Healthy Whole Wheat Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes recipe (low fat, low sugar, high protein) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

As a kid, I absolutely adored pound cake — dense, moist and buttery rich pound cake.  I mean, c’mon, what’s not to love?

But as I grew older, I found plenty of things to not love of my beloved pound cakes.  For starters, the astronomical fat and calorie content!  Despite that though, I still caved in at bakeries and the line at Starbucks for the perfectly displayed slices, knowing full well that I’d endure a sugar-rush and sugar-crash shortly after.

Healthy Whole Wheat Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes recipe (low fat, low sugar, high protein) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

I always knew pound cake had sugar in it, and yeah, they were a little fatty, but they were treats!  It was only when I discovered the real nutrition facts that I stopped purchasing the cakes.

Since everyone has heard of Starbucks, I thought I would share the nutrition facts of their Iced Lemon Pound Cake.  One slice has 490 calories, 23g of fat (13g saturated) and 46g of sugar.  No fiber, and only a tiny speck of protein [source].

After that, I found it hard to love something so bad for me.

Healthy Whole Wheat Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes recipe (low fat, low sugar, high protein) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

^^ See the pretty vanilla bean speckles?

So I made my own pound cake — Healthy Whole Wheat Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes (slightly adapted from this one).  I removed the extracts, added in vanilla paste and changed up a few ingredients for the ultimate pound cake — moist, decadent, and spewing vanilla essence.

With a soft texture and tender crumb, this cake is absolutely perfect!  Not unbearably sweet so that your teeth will ache later, but just enough to satisfy your cravings.  The focus of this cake is the warming, comforting vanilla flavor backed up with nutritional support  😉

These aren’t made with the typical “pound” of butter, “pound” of sugar, and “pound” of bleached, processed flour.  These Healthy Whole Wheat Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes are made with whole wheat pastry flour, a small amount of sugar, and a few protein sources to keep you fuller for longer.

Healthy Whole Wheat Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes recipe (low fat, low sugar, high protein) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

Healthy Whole Wheat Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes (low fat, low sugar, high protein)

Yield: 2 mini pound cakes

Healthy Whole Wheat Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes (low fat, low sugar, high protein)


    Pound Cakes:
  • 240g (2 cups) Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 48g (1/4 cup) Granulated Erythritol (or dry sweetener of choice)
  • 32g (1/4 cup) Arrowroot Starch
  • 30g (1/4 cup + 2 tbs) Whey Protein Concentrate
  • 1+1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 185g (3/4 cup) Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 182g (2/5 package) Lite Firm Tofu (drained and press the excess liquid out)
  • 112g (1/2 cup) Plain, Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 42g (2 tbs) Agave, Honey or Pure Maple Syrup
  • 28g (2 tbs) Grapeseed Oil (or any other neutral oil)
  • 2 tbs Vanilla Paste (you can use homemade!)
  • 2 tsp Stevia Extract
  • 1 tsp Butter Flavor
  • 3/4 tsp White Vinegar
  • Glaze:*
  • 1/3 cup Agave Nectar, Honey or Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbs Vanilla Paste


    For the Cake:
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle of the oven, and preheat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray two mini loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, erythritol, arrowroot starch, whey protein, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large blender, add all the applesauce, tofu, Greek yogurt, agave/honey/maple syrup, oil, vanilla paste, stevia extract and butter flavor. Puree until completely liquified. Pour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the vinegar.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet by gently folding with a rubber spatula.
  5. Scoop batter into prepared loaf pans and flatten the surface with the spatula. Bake for ~33 minutes at 325 degrees, then reduce temperature to 275 and bake for ~10 minutes. When the surface of the cakes spring back when tapped and surface has browned slightly, they are ready. Remove from oven and let cool inside the loaf pans for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the cakes from the pans, place on a plate, cover and refrigerate overnight (you can eat it fresh too, I just baked it at midnight and didn't want to eat the whole cake a slice of cake right before bed). Slice cake when completely cooled.
  7. For the Glaze:
  8. Stir together the ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle a bit over each slice before serving.


*If not making glaze, increase stevia extract to 1 tablespoon and vanilla paste to 3 tablespoons. Another topping option is this amaaazing white icing, just add 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste for more vanilla flavor!

This recipe is: low fat, low sugar, high fiber, high protein and eggless!

Healthy Whole Wheat Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes recipe (low fat, low sugar, high protein) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

Here is the nutrition label (does not include glaze):

Healthy Dessert Blog

OH.  my.  GOSH.

120 calories for a slice of pound cake?!  2.5g of fat for buttery moist decadence?!

Um, feel free to take two (or even three) slices.  This pound cake is also a great breakfast option, just omit the glaze and top with a dollop of nonfat greek yogurt, some chopped strawberries and a drizzle of agave.

