Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Cake

Get ready for Spring with this Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Cake!  It’s so moist and filling, it’s light and refreshing from the lemon, and it isn’t tooth-achingly sweet.  This cake could work as both a dessert treat and a balanced breakfast.  Yes, I’m serious.  This cake doesn’t have any added sugar, it’s 100% whole grain, and has a healthy dose of protein, fiber, and healthy fats too!

I recently bought a new loaf pan because my old ones started to rust, so obviously I had to christen it with a dessert of some kind.  I went to the grocery store to get some inspiration of what I could bake in it.  The baking aisle seems to lure me in.  I just love looking at all the different flours, extracts, utensils, and bakeware!  I walked towards the baking mixes…

Banana Bread?  Been there.

Pound Cake?  Done that.

I found myself picking up a Lemon Poppyseed Muffin baking mix.  Yeah, I’ll bake that!  And from scratch too because almost all baking mixes are completely horrendous and made with garbage ingredients.  No, Betty Crocker, your mixes no longer appeal to me when you stuff ’em full of crap!  Guys, just look at their ingredients (unhealthy ingredients in bold):

Sugar, Bleached Flour, Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean/Cottonseed Oil, Modified Corn Starch, Poppy Seed, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Water, Salt, Corn Starch, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Distilled Monoglycerides, Maltodextrin, Agar-Agar, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Cellulose Gum, Yellow Dye 5 & 6, Potassium Sorbate and Alpha Tocopherol (preservatives)

*gags*

This Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Cake doesn't taste healthy in the slightest! It's sweet, it's moist, it's springy and fluffy -- everything a cake should be. The only difference is that this recipe is sugar free, low fat, high protein, and 100% whole grain! Healthy Dessert Recipes with sugar free, low calorie, low fat, low carb, high protein, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and raw options at the Desserts With Benefits Blog (www.DessertsWithBenefits.com)

This Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Cake is soft, dense, and moist, but also light and fluffy.  It’s perfectly sweet with a bold and bright lemon flavor.  Every bite of this cake is delicious and enjoyable to eat.  All my taste testers loved it!

This Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Cake doesn't taste healthy in the slightest! It's sweet, it's moist, it's springy and fluffy -- everything a cake should be. The only difference is that this recipe is sugar free, low fat, high protein, and 100% whole grain! Healthy Dessert Recipes with sugar free, low calorie, low fat, low carb, high protein, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and raw options at the Desserts With Benefits Blog (www.DessertsWithBenefits.com)

8x4" loaf

Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Fat per serving: 9

Calories per serving: 180

Ingredients:

  • 120g (1 cup) Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 64g (⅓ cup) Granulated Erythritol
  • 34g (6 tbs) Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
  • 1 tbs Poppyseeds
  • 1 tsp Double-Acting Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp Baking Soda
  • ⅛ tsp Salt
  • 246g (1 cup) Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 57g (¼ cup) Plain, Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 42g (3 tbs) Avocado Oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 5 tsp Lemon Zest
  • 2 tsp Stevia Extract
  • 2 tsp Natural Butter Flavor
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray an 8×4″ loaf pan with cooking spray and line one way with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, erythritol, protein powder, poppyseeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, yogurt, eggs, and oil.  When smooth, whisk in the lemon zest, stevia extract, butter flavor, and vanilla extract.
  4. Dump the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and whisk together JUST until everything is incorporated.
  5. Transfer batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for ~40 minutes, or until the surface of the cake springs back when tapped.  Let cool slightly in the pan, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  Slice and serve!

Notes:

To store, cover and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

All images and text ©.

**The recipe above is the new and improved recipe.  The old version was just as delicious, but I feel like I used an unnecessary amount of ingredients (aka it was annoying to make) and I wanted to make a sugar-free version.  In case you wanted to try the old version instead, I’m providing it here:

Cake:
  • 480g (4 cups) Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 120g (1½ cups) Whey Protein Concentrate
  • 96g (½ cup) Sucanat (or dry sweetener of choice)
  • ¼ cup Poppyseeds
  • 1 tbs Double-Acting Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 21g (3 tbs) Egg Replacer Powder + ½ cup Water
  • 738g (3 cups) Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 225g (1 cup) Plain, Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 84g (¼ cup) Honey
  • 56g (¼ cup) Grapeseed Oil (or any other neutral oil)
  • 5 tsp Stevia Extract
  • 4 tsp Lemon Flavor
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp Natural Butter Flavor
White Icing:
  • 147g (7 tbs) Honey
  • 52g (6 tbs) Dried Nonfat Milk
For the Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a bundt pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, protein powder, sucanat, poppyseeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg replacer and water. Whisk in the applesauce, yogurt, honey, oil, stevia extract, lemon flavor, vanilla extract, and butter flavor.
  4. Dump the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and fold together (do not overmix). Pour batter into the bundt pan and bake for ~1 hour + 20-30 minutes, or until the surface of the cake is firm when tapped.
  5. Flip the pan onto a wire cooling rack, leaving the pan over the cake for ~10 minutes. Carefully remove the pan and let cool completely.
For the Icing:
  1. In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, microwave the honey for 10-15 seconds, or until warm.
  2. Stir in the dried milk.  It will look like there is not enough honey, but just be patient, it will mix in. It will also be super thick so flex those muscles!
  3. Let the icing cool, then spoon over the cake!  If you don’t use all the icing, place in the fridge and use for any other dessert topping 🙂
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Here is the (updated) recipe’s nutrition label:

This Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Cake doesn't taste healthy in the slightest! It's sweet, it's moist, it's springy and fluffy -- everything a cake should be. The only difference is that this recipe is sugar free, low fat, high protein, and 100% whole grain! Healthy Dessert Recipes with sugar free, low calorie, low fat, low carb, high protein, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and raw options at the Desserts With Benefits Blog (www.DessertsWithBenefits.com)

Oh yes!  This Lemon Poppyseed Cake has just 180 calories per slice!  Plus, 8g of protein, 3g of fiber, and zero added sugar.

