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Sweet & light: spring cakes

By Jessie Price, April 9, 2009 - 4:36am

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I adore cake…a little too much. If it’s in my house, I can’t resist it, even for breakfast.

A few years ago I had a piece of coconut-and-pineapple cake at my grandpa’s 80th birthday party in Midland, Texas. It started a little obsession for me. I decided I wanted to track down that cake recipe, to have at my wedding. Unfortunately the baker was uncooperative. So I decided the next best thing was to enlist my sister Katie, who works here at EatingWell, to come up with a recipe for Pineapple-Coconut Layer Cake. And even though the final cake would certainly be healthier than the original, I wanted to make sure that it was still rich and delicious. It needed to have layers filled with a sweet pineapple curd and covered in frosting. Katie ended up working through endless tests to get this cake just right. We stoically tasted all the attempts along the way until it was perfect. This recipe makes 16 servings, so it didn’t work for my wedding, but it is just right for Easter dinner this year, at my sister’s house.

Get the recipe: Pineapple-Coconut Layer Cake

I realize you may not be quite so obsessed with the pineapple-coconut combination, so here are a couple more lightened-up cake recipes that would be perfect for an Easter celebration, a birthday or perhaps breakfast. (And if you’re looking for the rest of your Easter menu, check out this healthy Easter recipe collection.)

Key Lime Cake: This is a riff on key lime pie, with the same flavors but just made into a cake. The light meringue topping is easy on the waist, but makes the cake taste great and look amazing.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting: We like to keep things as “natural” as possible, so we tried this cake with all-natural food dye made from beets. It turned out just fine, but a tad less red.

Carrot Cake: This cake has crushed pineapple in it. (Come to think of it, maybe it’s just pineapple I’m crazy about.) Anyway, you need to make sure you really drain the pineapple well or it will make your cake a little too wet. Just put it in a strainer, over a bowl, and press on it before you mix it into the batter. I made two of these cakes recently for a ski weekend with friends in Lake Placid, New York. They were a huge hit.

What's your favorite kind of cake that you'd like to have EatingWell makeover? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Jessie Price, Food Blog

Jessie Price
Jessie Price is the editor-in-chief of EatingWell magazine. Besides her work on 11 other EatingWell books, she is the author of the James Beard Award-winning The Simple Art of EatingWell and EatingWell One-Pot Meals. She lives in Charlotte, Vermont where she stays busy growing her own vegetables in the summer and tracking down great Vermont food products when she’s not working.

Jessie asks: What's your favorite kind of cake that you'd like to have EatingWell makeover?

Tell us what you think:

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