Fluffy birthday cake smothered in gooey chocolate hazelnut frosting that's less than 400 calories a slice? Thanks to Chef Candice Kumai, it’s possible!

The “Cook Yourself Sexy” author loves savoring tantalizing dishes, but is

wary of recipes that can pack on the pounds. When it was time to create a birthday cake that also satisfied her cravings, she opted for healthier ingredients that don’t compromise on taste.

“Ever since I was a little munchkin, I’ve had a major sweet tooth for all kinds of cakes, cookies, and sugary treats,” explains Kumai. “But I’ve learned how to eat dessert in moderation and have come up with my own recipes to save calories without sacrificing sweet goodness.”

Kumai emphasizes using ingredient swaps to make her treats extra tasty. For her rendition of the classic birthday cake, Kumai says ripe bananas, unsweetened almond milk, and a hint of vanilla extract are key for buttery, filling cake batter. As for frosting? Two tablespoons of chocolate hazelnut butter and unsweetened cocoa powder can make your celebration sweeter.

Ready to indulge? Check out Kumai’s “Size Zero” birthday cake recipe below.

Enjoy!

The Birthday Cake That Won't Pack on Pounds

Makes 16 servings

Calories: 339 calories per serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium very ripe banana
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk, as needed
  • 2 Tbsp. chocolate hazelnut butter (such as Justin's for lower calories)
  • 3/4 cup high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a small bowl, mash the banana.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla.
  5. Gently fold in the mashed banana.
  6. Gently whisk in the flour mixture, while alternating with the buttermilk.
  7. Pour the batter into the pans and bake for 35-35 minutes, or until the top of the cake is a light golden brown and firm to the touch. While the cake is baking, prepare the chocolate hazelnut frosting.
  8. To make the frosting, combine 1/4 cup almond milk with the chocolate hazelnut butter until smooth in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer.
  9. In a separate bowl, sift together the cocoa powder and confectioners' sugar.
  10. Slowly incorporate the sifted dry ingredients into the hazelnut butter mixture in small batches, alternating the dry ingredients with the remaining almond milk until well combined. The frosting will reach a firm, but smooth consistency.
  11. Allow the cake to cool prior to frosting. Start with the bottom layer on a cake stand or serving platter. Stack the second layer directly on top and frost, coating the entire top and sides of the cake. Decorate as desired.
  12. Tip: Don't have any fancy sprinkles or cake decor on hand? Crush up some hazelnuts, or add sliced almonds on top of the cake. Zest an orange or sprinkle the rim of the cake with some confectioners' sugar.

Recipe reprinted with permission from "Cook Yourself Sexy: Easy, Delicious Recipes for the Hottest, Most Confident You" by Candice Kumai.

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