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Cake for Thought?

When carousing the internet several years back, I discovered something wonderful: soda cake. Just as it sounds this was indeed a recipe for cake, made with soda. But the soda was not a mere inclusion for added flavor, it was all at once the moisture, ‘oil’, and binder of the cake. Meaning there was no need for any fat, water, or eggs. Having just begun life a new as a vegan, this was certainly exciting as it meant I could still have cake on occasion without having to score the health-food aisles for various binding alternatives (Though alternatives have come a long way in recent years). Instead, I only needed a box of cake mix and a can of soda. It was so simple it seemed like a cake out of the future.

But as time went by and I learned of the health hazards associated with diet soda (I didn’t use regualar soda), I avoided it altogether.

Realizing of course, that cake is by no means a health food, I still wished to find the simplicity of soda cake, while keeping it as healthy as possible. But the right ingredients had been there all along – it was just a matter of accessibility, and with the creation of Zevia and the increasing popularity of stevia, healthier options are becoming more accessible. Alas, I will share with you an easy and healthier alternative to a classic treat. Best of all, it is suitable for those who have a low-fat or dairy free diet. It is also suitable for diabetics.

For the cake mix you will need…

2 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup plus 3 Tablespoons stevia for baking *
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder (optional, if you wish to have a chocolate cake)
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Now, using a wooden spoon or a mixer, add
1 can of Zevia** or 1 cup carbonated water

Mix until just blended and bake immediately in a greased pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Allow the cake to cool 15-20 minutes before removing from pan.

Finally, what is cake without sugar on top? Okay, so we’ll forget the sugar but you can still top your cake with coconut shreds, chopped nuts, or drizzle it with molasses; though there is still something else…

Thick Chocolate Glaze

2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk (or other low-fat milk)
4 Tablespoons spoonable stevia or 14 packets of stevia
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a saucepan, mix all ingredients except the vanilla. Bring to boiling point over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring until thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Spread or drizzle over cooled ‘soda’ cake.

It would seem, despite the ongoing cycle of sugar, diets, and fads that one really can have their cake – a healthy-ish one at that – and eat it too.

*Stevia comes in different forms, for baking it is best to use stevia granules. Truvia brand also makes a ‘Baking Blend’, which makes measuring easier. For a sugar to stevia conversion chart, visit the site at the bottom of the article.

** Carbonation is what allows the cake to rise and bind properly. You may use a can of Zevia for the added flavor. Lemon Lime, Cream Soda, or Strawberry flavor is best for yellow or white cakes while Cola, Dr. Zevia, and Black Cherry make a decadent chocolate cake. If doing a spice cake, you might try Ginger Root Beer, Ginger Ale, or Cream Soda. There is always room for experimenting, so play around with different flavors until you reach your ‘perfect’ concoction.




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