There is one thing that every person with a sugar tooth struggles with. After a meal, all they can think about is dessert. It’s as if the actual meal is a prelude to whats to come… dessert of course! Whenever I go out to eat, I always go through the dessert menu first, to decide how substantive my meal should be, and to make sure there will be plenty of room for dessert.
Mostly, you’ll find me sweet talking my meal companions so they’ll share the dessert with me. That way, there’s less guilt about undoing my earlier sweat session at the gym. Is this just me, or do you also go through the same thing? There is one person I know of that truly shared my affinity for dessert after a meal. My grandma.
The best thing was that she’d polish off her dessert guilt-free! In a few days it’ll be a year since she’s left us, and I wanted to make a dessert that I knew she would’ve loved. Oranges were one of her favorite fruits, and I have flashbacks of her sitting in the wintery sun, sharing her favorite fruit with her children and grandchildren.
I wanted to make a healthier version of this cake without compromising on the taste and texture; it definitely had to still be a dessert! Man, did this recipe deliver! The cake is light, moist and melts in your mouth. Its the yogurt that really helps moisten the cake while keeping the crumb delicate. In an attempt to keep the cake healthier, I used half a cup of almond flour, added a mix of brown sugar and real maple syrup instead of white sugar, and only added one tablespoon of butter.
I did not have wholewheat flour on hand, so i went with half a cup of regular flour. If you have some at home, by all means use it (that stuff is great for you). For the almond flour, blitz some slivered almonds in the food processor until it’s nice and fine. Be careful not to over mix, you don’t want to end up with almond butter. Now i know you’re probably thinking, “How does all THAT make an amazing dessert?” Let me tell you…it does! Go ahead and bake it today, and let me know how it turns out.
To add some pizzazz to the cake (you know I’m trying to impress you), I baked the cake in a 12×8 inch pan. This allowed me to make a thinner cake that could be cut into little rounds with the help of a cookie cutter.
I then stacked the cake layers with a loose frosting, and cake drizzled the tops with vanilla cream cheese frosting. This combo is a match made it heaven. The vanilla and cream cheese in the frosting really compliment the orange cake and gives it that extra gooeyness. With the addition of segmented oranges, a drizzle of orange juice, maple syrup and orange zest, these mini cakes are perfection!!
If you want to elevate the health factor of these cakes, you can skip the frosting (or make a looser frosting like I did), but the orange segments and the orange drizzle are a must!! If you make it in a regular cake pan, drizzle the cake with the orange drizzle once the cake is out of the oven and at room temperature.
Go ahead and enjoy this cake! Its healthy, so you can eat as much as you want and still feel good about yourself… at least that’s what I’m telling myself! My grandma would be pleased!
Orange Almond Yogurt Cake
Yield: One 8-inch round cake or 4 mini 4-inch layer cakes
For the Cake:
- Unsalted butter, softened, for pan
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
- Zest of one medium orange
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large orange zested & segmented
- 1/2 of one orange, juiced
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1-8oz package of cream cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoons of butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, (or vanilla bean paste if you have)
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a large sheet pan or an 8-inch round cake pan.
- Blend together one tablespoon butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. Add the egg, yogurt, vanilla, orange zest and orange juice.
- Stir in the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour into a pan and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
- Once the cake has cooled, refrigerate it for twenty minutes.
- Use a round cookie or biscuit cutter to make rounds of the cooled cake.
- Spread each layer with frosting and then add another layer. After adding a thin layer of frosting to the whole cake, chill in the freezer before adding an thicker layer of frosting.
- If making one large round cake, crumb coat the cake, chill in the freezer for a while and then add a thicker layer of frosting.
- Whip the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla and powdered sugar a little at a time until the desired sweetness and consistency is reached.
For the Orange Drizzle:
- Zest an orange and segment it into pieces. Squeeze half an orange for its juice.
- Whisk together the zest, orange juice and maple syrup. Stir in the orange segments.
- Drizzle on top of the prepared mini cakes.
*I wanted a looser frosting and therefore put less powdered sugar, if you want a thicker frosting to cover the cake, use the recommended amount of powdered sugar.