As a comparison, a slice of Starbuck’s lemon pound cake has 470 calories, 20g fat, only 1g of fiber, and a whopping 42g of sugar…  eek…

This Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Cake doesn't taste healthy in the slightest! It's sweet, it's moist, it's springy and fluffy -- everything a cake should be. The only difference is that this recipe is sugar free, low fat, high protein, and 100% whole grain! Healthy Dessert Recipes with sugar free, low calorie, low fat, low carb, high protein, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and raw options at the Desserts With Benefits Blog (www.DessertsWithBenefits.com)

This Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Cake is pure deliciousness!  Enjoy  🙂

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With love and good eats,

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– Jess

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23 comments on “Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Cake”

  1. Thanks for the recipe and the beautiful pictures!!! I love lemon poppy seed cake especially with icing because its super delicious! You should try out another recipe that I found on http://www.fourgreensteps.com/community/recipes/dessertsagoodies/lemon-poppy-seed-cakes , a bit different but same cake.

  2. Thanks!

  3. Oh my goodness… This looks incredible. I don’t have honey or brown rice syrup, do you think it would be possible to sub light agave in the icing?

    Nom!

  4. Hey Jessica! I was wondering if you have some more recipes for homemade icings. I made a few different kinds today using plain Greek yogurt and truvia, but they were slightly tart. I think next time, I’ll try using vanilla Greek yogurt and straining it overnight to drain some of the excess liquid. Also, I got this crazy idea to make homemade whipped cream out of almond milk and truvia, but I’m not sure it can be done…do you have any insight on that? I know that you typically use heavy whipping cream, but I wonder if you can get the same effect by making a thick version of homemade almond milk and whipping that with the truvia.

    • Toni-
      I haven’t had much success in recreating certain toppings (like buttercream), but you can check out my glazes, frostings, etc at my Recipes tab at the top of the page under the header, or here: http://chockohlawtay.blogspot.com/p/recipes.html

      As for the whipped cream, the almond milk may work if you whip it long enough. I have bookmarked a whipped cream recipe made out of evaporated milk for the longest time but have never got around to trying it out. You can check out the recipe here and see if almond milk would work:
      http://www.meals.com/Recipes/Whipped-Carnation-Evaporated-Milk-Topping.aspx?recipeid=28647

    • In MY experience, no go on the whipped cream made from almond milk, even with one of those CO2 aerator thingies. There just isn’t enough fat to make it work. Cow-less whipped toppings can be made from coconut milk (the full-fat kind in the cans), raw cashews pureed with water and sweetener which is creamy but not fluffy, or tofu ditto with some other stuff like oil and agar added. Google “non-dairy whipped cream recipe” for specific recipes. Or you can buy a Very Expensive stuff called “Healthy Top” made by MimicCreme.

      Since I’m single and it would be a Very Bad Thing to have significant quantities of this kind of stuff around even if I considered them perfect substitutes (which I don’t, sorry), I admit I usually just break down and buy TruWhip from the freezer case. It’s basically Cool Whip made with ingredients you can actually pronounce and recognize, most of them organic, none GMO, and it’s not too expensive. It’s in a lot of ordinary grocery stores now, as well as the spendy natural-food places. If you grew up with Cool Whip, you’ll definitely get a hit of nostalgia. If I’m in the mood for cow squeezin’s, Cabot’s aerosol-can stuff is the best one of that ilk I’ve had by far (don’t talk to me about ReddiWip – ewww). It may be a regional brand in the eastern US.

      The evaporated milk deal works best if you have a hand blender aka stick blender or immersion blender. Organic evaporated milk can be found in many health-food stores. It really does need the gelatin, though, or it falls apart immediately. I’m sure one could substitute agar for gelatin in the usual fashion. The nonfat-dry-milk-and-gelatin concoction is vile, in my opinion.

  5. Can i know any other alternatives to substitute whey protein concentrate?

    • dessertswithbenefits

      I’m afraid I don’t know of any good replacements for the whey protein. The recipe calls for 1.5 cups of it, and it helps with the texture and firmness of the cake.

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  11. I made this yesterday and it was absolutely perfect. Cooking time and everything was spot on! My whole family loved it and even my dad who isn’t big on dessert took some extra to work!! Super moist and delicious – absolutely beautiful. NOTE: I didn’t drown it in icing, just drizzled lightly over the cake with a spoon and it was still perfect !

  12. Leslie Roberts
    7

    Hi Jessica,

    The Lemon Poppy Seed cake looks delicious, looking forward to trying it. Does the nutritional information include the Icing or is it for just the cake alone? I am diabetic, so I need to count the carbs.

    Thanks so much,

    Leslie

  13. Commercial RO Plant
    8

    I love LOVE LOVE this cake!!! I will most definitely be trying this out.

  14. Thanks for the recipe!!! Making the cake today for the first time. It’s test really awesome.
    I love this cake. Again Thank you so much for this recipe.

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