How to Substitute Low-Fat Ingredients for Cake Baking


Baking a cake but watching your fat intake? Substitute low-fat ingredients for the higher-fat ones in the recipe and your cake will be lower in fat and calories. Fat acts as a tenderizer in cakes, and completely replacing all of it with low-fat and fat-free ingredients will change the taste of the final product too much to be edible. Careful replacement of higher-fat ingredients will ensure that your next low-fat cake does not have a dry, crumbly texture and lack flavor as many reduced-fat products do.

Step 1

Replace all of the white (all-purpose flour) with cake flour for a lighter textured cake.

Step 2

Substitute an equal amount of fruit puree for the oil required in the recipe, and add 1 tbsp. oil. For instance, a recipe originally calling for 1 cup of oil would have 1 cup of applesauce and 1 tbsp. of oil as a substitute.

Step 3

Increase the baking soda in the recipe by ¼ tsp. if using fruit purees to replace oil.

Step 4

Reduce the amount of butter used by up to one-half to maintain texture, but you do not need an additional substitute.

Step 5

Use two egg whites to replace every other whole egg. For instance, instead of three whole eggs, use two whole egg and two egg whites. Alternatively, replace each whole egg with ¼ c. egg substitute.

Step 6

Use brown sugar instead of an equal amount of white sugar for increased flavor and moistness in the finished cake.

Step 7

Increase the amount of added flavorings and use the best possible products you can find. For instance, double the vanilla extract and use high quality gourmet cocoa powder for a chocolate cake instead of a bland store brand of cocoa.

Step 8

Pour the cake batter into nonstick baking pans or use cooking spray liberally on the inside of the pans.

Step 9

Decrease the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and check the cake 5 minutes before the recipe dictates by pressing the center of the cake with your finger or inserting a toothpick. Do not over bake the cake and remove the pan to a cooling rack as soon as the center springs back or a toothpick comes out without crumbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Cake recipe
  • Cake flour
  • Fruit puree (i.e. sweet potato, plum or applesauce)
  • Baking soda
  • Brown sugar
  • Egg whites or egg substitute
  • Vanilla extract and other flavoring ingredients as required by recipe
  • Nonstick cookware or cooking spray


  • Healthy Baking 101
  • Univerity of Iowa: The Colorful Plate
  • "Cookwise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealed"; Shirley O. Corriher; 1997.

Who Can Help

  • Cake Recipes
Keywords: low fat, cake baking, reduced fat cake

About this Author

Athena Hessong began her freelance writing career in 2004. She draws upon experiences and knowledge gained from teaching all high school subjects for seven years. Hessong earned a Bachelor in Arts in history from the University of Houston.

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