Easy-as-Pie Low Sugar Monkey Cake

Light, Fluffy, Rich, Lower Sugar!

Looking for a sweet dessert without the chemicals, weird artificial flavor taste, and without added sugar? Impossible! Forget it! Oh wait. Enter: Monkey Cake.

Sugar–with it’s highly inflammatory, blood sugar-spiking, acne-growing, and teeth-rotting attributes, combined with the fact that it doesn’t even do your laundry–has sent me on a dessert mission. A mission to create a lower sugar baked good that’s not only highly tolerable, but bordering on cravable. This one does it, especially if you’re part monkey. The sweetness comes from bananas and a touch of Truvia, a natural calorie-free sweetener from the stevia plant. The coconut oil–gaining new health praise–adds a subtle tropical kick. Give it a whirl–it’s easy as pie!

Money Cake (Low Sugar)
Makes 12 hunks
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

2 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup filtered water
3 Tablespoons Truvia Baking Blend (or other stevia leaf extract for baking)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted, or vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (like Bob’s), or 2 1/2 cups brown rice flour (like Bob’s)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mash banana, water, and stevia together, and stir in oil and vanilla until well-mixed.

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl. Combine flour mixture and cinnamon with wet mixture by stirring in gradually.

Pour mixture into a greased 9″ x 9″ square or 9″ round baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes, until top is golden brown. Let the cake cool before cutting.

Nutrition Info Per Hunk: 150 calories, 5 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 202 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 3 g protein, 7% Iron.

The trick with using stevia baking blend in recipes is to substitute it at a 1:2 ratio for sugar. The stevia is sweeter and has a nasty aftertaste if overdone. The original version of this recipe called for 1/2 cup sugar (8 Tablespoons), and 3 Tablespoons of stevia baking blend does the trick without any nasty.

7 thoughts on “Easy-as-Pie Low Sugar Monkey Cake

  1. Joanne Irwin says:

    Jen, as recently as last February, Jeff Novick (who works with Dr. McDougall) posted that coconut oil is “91% saturated fat, and about 28% of the two WORST saturated fats.” He recommends avoiding it and eating only whole coconut!! I’ve followed that prescription, but find your article interesting. Another bit of conflicting info. Oh my, what to do????

      • Jen Reilly says:

        Thanks, Cheryl. Fats are definitely important to health. I, personally, need to look into more of the research on coconut oil. But, for now, the studies seem to point in the direction of coconut oil being quite beneficial in moderate amounts, say 1-4 tablespoons per day. – Jen

      • Joanne Irwin says:

        Hi, Jen. Just spoke with my physician today who is a lifestyle practitioner and plant based eater. He’s a nutrition expert. He says NO to coconut oil. I respect his position and his work. He noted that he’s often questioned about the efficacy of coconut oil. He says it’s a NO NO. Not only he is an internist, but did the Cornell certification, and is now completing his Master’s in Public Health. As he said, “Fat is fat, and oil is fat.” Thanks for giving us this opportunity to dialogue.

    • Jen Reilly says:

      Thanks for your comment, Joanne. From my understanding, the medium-chain saturated fatty acids in coconut oil–while saturated–are rare and actually work to decrease heart disease risk compared to the long-chain saturated fatty acids in butter, bacon, etc. Here’s one study abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058. While Dr. McDougall has done some remarkable work, his recommendations are generally very very low in total fat, and I would suspect he would discourage the intake of most fats or refined fats (olives are ok, olive oil is not, for example). However, with anything, variety is key too. Just because coconut oil may be beneficial, it shouldn’t be overdone. Hope that helps! – Jen

      • Joanne Irwin says:

        Thanks so much, Jen. I agree with you. If we’re eating plant based and mainly low-fat, a little coconut oil every now and then appears beneficial. I did check pub med, as well, and one abstract sounded positive. I’ll check out the one you sent. I also like what Dr. Fuhrman has to say about incorporating healthy nuts and seeds in dressings; that the fat in them helps absorb other important nutrients. And, by the way, I just love your cookbook, “The Skinny Dish”. I use it all the time and share your work at all my classes. The detox is wonderful. Off to do a class now and will be making the ‘Berry Smoothie’. Take care!

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