Healthy Berry Layer Cake

Healthy Berry Layer Cake

Healthy berry layer cake is made with no refined sugar or butter. Naturally sweetened, this strawberry, lemon and blueberry layer cake is an easy healthy cake recipe to enjoy during the summer.

healthy berry layer cake on a white plate

I feel like I say this every year, but wow, I can’t believe next week is already the 4th of July. Why does it feel like the summer always flies by, while the winter is never ending?

Typically, we spend the 4th with my family out on the boat. Back in Iowa, the fireworks are shot off on the 3rd, which is actually my Dad’s birthday. It’s always fun to spend time with them and all of the other boaters out to celebrate our Independence.

healthy berry layer cake on a white plate

This year though, we’re heading up north with my parents and friends of theirs to Door County. I feel like we just went to South Carolina, but I will never turn down a vacation. We’ll be staying in a cabin right on the water, so no boating will be missed during this time. 🚤

If you have fun plans for the fourth {maybe a picnic or backyard gathering} this healthy berry layer cake would make the perfect stunning dessert to serve to friends and family.

Healthy ingredients in healthy berry layer cake

You’re probably wondering how it could be possible to create a spongy, soft cake with no butter. When I initially started making this cake I was a bit skeptical too. But let me tell you, this cake tastes just as delicious without the butter and sugar.

I needed to make sure this healthy berry layer cake maintained its moisture. Applesauce and Greek yogurt are great ways to bump up the moisture and help make the cake spongy soft.

slice of healthy berry layer cake on a plate with cake in background

The other secret healthy ingredient for a butter replacement? Grapeseed oil!

Grapeseed oil has no trans fats and a neutral flavor that makes it perfect for this healthy berry layer cake. The fats in grapeseed oil also help mimic that of butter and impart great moisture into the cake.

Natural food coloring in healthy berry layer cake

One of my favorite parts about this cake is the natural coloring and fruit flavoring. This is thanks to freeze dried strawberries and blueberries.

All you have to do is put the strawberries in a small food processor {this is honestly the best one and I use it ALL the time}. Then pulse until they become a powder.

Freeze dried fruit pulsed and turned into a powder-min

It’s best to do the strawberries first, wipe out the food processor with a paper towel, then pulse the blueberries. The blueberries were much stickier and the bowl was much harder to clean with a paper towel.

Your batter will be split into three different bowl. Stir in the powdered strawberries in one bowl and the blueberries in another. For the sake of enhancing the color, I did stir in a bit of gel food coloring. But you could increase the amount of strawberries and blueberries if you’d like to naturally enhance the color.

Naturally colored cake batter with freeze dried fruit-min

Assembly and frosting healthy berry layer cake

Healthy berry layer cake isn’t overly sweet, as it was best to let the fresh fruit and freeze dried fruits shine. So the frosting for this cake also couldn’t be too over the top.

So I took a page from my Strawberry Rosé Poke Cake playbook, and made a cream cheese Cool Whip frosting. And boy am I glad I went that route! It’s thick and fluffy and mildly sweet. It made the perfect topping to each cake.

Assembling healthy berry layer cake-min

Layer the cakes starting with the strawberry, frost and top with real strawberries. Then the lemon cake, frost and top with blueberries. Finally place the blueberry cake on top and frost.

I sliced a few extra strawberries to create a pretty pattern on top of the cake.

two slices of healthy berry layer cake on white plates

Then slice up nice big pieces for your guest {and yourself of course} and enjoy this healthy berry layer cake all summer.

Looking for more healthy 4th of July recipes? Check out these!

Lemon Raspberry No-Bake Cheesecake

Red, White and Blue Cookie Dough Bites

Gluten Free Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars

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Healthy berry layer cake is made with no refined sugar or butter. Naturally sweetened, this strawberry, lemon and blueberry layer cake is an easy healthy cake recipe to enjoy during the summer. #healthycake #healthycakerecipe #naturallysweetened #creamcheesefrosting #fourthofjulydessert #4thofjulyrecipe #fourthofjulycake

Healthy Berry Layer Cake
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
Healthy berry layer cake is made with no refined sugar or butter. Naturally sweetened, this strawberry, lemon and blueberry layer cake is an easy healthy cake recipe to enjoy during the summer.
Course: Dessert
Servings: 10
Ingredients
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup sugar in the raw
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 ¾ cup white whole wheat flour sifted*
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup freeze dried strawberries
  • ½ cup freeze dried blueberries
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
  • 8 oz light cream cheese softened
  • 1 {8 oz} tub lite Cool Whip
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup diced fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
Directions
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease three 8” round cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the applesauce, Greek yogurt, milk, grapeseed oil, vanilla, syrup and sugar. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sifted flour, baking powder and soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  4. Split the batter evenly into two additional bowls {three total bowls of batter}.
  5. In a small food processor, pulse the freeze dried strawberries until they become a powder. Stir into one bowl of batter until combined. **
  6. Wipe out the food processor and add the freeze dried blueberries and pulse until they become a powder. Stir into the second bowl of batter until combined.**
  7. In the last bowl of batter, stir in the lemon juice and zest.
  8. Pour the batter into three separate prepared pans and bake for 21-25 minutes, until cake starts to pull away from edges and are lightly browned on top.
  9. Remove and let sit on a wire rack to let cool completely.
  10. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the Cool Whip and vanilla until combined. Place in the refrigerator until cakes have cooled.
  11. Once cakes have completely cooled, place the red cake on the bottom. Spread a third of the frosting on top and top with the strawberries.
  12. Place the lemon cake on top and top with another third of the frosting and top with the blueberries.
  13. Place the blueberry cake on top and top with sliced strawberries and blueberries.
Recipe Notes

*Note: sifted flour will make for a less grainy and lighter cake.

 

**Note: I did add some gel food coloring to enhance the red and blue color of the cakes. Feel free to increase the amount of powdered strawberries/blueberries if you don’t want to use food coloring.



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