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Chocolate sandwich cake

15 best healthy cake recipes

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Try our best healthy, low-sugar, gluten and dairy-free cake recipes next time you're craving something sweet.

A slice of cake with a cup of tea is one of life's greatest pleasures, and we're firm believers that just because you're cutting back on sugar, avoiding gluten or ditching dairy, there's no need to miss out. Below, you'll find our best healthy cake recipes made with natural sweeteners, no gluten, less sugar or no dairy.

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So, whether you're after a fruity bake or chocolatey treat, there are plenty of delicious cakes to choose from.

For even more baking ideas, see our easy baking recipes and classic cake recipes, and for any plant-based bakers, we have a collection of vegan cake recipes.

Healthy cake recipes

1. Healthy banana bread

Sliced banana bread on a wooden board

All the sweet, sticky enjoyment of a good banana bread, but this time we've given it a healthy makeover using low-fat yogurt to keep it moist and agave syrup for natural sweetness. This lighter loaf is a just as good for breakfast as it is for afternoon tea – simply slice and serve with low-fat spread.

Get the recipe for healthy banana bread

Check out our banana bread recipes for delicious ways to use up overripe bananas.

2. Breakfast muffins

Healthy breakfast muffins on a wire rack

You can make blueberry muffins healthier by using mashed bananas, honey and apple sauce for natural sweetness, plus wholegrain flour and oats for a slower release of energy and seeds for a crunchy, nutritious hit.

Get the recipe for breakfast muffins

We have plenty more sweet and savoury muffin recipes to try.

3. Fig, nut & seed bread with ricotta & fruit

Sliced fruit, nut & seed bread with ricotta & sliced orange

This healthy loaf is closer to banana bread than traditional cake. It's made with dried figs, sultanas, oats, nuts, seeds and black tea, all of which provide a natural boost of energy. Enjoy a slice topped with soft cheese and orange wheels for breakfast or when you need an afternoon pick-me-up.

Get the recipe for fig, nut & seed bread with ricotta & fruit

Low-fat cake recipes

4. Lighter lemon drizzle cake

Low-fat lemon drizzle cake on a plate

Zingy and sweet with a sugary crust, it's easy to see why classic lemon drizzle is one of the most popular cakes on our website. We've kept all the great parts of the original, but reduced the fat by using rapeseed oil and natural yogurt in place of butter.

Get the recipe for lighter lemon drizzle cake

Next time you're looking for a lighter sweet treat, check out our low-fat dessert recipes.

5. The ultimate makeover: chocolate brownies

Healthy chocolate brownies on a plate

Rich, chewy and delightfully moreish, you would never guess these healthier brownies contain a secret ingredient: mayonnaise. This might seem strange at first, but mayo is made using eggs and oil – two key ingredients for keeping cakes and bakes moist. Here, we've used it to lower the fat content in our chocolate brownies.

Get the recipe for the ultimate makeover: chocolate brownies

Love chocolate but looking for some healthier recipes? We've picked out six of our best for you to try.

6. Malt loaf

Slices of malt loaf with butter and a cup of tea

There's something very satisfying about a cup of tea alongside a slice of sticky, buttered malt loaf. This simple, good-for-you version gets its rich, natural sweetness from a combination of dried mixed fruit and malt extract. Our recipe makes two loaves and improves over time – you can even pop it in the freezer for another day.

Get the recipe for malt loaf

Low-sugar cake recipes

7. Low-sugar chocolate sandwich cake

Low sugar chocolate sandwich cake on a cake stand

Who would believe that this gorgeous chocolate cake contains just 2g of sugar per slice? Xylitol and beetroot (yes, beetroot) ensure this cake is a lighter option when it comes to sugar, compared to the classic recipe. The whipped cream topping is low in sugar, too.

Get the recipe for low-sugar chocolate sandwich cake

Want to know more about xylitol and its benefits? Read our helpful guide.

8. Moroccan orange & cardamom cake

Moroccan orange and cardamom cake on a blue plate

We've replaced sugar with xylitol and swapped butter and oil for a puréed whole orange to make this light and zesty cake. Ground almonds and cardamom provide delicate flavour, while polenta gives the cake its fantastic golden colour.

Get the recipe for Moroccan orange & cardamom cake

Know the difference between xylitol and stevia? Switching to a sugar substitute can be confusing. Before you start, read our helpful guide.

9. Low-sugar lemon drizzle cake

Sugar-free lemon drizzle cake

Sweetened with all-natural xylitol, this sponge has a dense, syrupy texture and keeps well for a few days. Serve the way all good loaf cakes should be: with your afternoon cup of tea.

Get the recipe for sugar-free lemon drizzle cake

Gluten-free cake recipes

10. Luscious lemon & raspberry sandwich

Lemon and raspberry sandwich cake with cream filling

Lemon curd yogurt gives this gluten-free sponge cake a lovely light texture. The sandwich layers are filled with light and airy whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Plus, the top is covered with a proper lemon drizzle icing.

Looking for more gluten-free cake recipes? We have plenty more to choose from.

Get the recipe for luscious lemon & raspberry sandwich

11. Fudgy chocolate squares

Sliced chocolate squares with walnuts

These deeply chocolatey sponge squares are made with xanthan gum, ground almonds and a special flour blend to keep them gluten-free. We've added walnuts for crunch, but pecans would work well, too. We think they're best served with ice cream for dessert.

Get the recipe for fudgy chocolate squares

Walnuts are delicious in lots of cakes and bakes – check out more walnut cake recipes.

12. Date, banana & rum loaf

Sliced date, banana & rum loaf with dried fruit

How can a cake with no added fat or sugar be so delicious? By adding mixed spice, sweet sultanas, raisins and dates, along with a good splash of dark rum, of course. Plus, this bake is easily made gluten-free by switching up the baking powder.

Get the recipe for date, banana & rum loaf

Dairy-free cake recipes

13. Vegan sponge cake

Vegan sponge cake with dairy-free cream and jam on a cake stand

Treat your family and friends to our vegan Victoria sponge cake, and delight in telling them it's made with 100 per cent vegan ingredients. Dairy-free spread gives the layers a light, fluffy texture, and it makes a fabulous filling when whipped with icing sugar.

Get the recipe for vegan sponge cake

From traybakes and flapjacks, to cookies and scones, we have lots of vegan baking recipes you'll love.

14. Vegan chocolate cake

Vegan chocolate cake with cherries on a cake stand

Make our easy vegan chocolate sponge for a special occasion by using dairy substitutes. It's finished with luscious 'buttercream' and seasonal fruits, such as cherries, blackberries or figs.

Get the recipe for vegan chocolate cake

15. Vegan carrot cake

Vegan carrot cake decorated with flowers

Master free-from baking with our easy carrot cake recipe. It's lightly spiced, just like classic carrot cake, and feels indulgent thanks to the coconut & cashew buttercream. Edible flowers are a beautiful addition, if you have them.

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Get the recipe for vegan carrot cake

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