Wednesday, October 22, 2008

BEST AGAVE-SWEETENED, WHOLE WHEAT LEMON CAKE EVER – a healthier version of more traditional recipes

This cake is a great hit at parties with grown-ups and kids alike. You can make it a bit lighter by substituting some white flour for the whole wheat flour, or make it healthier (for babies and toddlers) by adding a tablespoon of brewer’s yeast, a tablespoon of wheat germ, and a tablespoon of kelp before measuring out the flour. The lemon and butter add such strong flavor that the cake can also accommodate other kinds of flour—experiment with using a few tablespoons of oat flour, garbanzo bean flour, or barley flour to keep things interesting and to mix up the grains a bit.

If you've never cooked with whole wheat flour and agave and are unsure, try using 1/2 the "weird stuff" the recipe calls for and the rest your normal flour/sugar as a way to convert your baking over to healthier alternatives. Ditto for the xylitol in the glaze.

2 cups whole wheat flour (see note above)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups agave
3 eggs
Grated zest of 1 large organic lemon
1 cup plain yogurt (more traditional recipes call for sour cream)

Lemon Glaze:
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from the lemon you grated for the zest)
1 cup xylitol or powdered turbinado sugar (put raw cane sugar in the blender to make it into a healthier version of confectioners sugar) or a combination of both

Preheat oven to 325°. Generously butter and flour a cake pan.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl or large measuring cup and set aside.

Cream the butter, and slowly pour in the agave. Then beat in the eggs and add the lemon zest.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients alternately with yogurt.

Bake at 325 for 55 to 65 minutes. The cake is done when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

To make the glaze: combine all the ingredients in a bowl, blending until smooth and drizzle the glaze onto the cake.


Anonymous said...

I'll definitely try it! Believe it or not, I already have whole wheat flour and agave nectar on hand!

Deb Schiff said...

Sounds delicious!

MJM said...

Hi James, this recipe looks fantastic! We'd like to feature it on our gourmet and organic food webstore as a featured recipe, with your permission of course. Check us out at and drop a line to discuss it!


Anonymous said...

The batter for this cake was perfect. It tasted exactly like a traditional lemon cake batter. But, once baked, it lost a great deal of its flavor. It wasn't sweet anymore and it tasted more like corn bread than cake. :(

About the book said...

I'm really sorry that happened Kel, I wonder why? Did you add the glaze to top? It's very sweet. I've made the recipe a bunch of times and it's always been sweet enough but I wonder if agave varies in sweetness? Perhaps try it again with more sweetener or substitute some unrefined evaporated cane juice for the agave?