The best blueberry lemon Bundt cake

My blueberry lemon cake will leave you wanting more.

It’s a beautiful summer dessert with its yellows and blues and is a perfect ending to a meal. It’s tart and sweet, dense and moist. It will impress your company, needs little preparation before serving and can stand alone without any ice cream. Simple ingredient substitution can dramatically reduce calories, carbohydrates and saturated fat, a plus for both your heart and your waistline without compromising the enjoyment.

My recipe is made with whole wheat flour, no enriched white nonsense.  It calls for Greek yogurt and 4 eggs which boosts the protein.  And the canola oil creates a beautiful texture without adding all the saturated fat from butter. The lemon zest glaze topping permeates the cake augmenting the tart and sweet flavor. Compare my recipe to a traditional blueberry lemon cake and see how calories, saturated fat and carbohydrates can be reduced without diminishing the taste.

Recipe ingredients

Traditional Blueberry Lemon Bundt cake (food.com)

  • 34 cups flour
  • 12 tsp baking powder
  • 14  tsp baking soda
  • 14  tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter or 1 cup margarine
  • 34  cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 14 cups blueberries, tossed with
  • 1 tbsp flour

Glaze

  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup

Barbara’s Blueberry Lemon Bundt cake Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 ¼ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup

Recipe Directions

For either recipe, grease the Bundt pan, then dust with flour. Sift the flour, baking powder and soda and salt together and set aside. Mix the moist ingredients along with the sugar and zest, and then add one egg at a time and blending well. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture a third at a time, mixing well in between. Pour 1/3 of the batter in the pan, and then add 1/3 of the berries and alternate, ending with the berries. If you do use frozen berries, keep them in the freezer right up until you put them in the pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for about one hour or until a knife comes out clean.

Analysis of substituted ingredients

Best Blueberry Lemon CakeMy version of the cake has almost 100 fewer calories. It has much fewer carbs – almost 20 gms fewer and has hardly any saturated fat. It almost justifies having a second piece – but don’t if you are staying focused on your weight loss goal. You could reduce the calories even further by drizzling even less glaze on top.

Switching to whole wheat flour from enriched white flour provides the entire bran, germ and endosperm unlike white flour that uses just the endosperm, omitting the nutrient dense germ and fiber from the bran. Sure, white flour is enriched to replace the stripped out vitamins but that’s like getting a car that’s been taken apart and put back together with factory reconditioned parts – you’ve got to wonder about the quality and the reconstruction. Could something have been left out or slightly changed from the new condition?

And for those with diabetes or prediabetes you could substitute a quarter of the flour with potato starch to further reduce the typical blood sugar rise associated with eating a piece of cake.

Substituting canola oil for the butter protects the moistness and crumb without changing taste. I am a butter person, whipped butter that is. But when I use butter I want it to be on food where I will taste the flavor – an artichoke, toast, corn or potato. You couldn’t taste butter in this cake even if there were 2 cups in it, with the intensity of flavor coming from the lemon and lime. Take my word for it, you won’t. Plus, canola oil is high in the essential omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which lowers bad cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. So you’ll actually be doing your heart a bit of good which each bite you take.

Reducing the sugar in this recipe is unnoticeable. The lemon and lime makes up for the reduction of sugar, and the blueberries will add some natural sweetness along with the anthocyanins that provide many health benefits.

All that extra zest from the lemons and limes will boost your health as well. The peels from lemon and limes contain 5-10 times more Vitamin C and calcium – good for your bones, as well as flavonoids that prevent cancer.

 

Messing with recipes

Willingness to adjust recipes is a test of open-mindedness, cooking confidence and taste resiliency. There are purists out there who will say, “no way will I change a recipe” or “I’d rather eat less of a favorite recipe than alter it in any fashion”. I say to those people “Harumph!  Recipes are only guidelines that prevent opportunities for improvement and creativity”. What if you tried my substitutions and found out you loved it!!!

My philosophy on eating

When it comes to eating, my food choices revolve around healthiness, taste and texture, fullness factor and ease of preparation. All these areas are important – I’d never eat anything for pure health that my taste buds despise. But I’m more willing to compromise a bit on taste or texture if it’s going to keep me fuller longer or be really good for my health and be very easy to prepare.

I know when I eat foods made with white flour I’ll be hungry in one or two hours. I also know when I eat a lot of carbs I’m not only hungry but I’m also tired in an hour or two. And I don’t like being hungry or tired. Eating foods lower in carbs, with some fiber, healthy fat and protein, keeps me fuller longer and my energy level up, even 4 hours after eating. This recipe achieves those goals and reinforces my motto:

“Enhance the good, diminish the bad”

Switching to whole wheat flour, a healthier fat (canola) and using extra zest, while decreasing the sugar and bad, saturated fat is consistent with my motto.

Knowing me, this recipe might even change the next time I make it, especially if I can make it even healthier without any compromise in taste, texture or preparation time.

If you have questions you can email me at barbarahgroth@gmail.com.You can find other healthy recipes on my website, A Healthy Weigh Today. To receive other health tips “like me” on my facebook page.

Barbara Groth

About Barbara Groth

I’m Barbara. I have always had a passion for helping people to feel good. As a nurse my early years were focused on getting sick people back to baseline. After becoming a diabetes educator and health coach my passion became raising that bar on the baseline – helping my clients to not only feel better but to look better and have a whole new outlook on life.