Saturday, December 28, 2013

Banana Walnut Cake

As I've mentioned before, trying to recreate healthier versions of traditional desserts can be a bit of a challenge. When you replace the ingredients that most people associate with the familiar texture and consistency of a delicate cake, or a melt in your mouth frosting, you end up with something, while still delicious in its own right, is quite different than the original version. The "Banana-Walnut Cake" (page 448) is a case in point. After switching out the white flour for whole wheat pastry flour, and using apple sauce to replace the oil, what I ended up with was something more like banana bread, rather than cake. Mind you, I am not complaining, not in the least! This healthier version of an already vegan dessert is not only delicious, it is a guilt-free indulgence for those times I am craving a dessert. With three bananas in the batter, the "cake" is already very moist, and using applesauce instead of oil provides a complementary flavor.  The recipe suggests a couple of different toppings, but I chose to frost it with the "Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting" found on page 504, which turned out perfect!
Keeping it "McDougall Friendly" checklist:

  • Use whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose (white) flour.
  • Substitute 1/3 to 1/2 cup apple sauce for the 1/4 cup oil.
  • Use a non-stick cake pan that doesn't need to be oiled before baking.


  1. What's the difference (taste- or texture-wise) between bread (as in banana bread) and cake? I don't live in the US and I've never been quite able to grasp both concepts when reading recipes.

    1. Hi Ines, thanks for visiting my blog! To me, the difference between a cake and a desert bread is that cake has a more delicate texture, not as grainy or hearty as bread. Cakes will usually have a frosting on them, and breads normally don't. Breads are usually baked in a loaf pan and sliced into square pieces that you can eat out of your hand, and cake is cut more like a piece of pie and eaten with a fork. Does that help? It is sort of a hard concept to explain, I'm finding out! :-) Taste wise, they can be pretty similar. I think mainly it's a texture difference.

    2. Yes, that does help. Thanks for explaining!