Vanilla Bean Cake- a.k.a.Guilt Free Cake

Vanilla Bean Cake

When I tell people that we have completely eliminated sugar at our house I get a variety of responses – from “Good for you!” to shock and amazement “How did you do that?” I even have some people who swear they can’t live without their sugar fix, which I think is cute actually.

We originally made this choice due to Matthew’s needs but I feel that it has benefited us all. In fact, through my sugar free journey I have slowly been able to ‘convert’ some of my other family members. Not that I am on a mission to convert anyone, it is all personal choice and it is not for me or anyone else to get preachy and tell people what to do. But I do like talking about it and sharing what I have learned with others, and if it benefits them, then I am happy to have helped.

My family became interested in what I was doing as they were watching the changes I was making and how I was doing it. They became curious, so some of them decided to try it themselves, choosing to do so for different reasons. My mother has done quite a bit without sugar, now making bread, cookies, cakes, etc. She is also very accommodating when we come to visit and makes sure that she has food and meals for us that meet the no sugar requirement. Bless her!

I also have influenced my aunt and one of my sisters, so much so that they are coming to me for recipes and tips. They are learning themselves too how to adjust a recipe that they already have to meet their needs.

Once Upon a Time

My sister Cathy, currently of Vancouver, BC and part of the costume team for Once Upon a Time (I love that show!) came to me looking for a recipe for vanilla bean cake. I had come across this when working with Nina Manolson of Healthy Yummy Kids and Smokin’ Hot Mom. Cathy had tried a vanilla bean cake before without much success so was looking for a new recipe.

She tried the recipe I gave her as is but found that for her personal tastes it was a bit dry and needed a little something to spruce it up. So she adjusted and revised the recipe and now makes this moist delicious cake! Which I can vouch is true, as I got to have a piece this summer. She usually tops it with vanilla bean ice cream, but it is very good without.

It was so good that I asked her to send me her revised recipe to post on my blog and share with you folks. So here it is, enjoy! And it is a very healthy cake, dairy free, sugar free, gluten free and full of fibre, so go ahead have 2 pieces!

Vanilla Bean Cake

2 cups cooked white beans

Coconut Oil

6 eggs

3/4 tsp. liquid stevia

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/3 c. honey

1/4 c. coconut oil, liquified

1/3 c. coconut flour, sifted

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1.5 tsp. baking powder

1 fresh lemon

In a blender or food processor add white beans, rinsed and at room temperature (this is so they don’t cook the eggs or congeal the coconut oil), eggs, stevia, vanilla and honey. Puree well.

Then add to blender coconut oil, coconut flour, sea salt, baking powder and baking soda and puree well.

Transfer mixture from blender to a bowl. Add the zest of one lemon.  Fold in by hand.

Squeeze all the juice of the lemon into a cup and add 1 pkg.  (1 g) of stevia sweetner.  Stir and set aside until after the cake is out of the oven.

Pour mixture into a spring form pan, or a well greased 9” cake pan. Sprinkle fresh or frozen blueberries on the top.

Bake at 325 F for 55 minutes.  Check if it’s done by inserting a knife in the centre, if it comes out clean, it’s done.  Otherwise bake for  5-10 additional minutes, checking often so it doesn’t over bake.

Once cake is removed from the oven, let stand for 10 minutes.  Then, while still warm, pour lemon juice mixture over top of cake.

It is delicious warm and plain, or add a scoop of frozen dessert such as Organic Rice Dream Frozen Dessert.

Vanilla Bean Cake topped with yummy ice cream

Next week I will have my first guest blogger, Nina Manolson of Healthy Yummy Kids. She is a certified holistic health coach who believes and educates women and families how to live and eat well in a world that doesn’t. She has many tips and recipes on how to eat and live sugar free as well, so if you wish to continue your sugar free learning don’t miss her post next week!

Sugar Free Condiments

When we went sugar free at our house I began reading labels more diligently to ensure that we were not purchasing products with sugar in them. I believed that if we had to eliminate sugar for Matthew to have it really make a difference, we needed to do it across the board. Which meant everything, not only the obvious stuff like candy, cookies, cake, etc. but the hidden sugars as well. So in things like bread, ketchup, relish, mayonnaise, even table salt (yes it’s true), all contain sugar.

Some of these things I have been able to easily make myself. For instance, I bought a Cuisinart breadmaker and now make all our bread. Anything from whole wheat to cinnamon swirl, I have been able to find or adapt a recipe to make yummy fresh bread. And I love my breadmaker! In the past I avoided making bread because I always had trouble getting it to rise and ended up with a firm heavy loaf. With the breadmaker I simply put all the ingredients in, select the right loaf, size and crust and I walk away. In 3-4 hours I have fresh bread. That is my kind of breadmaking!

Condiments are one of those foods that we as a society use frequently that can be very high in sugar. Things like salad dressings, ketchup, barbeque sauce, and mayonnaise. Though I have found and tried some recipes in making my own, there are some products available to buy from the grocery shelf without sugar, that are excellent. Though I am very dedicated to meeting my family’s dietary needs, I do not want to spend my life in the kitchen! So when I find a product in the store that meets our requirements, it makes life a little easier.

These are the condiments that I have found, so far, that are sugar free and delicious.

Bodacious Tomato Ketchup – made by Honey Bunny, this organic tomato ketchup is sweetened with honey and is very good. I used to be a loyal Heinz ketchup user and found that other brands just did not measure up, but I find this one to be quite good.

There are also other brands of ketchup out there that sweeten it with agave and though I have not tried them myself, could be a good alternative.

Amazing Dad’s BBQ Sauce – also made by Honey Bunny this is a really good BBQ Sauce. The original flavour is the only one that is without sugar, sweetened with honey.


Vegenaise – made by Earth Island, this is a dairy free, as well as a sugar free option for mayonnaise. There is no sweetener in this product whatsoever.

Relish – I have yet to find a relish on the grocery shelf without sugar, so my only option at this point is to make my own. But I am sure there is one out there, so I will keep you posted!

Salt – I no longer buy regular table salt but have moved to buying Sea Salt. There are many brands out there to choose from, but I find Bob’s Red Mill Sea Salt to not only be a good brand but reasonably priced.

Condiments in general seem to have a lot of added sugar in them. Salad dressings are another condiment that often have added sugar. Though I have found some tasty salad dressing recipes I have yet to discover a product off the shelf without the added sugar.

In the meantime check out your local grocery store for some of these sugar free options, give them a try and decide for yourself!

PS If you have found any sugar free products such as salad dressings or other condiments I invite you to comment below and share your discoveries with us! It is always great to share resources.