Healthy Whole Wheat Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes recipe (low fat, low sugar, high protein) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

Why have cereal when you can have cake?

Labels: Agave, Applesauce, Cakes-and-Cupcakes, Eggless, Erythritol, High-Fiber, High-Protein, Icings-Frostings-and-Spreads, Low-Fat, Low-Sugar, Nutrition-Label, Tofu, Whey-Protein-Concentrate, Whole-Wheat, Yogurt

Comments (18)

  1. Tina Bk: June 1, 2012

    Modifying a pound cake to get it down to something more healthy with a minimal amount of fat and sugar can be rather difficult. Kudos to you for all the effort here. Your cake does look delicious-enough so all the fat and calories will not be missed. Happy Friday!

  2. Anonymous: June 2, 2012

    Wow I can see how moist this is from the pictures! Yum!

  3. Anonymous: June 2, 2012

    I just bought some vanilla paste. Now I know what to do with it! Thank you, Thank you!

    P.S – I got my Madagascar Vanilla paste from:

    This recipe looks Divine!

  4. Basil: June 3, 2012

    I’m with you – pound cake is so good, but so bad for you! I am FOR SURE going to make this soon… Question, though: I’m vegan, and need to sub something for the whey. What do you recommend? Or should I just omit it?

  5. I haven’t made this without the whey so I’m not sure of the best way to sub it, all I know is that you shouldn’t omit it. I find that the whey makes a firmer/dryer cake, so that’s why a lot of applesauce/moistening ingredients are needed. To substitute, I would try adding 2 more tablespoons of arrowroot starch, 2 more tablespoons of whole wheat pastry flour, and 2 more tablespoons of erythritol. For the greek yogurt, you can use vegan greek yogurt (I’ve seen them at whole foods, I think it’s made from soy or coconut)… I hope this works! Please let me know if it does :)

  6. Barbara: June 22, 2012

    I’ve read that sugar substitutes such as Splenda have about 100 calories/cup. Have you included that in your nutritional analysis?

  7. I use erythritol, which has the least calories in comparison to xylitol, splenda (which contains dextrose), and other sugar substitutes, at 12 calories per 1/4 cup. I included the 12 calories and 3g of carbohydrates to the nutritional analysis.

  8. Emil Latiker: February 20, 2013

    I simply want to say I am all new to blogs and seriously savored your website. Most likely I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You actually have beneficial stories. Kudos for revealing your web page.

  9. sha_lalala: March 22, 2013

    Do you have any substitutes for the whey protein powder? I don’t have it :/

  10. dessertswithbenefits: March 23, 2013

    I’m sorry, I’m not sure if there is a good substitute. The protein powder provides structure and texture to the cakes :/

  11. Javi: February 19, 2014

    Just to let you know that I did this cake and it came out wonderful!!. For the first time in my life I’ve been able to come up with a low-fat cake that is spongy, moist and made of whole wheat flour.

    I used brown rice flour instead of arrowroot starch (same amount) and used cake flour + fine oat bran to mimic the whole wheat pastry flour (we cannot find WW pastry flour).

    Thanks A LOT for revealing the magic!!!!!
    Next time, I’ll try to play with this recipe so that I can avoid agave and yogurt (so that the ingredient list is shorter and cheaper)

    Have a greaaat day!


  12. dessertswithbenefits: February 19, 2014

    YAY I’m so glad those substitutions worked out for you! Good idea with the brown rice flour, I’ll have to try that next time :)
    I’m not sure I know of a good substitution for the yogurt, but the agave can be replaced with honey, pure maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or possibly even more yogurt.
    Thanks and I hope you have a great day as well! :)

  13. Lili: April 7, 2014

    I only have one large loaf pan instead of two mini ones. How do you think should I increase the cooking time? Thanks!

  14. dessertswithbenefits: April 7, 2014

    Hmmm, I haven’t tried it but I think the baking time should be around 40 minutes. When the surface of the cake springs back when tapped, it should be done! Hope you like the cake :)

  15. Lili: April 13, 2014

    Thanks! I just made it today, I used the large loaf pan for 40 minutes and it tastes so delicious! 😀

  16. dessertswithbenefits: April 13, 2014

    YAY I’m so happy you like the cake!! I’m glad the larger loaf pan worked out okay :)

  17. Jules: May 16, 2014

    What does arrowroot starch do when incorporated in this recipe?

  18. dessertswithbenefits: May 16, 2014

    Well, you know how cake flour is really good for cakes rather than regular all purpose flour? It’s actually because of the added starch! The starch helps provide the cake with some lift, a soft texture and a moist crumb.
    However, cake flour is really processed and bleached so I used a mixture of whole wheat pastry flour and starch :)

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