or blend raw pitted plums or berries in a food processor to make a fruit puree. Using fruit purees in a cake also adds flavor and sweetness, so you will need to add less sugar. You may also need less water as the fruit adds moisture to your cake mix.
A regular store-bought cake mix typically contains high amounts of sugar and fat. According to the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory, just 1 cup of sugar contains a whopping 774 calories. You can reduce the calories by substituting some or all of the added sugar with unsweetened fruit purees, mashed bananas, powdered nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla or natural sweeteners such as the herb stevia. The American Diabetes Association recommends using stevia as a natural sweetener because it is FDA approved and does not contain any calories. It is safe to use as a sugar substitute, however, some varieties may not be ideal for baking. Check the manufacturer's site to find the best type for your cake mix.