The Every Day Cake – a healthier yellow cake

We all love cake right? I sure do and my son Alex, aka Bubba, sure does. He’s even got an entire cake comedic routine worked out. His favorite two words involving cake are, “ ‘nother piece.” My mother, aka Spoonsei to Bubba (long story for another post), makes an incredible range of cakes that melted in my, my father, and my sister’s mouths our entire lives. Unfortunately, Spoonsei only makes cakes when there are people around to help with the chore of eating cake, e.g., upon the return of one of her children or Bubba.

It was great growing up before all the South Beach, Skinny This, Skinny That, No Fat, Low Fat, and exactly Why French Women Aren’t Fat craze sweep through the 90s. The classic Devil Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe my mother made at least once a month for seemingly my entire childhood is fabulous! It is a cake truly worth every calorie you will need to expend at the gym, on the bike, or on the yoga mat. As I mature, I now classify that type of cake as a “Special Occasion Cake.”

I got to thinking; we need a cake for less special occasions, e.g., just happy to have some cake day. Sounds like a great idea for a minor national holiday, no? So, I talked with my Mom about it. She sent over a recipe that looked like it would fit the bill. Somewhere we came up with the tag line, ” heavier healthy yellow cake.” Due to various food allergies and a quest to “healthy up” the cake, we went back and forth on email, Skype chat, and even Google Docs to nut out a recipe.

I believe the original recipe was a one-layer sheet cake. I do it as in two round 9” pans. There was more white flour, regular milk, and additional sugar. I went with more whole-wheat flour, soymilk, and added some Splenda/Equal. Sure, true cake purists will complain the whole time they are eating it, i.e., my father, but it’s still pretty good cake. Lastly, the original recipe did not whip the egg whites. I arrived at this step after cake after cake did not rise. Possibly this is due my being in a tropical climate where baking powder looses its pizzazz quicker? Maybe it’s the variable two-temperature oven my landlord provided, warm or burnt? Or perhaps it’s the heavier flour whole-wheat flour? So, if you want to omit the whipping of the egg whites, I recommend you add another teaspoon of baking power.

Dry Mix:

1 ¼ cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup of white flour
½ cup sugar
⅛  cup of Splenda/Equal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch of salt
9 ounces of chocolate chips

Wet Mix 1:
3 yolks
1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup soy milk

Wet Mix 2:
3 egg whites
1- 1 ½ tablespoon of icing sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line with parchment paper, two 9” cake pans.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together, expect for the chocolate chips) into bowl #1.
  3. In bowl #2 combine the Wet Mix 1 ingredients.
  4. Fold the Wet Mix 1 into bowl #1 until all ingredients are just combined.
  5. In bowl #3, whip the egg whites till foamy peaks arise from the bowl. I usually sprinkle in a little icing sugar as I am whipping. Not certain where that idea came from, possibly Spoonsei. If you’d like a video primer on whipping egg whites, click here.
  6. Now fold the whipped egg whites into blow #1.  Gently mix till the egg whites are combined.
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips
  8. Pour the batter evenly into the two pans, spreading the batter out smoothly.
  9. Bake 30-35 minutes or until tops are domed and a little darker around the edges than the middle. Insert a knife or a fork into the middle and if it comes out clean of cake batter, it’s done.

Eat warm or cool from pan. It usually keeps for about four days, so eat quick. Of course, this is never a problem in Spoonsei’s house. She’s lucky if a cake lasts three days.