Reduced Sugar Lemon Coconut Yoghurt Cake – Lottie’s Birthday Cake

Well our baby girl is 1! Walking, climbing and saying a few words (wow being an all round favourite) so not really such a baby anymore. To help make Freddie feel a real part of Lottie’s birthday I asked him to decide what type of cake she should have, after suggesting a digger, bus and dump truck he opted for a butterfly cake. Thankfully a pretty simple shape. To try and keep the cake in line with my general attitude towards the food I feed our family I made a few changes to the way I made her cake, reducing the sugar content and only using any natural colours.


I reduced the sugar content in the cake replacing the sugar with coconut to make sure the flavour wasn’t compromised and used raw sugar. Raw sugar has had minimal processing (the most natural sugar available in the supermarket). It is pressed and mixed with lime juice to remove the impurities before being turned into crystals by evaporation. Just because it is less refined doesn’t make it any better for your family’s health or teeth than white or brown sugar however it does make it better for the environment. If you are wanting to use healthier sugar in cooking there are definitely better alternatives I prefer cooking with honey, pureed dates, apple puree, mashed banana, orange juice, rapedura and rice bran sugar.

For the cream cheese icing there really is no suitable alternative to icing sugar, although I have heard of people using xylitol, I didn’t think Lottie’s birthday cake was the time to experiment! I decided that I would use natural colourings to make the pink colour. There is a really helpful post on One Handed Cook’s – I obviously didn’t puree my beetroot enough as the puree made flecks in the icing so I will definitely be using the cooking juice next time. Freddie bless him said it made it look like a real butterfly, I wasn’t convinced and wish I’d experimented earlier in the week. I read elsewhere that you should cook the beetroot and then once cooked cut it up and put it back in the cooking juice for an hour and use the juice to colour the icing. Smarties are also free from artificial colourings so are a good choice for decorating birthday cakes.

Lemon Yoghurt and Coconut Cake
This recipe is an adapted form of Donna Hay’s Lemon yoghurt cake and made with Freddie especially for Lottie. You can see him crack an egg on facebook!

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1/2 cup rice bran oil
2 eggs
finely grated rind of 2 lemons
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup of natural yoghurt
3/4 cup raw sugar
2 cups sieved self-raising flour
1/3 cup dessicated coconut

Place the oil, eggs, lemon juice and yoghurt in the food processor and process until combined and smooth.
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Add the sieved flour, coconut and lemon rind. Process until just combined. Make sure you don’t over mix.
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Pour the batter into a 26cm diameter lined cake tin and bake for 30 minutes at 180 ‘C (I do not use the fan setting on my oven for baking cakes, I think it dries them out).
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The cake will be golden and should be cooked when tested with a skewer. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.

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Cream Cheese Icing
Cream cheese icing is a great alternative to butter icing for carrot, banana and lemon cakes as it is lower in saturated fat. You can also add 1/4 cup of coconut to this recipe.

75g butter
250g full fat cream cheese
350g sieved icing sugar
2 tbps of lemon juice

Beat the butter until light and creamy.

Add the cream cheese and beat to combine.

Add the lemon juice and half the icing sugar. Combine and then add the remaining icing sugar.

Colour as desired. Add beetroot juice to colour pink (approximately 2 tbps).


I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did.


4 thoughts on “Reduced Sugar Lemon Coconut Yoghurt Cake – Lottie’s Birthday Cake

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