Tag Archives: vanilla buttercream frosting

Lemon Cake with Fresh Raspberry Filling and Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Good Memorial Day to you! I hope that you have been enjoying a wonderful holiday weekend.
In a break from a regular story-telling tradition I will start with the happy ending of the story. I created this cake for the guests at a picnic, which also marked the celebration of my mother in-law's birthday. There were a lot of oohs and aahs when everyone saw the cake, and lots of happy noises as people enjoyed it.

The surprise to everyone was that the cake did not contain one bit of refined sugar. It tasted just as sweet and satisfying as a proper cake should without that pesky cane product.

Since I have a food sensitivity to cane sugar, I am motivated to find work-around solutions because I have a large sweet tooth. I have learned, through trial and error, that one can still bake cakes (and cookies and breads) and eat them too! And as an economist by trade, I am a big fan of spreadsheets. I have created a natural sweetener conversion chart in case you want to modify some of your own recipes. My favorite natural sweeteners are agave nectar, honey and maple syrup. Whether you are sensitive or not, try a few substitutions and see what you think about the finished products.

And now I’ll end this blog with the start of the story: creating the cake. I found recipes for lemon cake and vanilla buttercream frosting, substituted the sugars with agave nectar and doubled the cake recipe to have two layers. To make the raspberry filling, I mashed one pint of raspberries with one tablespoon of agave nectar and one teaspoon of water. And I halved the frosting recipe to just cover the top of the cake. Serve with agave-sweetened ice cream or raspberry sorbet.

Lemon Cake Ingredients (one 9-inch cake):
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 cup agave nectar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 large lemon
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Cake Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter, or spray with a nonstick spray, a 9 inch circular pan and dust with flour.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer) beat the butter and agave until light and fluffy and pale in color. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and then add to the batter along with the lemon juice. Mix only until incorporated. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula. Bake about 40 – 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Ingredients (enough to frost top and sides of a two-layer cake):
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/3 cups agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoon milk

Frosting Instructions:
After all of the ingredients are in a bowl, mix on medium-high for a few minutes until the frosting is stiff and lightened in color. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add 1 extra tablespoon of milk.

Assembling Instructions:
Spread the raspberry filling evenly between the two cake layers, and frost the top of the cake with the vanilla frosting. Decorate with your favorite fruit – I chose blueberries and strawberries.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free and Food Trip Friday.

Whoopie! It’s the New Year! Fill 2012 with Agave-Sweetened Whoopie Pies!

Happy New Year to you!
May every great new day
Bring you sweet surprises–
A happiness buffet.

Happy New Year to you,
And when the new year’s done,
May the next year be even better,
Full of pleasure, joy and fun.

By Joanna Fuchs

I always get nostalgic at this time of year, thinking about the moments that made the biggest impressions on me during the past year along with hopes for the future. The turn of the calendar marks one year that I have been yeast and sugar free. It’s quite an accomplishment for me, who always used to crave a chocolate candy at 3pm and loaded up on more sugar than I ever realized. With the help of my family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances, cookbook authors, blog readers and authors, and so many others, I am learning how to keep my foods and life sweet while staying cane sugar free. And for that – I thank all of you!

And whoopie for 2012! It’s time to celebrate with some agave-sweetened whoopie pies! Have you ever tasted a fresh, homemade whoopie pie? Just picture two chocolate discs, cookie sized, with a layer of sweet vanilla buttercream frosting in the middle. Yum! I first acquired a hankering for whoopie pies when I went out to eat with two friends and one ordered them for dessert. I looked at her delicious dessert and thought, “I bet I could make that.” So I found a recipe and went to work altering it – I used whole wheat flour, eliminated the Crisco and substituted with plain yogurt and butter, and used agave nectar instead of sugar. The results were phenomenal. I hope that you enjoy this recipe and that your new year is filled with sweetness.

For Cake:
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup milk
2/3 cup agave nectar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Blend the first five ingredients together. Then add the remaining ingredients to complete the batter. Drop by the tablespoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes at 375 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For Filling:
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup agave nectar
1 tbsp  flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup warm milk

Beat with a mixer for approximately 5 minutes until a fluffy, frosting-like filling emerges.

Assembly:
Once the cakes are cool, match each with its closest in size. Spread some filling on the flat side of one, then place the second on top. Repeat with remaining cakes.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Food Trip Friday, Cybele Pascal Allergen-Free Cuisine, Sweet as Sugar Cookies, This Chick Cooks and Something Swanky.