By popular demand, here is the vanilla version of my hugely popular quick & easy chocolate cake. As simple as the recipe is, it was not easy to get it right. I finally came up with a version that always turns out for me. I know it has a lot of sugar but every time I tried to use less, it did not turn out. With this “wacky” style cake, the sugar is needed for structure.
I also tried different pans, a square 8 x 8 pan and a round 8-inch pan, and was disappointed in both results. A 9-inch pan was the perfect size for a consistent cake. I suggest sticking with the recipe as written and you won’t be disappointed. It’s a light and delicious homemade cake that anyone can make, even amateur cooks. During the coronavirus quarantine, it’s good to have a dessert that does not use eggs, or even butter except for the frosting.
I’ve also just posted my new 2-minute vanilla frosting, made with just 2 tablespoons of butter, although this cake is really good with chocolate frosting too. I usually cool the cake in the pan and only frost the top.
If you plan to remove the cake to a platter, I suggest greasing the pan and lining the bottom with parchment paper. You can buy packages of parchment paper rounds or cut our own. I hope everybody likes this simple yet delicious cake and I’ll be waiting for the first photo! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Good news for gluten free cooks! I was finally able to get the flour some people have mentioned in their comments and I tried it out with my lemon brownies. They turned out great – I saw no difference in taste or texture. This recipe is exactly the same as my regular lemon brownies only with swapping the regular flour for Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free baking flour. (This is not a paid endorsement, just a way to share a good recipe that’s gluten free.)
I have only made this recipe with this particular flour and can’t say how it will work with other gluten free flours so it you try it with a different brand of gluten-free flour please comment here on your results. I’m really happy to be able to share this very easy and very popular recipe for lemon brownies (some people call them “yellowies” ?) for everyone who has asked for more gluten-free baking. Click herefor the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I love this! It’s a healthy dessert full of fiber and dark chocolate. It’s made with no white flour, no butter, and it’s a super easy one-bowl recipe. And if you line your pan with foil, there’s almost no cleanup. You can use walnuts but I find that pecans, especially when they are toasted first, have so much more flavor so they are my nuts of choice for most baking. In fact, I toast one bag at a time and keep them refrigerated for all my baking.
Now about the chocolate: Using a 70% dark chocolate bar is the healthiest choice and I like to use the 72% bar from World Market but you do have to chop it up so chocolate chips are definitely easier. I recently discovered Ghirardelli 60% dark chocolate chips and they are great but bigger than most so I did not like the result when I added them whole. So I chopped them into smaller pieces and an added benefit was there was more chocolate in every bite.
These are the chocolate chips I used, but I chopped them up first:
And here is what the World Market bar looks like:
My favorite thing, besides the delicious, chewy taste of this healthy dessert bar, is how incredibly easy it is. One bowl, no mixer, just mix it all up and bake. These healthy oatmeal chocolate chip bars are not just dessert – I must confess I also have them with breakfast. For a healthy dessert or a chewy oatmeal breakfast bar, just click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
You won’t find a coconut cake anywhere that’s this easy to make. One bowl. Simple ingredients. Quick and easy recipe. It’s a variation of my easy one bowl yellow cake with just a couple of changes and one of them is of course, lots of coconut. This is an easy cake you can make quickly and have a delicious homemade dessert ready any time.
I try to always use ingredients that most people either have on hand or can easily find. And I always try to bake without butter and I have done it again with this cake. Even the cream cheese frosting is made without butter and I promise you will not miss it. What you will miss is the rest of the cake because it will disappear very quickly! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
When they say dark chocolate is good for you they mean dark. Like 70% dark. So that’s what I put in my easy fudge brownies. I start by melting a dark chocolate bar and it makes the most intense brownie! With no butter! And wait ’til you see how easy this recipe is. Dark chocolate bars are available in most grocery stores and they sell them at World Market (they’re cheaper there). To get health benefits, it should have at least 70% cacao.You can find bars from 68 to 72% that will work great but I try to keep it at 70-72%. I’ve used Scharffen Berger and World Market brand and there’s no difference in the end result.
Here is what I learned making these delicious brownies: You do not need butter to make rich-tasting, gooey, fudgy brownies and baking without butter is always my priority. (You can use melted butter in place of the oil if you like) I did a taste test at home and asked my man to try one that had butter and one without and he could not tell the difference. Besides making desserts without butter I always try to use whole grains when possible but that did not work here. I tried and was hopeful but they turned to mush.
So the best I can do is no butter and lots of heart-healthy dark chocolate. Most brownie recipes use a stick or two of butter so if you need a brownie, this one is a better choice than one loaded with saturated fat. My recipe uses extra light olive oil instead of butter but you can use any vegetable oil you choose. And the nuts are optional but nuts are nutritious and full of protein and healthy fats so include them if you can. And toast them first – what a difference! The extra chocolate chips, well… that’s up to you and the darker the better.
One thing about melting chocolate: Chocolate is delicate and burns easily so I melt it in a saucepan but with oil added and over very low heat so it doesn’t burn. It takes about 2-3 minutes to melt but needs to be stirred because chocolate tends to hold its shape when melted and you might not know it’s ready until you stir it. The other options for melting are the microwave (which I have never done) and a double boiler (too much trouble).
This is the second brownie recipe I’ve posted. The other whole wheat brownie is not as fudgy but still nice & chewy and also made without butter, but it’s 100% whole wheat. Both my brownies are easy to make but this simple recipe is good for beginners because it uses just a few ingredients and no mixer is needed. In fact, this batter should only be mixed by hand and not over-mixed. Oh, and don’t over bake the brownies! They should feel a little soft in the center when they’re done so don’t bake any longer than 20 minutes! Okay, that’s all. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
This is my go-to yellow cake, one you can make from scratch in 40 minutes. Try it with my 2-minute chocolate frosting that has only 2 tablespoons of butter. What I like the most is all the things you can do with this quick and easy recipe.
For a fast dessert, I make this cake and frost it right in the pan. It’s a healthier dessert I feel good about and it really satisfies my sweet tooth. I have made it using 1% and 2% low fat milk as well as whole milk. All versions turned out great.
I have also doubled the recipe and made two cakes using two cake pans and used it for my fresh strawberry cake so now you can make my wildly popular strawberry cake with no butter at all!
The one I really love is my Boston cream cake that I make with just one 9-inch cake, which I slice across in half, fill it with homemade custard and top with a chocolate glaze. (why do they call it Boston cream pie? – it’s not pie!)
One thing of note: this is a much better cake when you use a cake strip. See in the picture how the cake is perfectly flat? I highly recommend using a cake strip, also called a baking strip, whether you buy one or make your own. It keeps the edges of the cake from over-baking. Click here to learn about cake strips.
If you want a healthier cake that’s low in sugar and saturated fat, try my recipe. You can use my frosting or do your own thing with this simple, easy recipe. Click herefor the recipe. – Jenny Jones