Single-Serve Vanilla Cake

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Have you ever wanted just one piece of cake? Me too. Basically, all the time.

Have you ever baked a whole cake and had the willpower to just eat one slice? Yeah, me neither.

Cake makes my soul happy, but my waistline unbelievably unhappy. I firmly believe in indulgences though, and I find that if I restrict my diet so much to exclude delicious treats like cake, I binge on them like crazy later. So instead, I did some investigating on how to create a single-serve cake that would satisfy my cravings, but put the brakes on how much I can eat.

Microwave mug cakes were all the rage on Pinterest a year or two ago, and I’ve made them before, but with less than stellar results. My mug cakes were always goopy on the inside, but kind of tough on the outside, and the fact that they were baked in my mug meant that frosting and layers were kind of out of the question.

Instead, I powered up my oven, pulled out my smallest oven-safe Pyrex container, and got a-baking.

Lesson of the day: sometimes, a microwave oven doesn’t cut it, and you need the real deal to get something delicious.

In the end, I got a perfect little cake that was moist-yet-firm, and evenly baked. I whipped up a little nutella buttercream frosting because I’m super indulgent like that, and threw on a few colorful sugar sprinkles, and voila! Deliciousness just for me, myself, and I.

ps. play with this recipe and create new flavors by adding fresh fruit or nut extracts!

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Single-Serve Vanilla Cake
Serves: 1!
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
1 1/2 Tbsp liquid egg whites
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp butter, melted
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup flour
1/8 tsp (heaping) baking powder
Pinch of salt
3/4 Tbsp milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom and sides of a small oven-safe, glass container (I used a small Pyrex container without the lid, about 6″ diameter)
  2. In a bowl, use a fork to whisk egg whites and sugar until well combined. Add in butter and vanilla extract, and whisk well. Add flour, baking powder and salt, and stir to break up lumps, until the mixture is uniform and smooth. Stir in milk and combine.
  3. Pour batter into Pyrex container, and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cake is set, the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely and decorate with your frosting, sprinkles, and/or fruit.

 

 

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Easy Vanilla Flan

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The first time I had flan, I was said, “flan is so weird.” I mean, it really is. It lies somewhere between a custard and jello, and it’s sweet and sticky with its caramel topping. Even though it’s not super heavy like triple layer chocolate cake, it’s still pretty sugary and generally unhealthy, and not necessarily easy to make, especially when you go the “homemade caramel” route.

I’m all about the shortcuts here.

I came up with a yummy flan recipe with a couple of diet friendly modifications, and it was a big hit among my guests! I love the way that the caramel just flows over the flan. The recipe itself isn’t super time consuming, and you can just throw it in the oven to bake, and kind of forget about it for an hour. FYI, that’s just enough time to watch a rerun of Law and Order: SVU on TV. I’m down with any recipe that allows me to do such things.

Also, I used one large ramekin instead of several small ones (to save on dishes and such), and then cut the flan into small pieces.

Easy Vanilla Flan
Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
1 14oz can low fat sweetened condensed milk
2 13oz cans low fat evaporated milk
1/2 cup granulated white sugar, or sugar substitute (like Splenda or Stevia)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar free caramel topping (like Smucker’s)

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. In a stand mixer or using a whisk, blend the egg substitute with both milks. Slowly mix in sugar, and then vanilla, until the mixture is smooth and uniform.
  3. Pour caramel topping into 6 ramekins, or into 1 large ceramic, round pan. Swirl the caramel around until the bottom of the dish(es) is covered.
  4. Pour the milk mixture into the pan(s), and place ramekin(s) into a large glass or ceramic baking dish. Fill the dish with 1-2″ of hot water, and bake in the oven for an hour, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven, and let cool. After the flan has cooled, place flan in the fridge for at least an hour.
  6. When ready to serve, use a pairing knife to loosen the edges of the flan. Invert onto a plate, and serve.