This healthy apple cake is a low calorie and low fat dessert that uses simple ingredients and takes minutes to make! No eggs, no dairy, and no butter are needed, but you’d never tell- It’s so moist, fluffy, and tender on the outside!
Healthy Apple Cake
Making classic desserts healthier is one of my favorite things to do. There is nothing more satisfying than recreating one of the more sinful desserts using healthy ingredients and then fooling everyone into thinking otherwise. By making some smarter swaps and cutting back on the fat and sugar, it’s actually quite possible to make treats that are low in calories and fat, but without sacrificing on taste.
Whenever I’m opting to bake something healthier, I tend to swap out the sugar for zero calorie alternatives or baking blends. I omit as much of the fat as possible, without yielding a gummy texture, and try to use wholegrains where possible. While I typically prefer baking some muffins or cookies, I’ve recently loved making an apple cake!
I’ve been meaning to share a healthy apple cake recipe for quite some time. It makes a perfect dessert to enjoy anytime and doesn’t leave you with a sugar crash soon after. It uses simple ingredients and takes minutes to prepare.
No eggs, no milk, and no butter are needed, but you’d never be able to tell. The texture is super moist and fluffy, with a light and tender crumb. The cake is pleasantly sweet with a subtle apple flavor, without being overpowering.
I had some friends over for coffee the other day and served them this cake and NO ONE believed me when I told them it was healthy- They thought it had to be loaded with butter and sugar!
How do you make a healthy apple cake?
- Flour– I used white whole wheat flour, which has extra fiber than traditional white flour, without affecting any taste or texture. If you’d like this cake to be gluten free, you can try using a gluten free baking flour with added xanthan gum.
- Granulated sweetener of choice– To keep the calories low and the overall cake healthier, I used swerve brown sugr, which has no calories or sugar. Any zero calorie baking sugar can be used.
- Baking soda– Reacts with the vinegar to replicate eggs. Gives the cake some rise and fluffiness.
- Cinnamon– A must for any dessert using apples or applesauce.
- Salt– Just a pinch to bring out the sweetness of all the other ingredients.
- Unsweetened applesauce– The key ingredient! Not only does the applesauce give a subtle apple flavor, but also cuts down on the fat needed for the cake.
- Oil– Just a little bit of oil is needed to give the cake the tender crumb and fluffy texture. Use any neutral flavored oil, like canola or vegetable oil.
- Vanilla extract– A must for any good cake.
- Vinegar– White vinegar or apple cider vinegar. If you don’t have vinegar on hand, lemon or lime juice will work as a suitable replacement.
- Milk of choice– I used unsweetened almond milk, but any milk works well.
- Frosting– Optional but highly recommended. I used a simple cream cheese frosting.
Start by adding all your dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Next, add the wet ingredients and mix until a smooth batter remains. Pour the batter into a 9-inch, greased cake pan and bake for 27-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out mostly clean. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely, before adding frosting.
Tips to make the best low calorie apple cake
- This recipe makes a single 9-inch layer cake with frosting. If you’d like to make it a 4 layer cake (as pictured), quadruple the ingredients and frosting.
- Use a springform cake pan for easy removal of the cake.
- For a more intense apple flavor, add 1/2-1 cup of chopped apples to the batter.
Storing and freezing low fat apple cake
- To store: Healthy apple cake can be stored at room temperature, covered, for up to 3 days. If you’d like the cake to keep longer, store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- To freeze: Place leftover slices of the cake in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
More healthy dessert recipes to try
Healthy Apple Cake
- 1 1/2 cups flour I used white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup granulated sweetener of choice * See notes
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoon oil any neutral flavored oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon vinegar white or apple cider
- 1 cup milk of choice I used unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup cream cheese frosting Optional ** See notes
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a 9-inch springform cake pan and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the wet ingredients and mix until a thick and smooth batter remains.
- Pour the batter into the greased cake pan and bake for 27-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out mostly clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely, before adding the frosting.