How to make healthy choices every day

Pound for Pound

My stepmother is a wonderful woman and I have always admired her desire to try new things and challenge herself. So when she decided to create her own recipe for a lemon raspberry pound cake, I was very impressed, since she doesn’t often bake without a little help from her friend Betty Crocker. The cake wasn’t the prettiest sight and totally inedible, but it was merely her lack of experimenting experience that turned her lemon raspberry pound cake, into a lemon raspberry puddle.

Baking, unfortunately, is not like cooking. It’s a fine science, and recipe alteration takes some experience. I decided that for mother’s day, I would show my step mom how to alter a good recipe in a healthy way without running into too many problems. The cake turned out really well – and even my dad, the king of sugar and preservatives, liked it.

It’s relatively easy to make your favorite recipes into healthy ones simply by adding, subtracting, or modifying a few ingredients. You can take a modest pound cake full of empty calories and turn it into a fiber-rich, low-fat, flavorful party-in-your-mouth without anyone even noticing! Just follow these simple steps and you’re on your way to healthier heaven.

Fat: For baked goods, use half the butter, shortening or oil and replace the other half with unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana or prune puree.

Sugar: Reduce the amount of sugar by one-third to one-half. When you use less sugar, add spices such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg or flavorings such as vanilla extract or almond flavoring to enhance the sweetness of the food.

Sodium: Reduce salt by one-half in baked goods that don’t require yeast. For foods that require yeast, don’t reduce the amount of salt, which is necessary for leavening. Without salt, the foods may become dense and flat. For most main dishes, salads, soups and other foods, however, you can reduce the salt by one-half or eliminate it completely.

: Substitute white flour for a whole grain flour such as spelt, kamut, barley, oat, or whole wheat. Or, just use half the white flour and half whole grain; you’ll still be doing yourself a big favor! When possible, add extra fruits and vegetables to your recipe and include the peel when appropriate.

Eggs: This helps for vegan baking! Replace 1 egg in baking with 1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp water. It will bind ingredients just as well and provide a boost of fiber.

Lemon Raspberry Pound Cake

2 ¼ cups spelt, kamut, or whole grain whole-wheat flour (replaced 2 ¼ cups white cake flour)
1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. unsalted organic butter at room temperature
2 Tbsp. applesauce (replaced 2 Tbsp. butter)
½ cup organic raw cane sugar or Sucanat (replaced 1 cup white sugar)
1 Tbsp. ground flax seed mixed with 3 Tbsp. water (replaced 1 large egg)
2 egg whites
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (increased 1 tsp. vanilla to enhance sweetness)
1 cup organic vanilla yogurt
1 ½ cups raspberries frozen; keep frozen until ready to use (increased fruit by ½ cup)
Finely grated zest of 1 organic lemon

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
(I added this glaze because I reduced the sugar by half in the modified recipe and thought that the cake would taste better with a real sweetness on the top. It worked!)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 6 cup loaf pan with butter or light flavored oil. Sift together four, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large bowl beat butter until creamy; gradually beat in sugar, about 2-3 minutes until mixture is light in colour. Gradually beat in egg, egg whites, extract and lemon peel. Beat in flour mixture and yogurt, alternating each, beginning and ending with flour mixture; fold in frozen raspberries. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a wooden toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean (time will vary depending on your oven. My cake baked for 1 hour and 20 minutes, but check yours after 45 minutes). Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Slide a thin knife around the edges of cake to loosen, invert pan onto cooling rack. Make glaze by whisking maple syrup and lemon juice together. While still slightly warm, perforate top of cake with a fork and carefully spoon on the glaze. Cool completely. Slice and serve.

Copyright 2012 My New Roots at

11 thoughts on “Pound for Pound”

  • Hi,
    Can this be made in a springform pan? We’re having a joint fourth birthday party with my daughters two close friends and the other two cakes will be round. I’d love to make this but have heard before somewhere that loaf cakes shouldn’t be put in other tins……any truth to that?
    Thanks 🙂

    • Hello Emma,

      Yes, it should be fine, but keep in mind it will be much flatter than in the loaf pan. If you’re making two cakes, make sure to double the recipe. I hope it works out for you!

      All the best,
      Sarah B

  • Hi Sarah,
    First of all love the recipe (among a lot of others on your site and in your book :))!
    I made it, but the raspberries have all gone to the bottom of the cake. It still tastes delicious, but it stayed kind of wet on the bottom because of all the raspberries sinking down 😉 Would you know why that happens? I thought maybe the raspberries have been defrosted in the store for example and that could be the reason… Any suggestions are welcome 🙂

    Really really grateful for all you share!!

  • This looks sooooo good! I just popped mine in the oven……I more or less had to ‘dump’ mine into the pan…no pouring. Followed all instructions except the frozen raspberries, mine were fresh… the batter supposed to be that dry, or thick? Hope it turns out!

  • I just made two of these loaves! Fresh blueberries and plain greek yoghurt were used instead of the frozen raspberries and vanilla yogurt. It tastes fabulous! Thank you for this stellar recipe.

  • Hello Sarah! This looks delicious and I MUST try it immediately 🙂 My question- Can I replace the sugar with maple/agave syrup? What quantity of it should I add, if so?

    Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge, it enriches my food everyday!

    • Hi Sarmishta – the only thing I can recommend is coconut sugar. It’s difficult for me to guess how to replace the solid sweetener with a liquid without experimenting it first…give the coconut sugar a try 🙂

      Best, Sarah B

  • Plain yogurt also makes a very good replacement for oil in quick breads: it produces a non-greasy texture and doesn’t add sugar like applesauce or banana does. Not good for vegans though.

  • Hey Aususacan,

    Your instincts were right – add the applesauce with the rest of the wet ingredients.
    Hope it tasted great! Let me know…

    Be well, Sarah B

  • Just made this and it looks amazing. At what point do you add the apple sauce? I just put it in with the other wet ingredients. Hope it works out! Onto the icing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *