Baking Mad's Healthy Baking Challenge

posted in: Food & Drink, Health & Fitness, Review | 2

Lots of people I know bake. I don’t. Mainly because I really don’t have the time for yet another hobby, but also because I’m really never sure where to start. Now flapjacks and biscuits I can do, but not cakes.

So why did I sign up for Baking Mad’s Healthy Baking Challenge then? Because I can’t resist a challenge of course! I chose to try the Low Calorie Fruity Butterfly Cakes… the idea is that you can still enjoy your favourite sweet treats but don’t have to fill your body with pointless calories.  Baking Mad sent me the sugar and flour I needed, oh and the recipe:


  • 55g low fat spread
  • 55g Half Spoon Granulated Sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 85g Self Raising Flour (I used Allinson Nature Friendly)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened apple puree (home made, see below)
  • Creme Fraiche
  • Raspberries
  1. For the apple puree: Peel, core and thinly slice 500g eating apples (I used Braeburn) and place the slices in a saucepan. Toss with lemon juice to avoid browning. Add about 50ml apple juice or water and place the pan over a medium heat. Bring slowly to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until the apples are reduced to a pulp. (Use leftover apple puree in yoghurt or on breakfast cereal.)
  2. For the cakes: Sit 6 paper cases into a muffin tin. Preheat the oven to 180 C (fan oven 160 C, 350 F, gas mark 4)
  3. Beat together the low fat spread and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg until combined. Fold in the flour and apple puree.
  4. Spoon the batter into the cases and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.  Remove the cakes from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  5. When cooled, use a sharp knife to slice off the top part of each cake.  Fill the hole in the cake with the creme fraiche and raspberries, cut the sliced off cake in two, and arrange in the cream.

My Experience

As a non baker I was really careful I measured the ingredients and followed the recipe to the letter. The recipe (thankfully) was easy to follow and understand. I also had twitter to hand though, and I did check if it was fairy cake of muffin cases I should be using – fairy cake cases was the answer. I also checked with a friend how I knew if they were cooked – going golden brown on top and spring back when touched.

Half Spoon Granulated Sugar

The whole point of doing this baking was to test the idea of low calorie cakes. There are a few things that make these butterfly cakes better for you than traditional ones. The main reason is using Half Spoon granulated sugar instead of normal sugar. Half Spoon is made by Silver Spoon – it is granulated sugar with a touch of sweetener; it’s twice as sweet so you only need half as much as regular sugar. Half Spoon is great for low calorie baking as you can still get the taste and texture that regular sugar brings, but with fewer calories. Bonus.

Apple Puree

The “fruity” bit of these cakes comes from adding apple purée to the cake batter and topping the cakes with raspberries. The apple purée is home made and something you can also use in other baking and on breakfasts, as a desert topping or even on pork chops – it couldn’t have been simpler to make and will keep in the fridge a few days.  The addition of fruit to a butterfly cake was an excellent idea, although there wasn’t so much it was the only taste.

Low Calorie Fruity Butterfly Cakes

The taste test, which let’s face it is the most important bit of baking, went well. I thought so anyway. In reality the reviews amongst those who tried these were mixed.  I knew what was in the cakes and what I should expect, and really enjoyed them.  The little cakes had a slight apple flavour which was nice, and the crème fraiche was fresh and added some nice moisture to the top.  Others, who didn’t know the reasons behind the bake, found the cake was a little more dense than a traditional butterfly cake – due to the addition of the apple purée no doubt.  And I’m sorry to say the topping just wasn’t sweet enough for some – the raspberries gave a nice sharp fruitiness, but it wasn’t the same as butter cream.  I do agree with the butter cream comment – the creme fraiche just isn’t the same – but I was quite happy with my “slightly healthier” butterfly cakes.

Low Calorie Fruity Butterfly Cakes

Low Calorie Fruity Butterfly Cakes

Next time I would be tempted to use the same cake batter (with the apple purée in, I felt it added a nice flavour to the cake), but would be tempted to make a butter cream for the top – I could probably use the Half Spoon sugar to make that slightly better than normal.

Go on, give these a go, and have a look at Baking Mad for more low calorie recipe ideas using Half Spoon sugar and fruit.

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