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Low Sugar Naked Cakes – Yes, It’s A Thing… A Very Popular Thing!

Low Sugar Alternatives for Naked Cake Recipes

Naked Birthday Cakes… They’re a thing… in fact, they’re a big thing. No they’re not bottom or booby shaped cakes, they’re the “un-iced, healthier but still fun” alternative for your next birthday party. Naked kid’s party cakes are all about creating a birthday treat that isn’t filled with the food dyes and additives made oh-so-popular during the recent ‘rainbow cake” craze.  Naked cake recipes come in all shapes, sizes and with high and low sugar content.  It’s about having the edges of the cake exposed, not covered in brightly coloured, chemical and sugar rich icing. They’re not sugar free cakes… they’re love rich cakes! Birthday cakes have quite the cult status these days and form the centrepiece of the celebration… so how do you treat kids without creating a chemical and way-too-much-sugar fueled storm inside their little systems?

Low sugar naked cake recipes… yes they exist!

naked cake recipe
Naked cakes are all about cooking from scratch and using high grade ingredients to create flavour, not relying on excessive amounts of sugar. It’s about spending time in the kitchen making something that comes out “just right” and ready to “wow”. Yes, most naked cake recipes contain sugar but indulgent flavours are about “extra touches” not the main ingredient. Naked cakes can be sugary, buttery, rich and indulgent but there are plenty of substitutes that help bring out flavour in the cake without adding extra sugar:

  • Coconut flour: Lower GI, gluten free, nut free… It might take some practice making the switch but it also adds a layer of flavour missing in regular refined flour
  • Cocoa, not chocolate: Cocoa on its own isn’t the worst thing in the world. It’s packed with anti-oxidents, magnesium, riboflavin, iron, copper and manganese. It’s when you combine it with copious amounts of fat and sugar that it becomes a problem!
  • Flavours not fats: Vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, arrowroot, ginger, nutmeg… packing more flavour into your naked cake doesn’t have to be about packing it with sugar.
  • Stevia: High quality stevia, that hasn’t been processed badly (yes, some of the supermarket stuff might be mostly surgar and filler) is much sweeter than sugar but does not create that glucose driven “high” and “crash”. Stevia is both hailed as a wonder food and treated with caution by the scientific community but as a way to create a delightful birthday cake, it’s probably a safe bet.
  • Fruity Flavours: Berry, chocolate pudding fruit (available at Tropical Fruit World), banana, carrot, dates, lemon, lime: Fruit is still a wonderful way to flavour a cake and you can make something very wow to look at just by swirling some bright berry coulis through an otherwise plain cake.

Decorating without icing: Whipping egg whites with a little powdered sugar or stevia and vanilla makes a silky, shiny, fluffy topping to add to your naked cake. Stevia can be a bit of a pain to work with and it might help to use the layers of icing between the layers of cake, rather than on top. Powdered sugar works best (of course) and you can add just a couple of dollops and then cover with fresh berries. Alternatively, a little cream here and there can help you serve up a decadent looking cake…with a very limited serve of bad foods for each child.

But, it’s still a sugary cake?

Yes, you can still bake a regular old sugary treat for your child’s birthday or you can try using alternative, but still yummy, ingredients. Naked cakes aren’t all about sugar free, they’re all about cutting back on using sugar and food dyes to “wow” – instead wowing based on beautifully created, hand crafted cakes. A naked birthday cake could grace the centre of a table jam packed with healthy treats. Fill kids up with fruit sticks, homemade finger foods and nutritious dips and then use your naked cake as dessert.

Naked watermelon cake
Naked cake recipes

There are tons of “wow” looking naked cake recipes on the web. Alternatively this book by Brisbane foody Lyndel Miller, has become the go-to guide to naked baking, featuring everything from decadent fudge cake to a pink watermelon paradise made exclusively with fresh fruit.
Photo Credits: LyndelMiller.com.au

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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