Bakin’ Me Crazy

All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much- George Harrison
With all of the baking I’ve been doing lately, I felt it was necessary to devote a post solely to the art of baking nutritiously! Baking is one of my favorite things to do, but as we all know these treats can be full of high-fat, high-calorie ingredients. And with the holidays coming up, they can lead to–dare I say it–holiday weight gain. Bleh.

Luckily there are genius bakers in the world who have found nutritious substitutions for us! If you aren’t choosing a recipe that’s healthy to begin with, try these simple tricks for a healthier version of your favorites. Simply subbing a few of these ingredients can cut calories, fat and cholesterol while upping protein, fiber and nutrients! Wahoo!


  • Whole wheat flour instead of white. This will increase fiber and nutrient content
  • Smart balance, earth balance or canola oil instead of butter for healthier fat choices
  • Another sub for butter can be applesauce, mashed banana or shredded zucchini (as seen in these delish cupcakes!)
  • Egg whites or egg substitutes instead of regular eggs for lower fat and cholesterol levels
  • Another egg sub is a “flax egg”. Combine 1 Tbsp of flax and 3 Tbsp to make each “egg”
  • 3/4 cup skim or almond milk with 2 Tbsp of lemon juice for buttermilk
  • Skim milk instead of whole milk
  • Sugar substitutes or more natural sweeteners such as honey and agave instead of regular sugar
  • Light or fat-free cream cheese, yogurt, sour cream and ice cream instead of whole fat
  • Plain, fat-free, Greek yogurt over sour cream. Tastes exactly the same! (If not better)

And most importantly..

  • Use  real, fresh and simple ingredients

Other ways to lighten up desserts? Make them fruity! Choose fruit-based recipes that include your favorites like apples, bananas, berries and more.

If swapping ingredients seems daunting, make recipes that have already been taste-tested and dessert-lover approved. Some of my favorite healthier treats can be found here, here & here. There are also many cookbooks, websites and blogs that focus solely on health(ier) alternatives to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Here are some of my favorite health-conscious websites, linked conveniently to the recipe pages, just for you:

Phew, that should be everything. Personally, I think I’ve gotten baking out of my system for a while (or for a few days at least). With my first semester of grad school done I hope to use winter break for unique and delish home cooked meals, so stay tuned!

Try ingredient substitutes for your favorite baked goods. They’ll provide great taste (I promise!) and healthier alternatives. Just make sure to watch your portion sizes…I see you sneaking back for seconds… 😉

Have it Your Weigh

5 thoughts on “Bakin’ Me Crazy

  1. Thank you for this post!! I love all of your cooking tidbits and I am so thankful to have them all organized into one thought/post. I will be trying one of your many delicious recipe options this week/weekend so I will let you know how it goes!

  2. Pingback: Lazy Bakin’ « TID – BITS

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