Healthy Baking

With the success of the Great British Bake-Off, a huge rekindling of baking skills is happening.  I come from families of cake bakers on both sides. My grandmother’s shortbread was absolutely delicious and we ate at least 2 or 3 different cakes for tea each day!   However for health-concious and weight-concious people, eating cakes is not usually on their agenda and eating sugary cakes is a fast route to blood sugar problems, diabetes and heart disease. But there are such things as healthy cakes!  Eggs, wholemeal flour and even butter have healthy properties with good levels of vitamins and minerals. If you replace the sugar with dried fruit and/or bananas, cakes can have good antioxidant levels too.  Adding in nuts adds more protein and flavour. Here is a good basic cake made without sugar – and very easily made too!

Basic Healthy Sponge Cake


8 oz dates

6 oz butter or equivalent of oil such as groundnut oil or light olive oil or coconut oil.

4 oz ground almonds

2 or 3 mashed bananas

2 eggs

6 oz wholemeal flour or wheat free flour

1 teaspoon baking powder


Cook the dates in a small saucepan with sufficient water to cover them. Simmer gently, do not boil or they will burn. When cooked and mushy, add the butter/oil and mix well. Mash in the bananas using a potato masher. Allow to cool slightly.

Add the almonds and the beaten eggs. Mix well.

Add the flour and baking powder and mix briefly and gently.

Turn the mixture out into a loaf tin or cake tin which has been greased and lined. Cook in a moderate oven, gas mark 3 or 4 for about 40 minutes or until done.

Easy and delicious!

About Helen Cranston

Helen's primary work takes her to Sinai, Egypt as Project Manager for the Makhad Trust. She continues to work as a Nutritonal Therapist on an occasional basis and has over 20 years experience.
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