Saturday, September 3, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake, an almost-fat-free dessert...




Summer is almost over.  And although I always look forward to wearing sweaters and boots, making pumpkin bread and delicious hearty soups, carving pumpkins, enjoying a slower pace at work, etc, it does make me a little sad to see these warm sunny days become cooler and shorter.

I love wearing flip flops and sundresses, feeling the sun on my arms and legs, and eating all the fresh fruit and vegetables of summer...  strawberries, peaches, grilled corn... It's been a wonderful summer.





With a quiet evening on my own last night, in between switching loads of laundry, I was flipping through my saved recipes that I've torn out of magazines over the years.  One of my favorites, that was always a hit the several times I made it for my family, is a lemon blueberry bundt cake.  It's been a few years since I've made that cake, and I started thinking about lemons and blueberries, one of my favorite combinations in the summer.  Not to mention, it's an incredibly pretty cake with the fluted edges from the bundt pan, juicy blueberries studding the cake, a sweet-tart lemon glaze drizzled all over, and more fresh blueberries scattered around the edge.





I realize that at times, my blog has a little bit of an identity crises wandering back and forth from healthy recipes to others that are not so healthy.  But I think that a decadent dessert or rich sauce on steak now and then, especially when shared with friends or family or coworkers instead of eating it all yourself, is perfectly fine!

But it's still great to have a few healthy dessert recipes when you want something a little less guilt inducing.  Since I've had this cake recipe for so long, I have no idea what magazine it came from, so I'm not able to site the source.  I made some significant changes though, to reduce the calories and fat, and it was definitely a successful experiment.  I swapped 2 sticks of butter for non-fat cream cheese, a cup of buttermilk for non-fat sour cream, and whole wheat flour for some of the white flour.  I didn't adjust the sugar, since I didn't want to alter the chemistry too much, so it does still have the sugar called for in the original recipe - I may experiment in the future with decreasing that as well.  I wouldn't lower the sugar too much, though, since it is still a dessert and needs that sweetness.





This almost-fat-free cake is very moist, a little dense with the satisfying texture of a pound cake, tart with fresh lemon zest and juice, and full of plump, juicy blueberries.  The perfect end-of-summer dessert.

And for those of you who aren't watching your fat grams, I've also included the original recipe below, as well, which is rich, luscious and so delicious.






Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake (almost fat-free)
(original version is below this recipe...)

cake:
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces non-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces non-fat sour cream
  • 1 pint blueberries (1 1/4 cup)
  • 1 extra lemon, for garnish
glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Thoroughly coat the inside of a bundt pan with non-stick baking spray.  (This recipe could also easily be made into two loaf pans.)

In a bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until smooth.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla, and beat well.

On low speed, add the flour mixture a spoonful at a time, alternating with the sour cream.  Once all the flour and sour cream is added, beat the cake batter on medium for 2 minutes.  Fold in 1 cup of the blueberries (reserve 1/4 cup for garnish) with a spatula.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then invert onto a serving dish and cool completely.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and powdered sugar for the glaze.  If it's too thin, add a little more powdered sugar; if too thick, add a few drops of warm water.  Drizzle the glaze over the cake, letting it run down the sides.  Garnish with more blueberries and lemon zest curls.


Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake (original version)

cake:
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 pint blueberries (1 1/4 cups), tossed with 1 tablespoon flour
glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6-7 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • lemon zest, or curls, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Thoroughly coat the inside of a bundt pan with non-stick baking spray.  (This recipe could also easily be made into 2 loaf pans.)

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla, and beat until combined.  Add the flour in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk.  Beat for two minutes on medium-high.  Fold in the blueberries.  Spoon into the prepared pan.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then invert onto a serving dish and cool completely.

In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and corn syrup until smooth.  Drizzle the glaze over the cake, letting it run down the sides.  Garnish with more blueberries and lemon zest curls.