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Lower Sugar Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Frosting

Delicious cake , sweetened with honey and coconut sugar!

Low sugar lightened up moist vanilla cake with strawberry frosting.

The next time that you’re looking for a classic vanilla cake, whether for a birthday, holiday, or a special event, you must try this one! It’s easy to mix up, has a wonderfully delicate crumb, and it boasts the rich flavor that you expect from a vanilla layer cake. It also has less sugar in both the cake and the frosting than similar cakes. This makes it a nice choice to share with your entire family.

Low sugar lightened up moist vanilla cake with strawberry frosting.

This cake relies on a mix of coconut sugar and honey for sweetness and a combination of Greek yogurt, butter, and eggs for moisture. (If you’re looking for a perfect fruit-sweetened first birthday cake, check this one out. Or this Banana Birthday Cake. Or this Sweet Potato Apple Cake.) It also manages to maintain the flavor and texture that you want from a classic cake, while also including less sugar—especially since it features a cream cheese frosting, rather than one made from powdered sugar.

Low sugar lightened up moist vanilla cake with strawberry frosting.

A small slice of this cake is perfect for a birthday party or a special event. It also goes a long way towards satisfying a craving for dessert. The fresh berries add a nice contrast to the rich cake. The frosting, made with cream cheese, strawberry jam, and a little honey, is creamy without being cloyingly sweet. In short, the elements combine to make a delightfully less-sweet dessert with real ingredients that everyone  will love.

Low sugar lightened up moist vanilla cake with strawberry frosting. Lower Sugar Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Frosting

My daughter, who generally prefers vanilla ice cream over any other dessert, loved her little slice of this cake. And she got her little fingers into the icing when I wasn’t looking. I took it to be a sign of homemade dessert success!

This vanilla layer cake is best served on the day that it’s made, though we had no problem eating up the leftovers on the day after. (Just be sure to cover the cake so that the frosting doesn’t dry out.)

Note about the coconut sugar: If you can find “blonde” coconut sugar, that will give you a lighter color. Otherwise, the darker kind that’s often more readily available will create a slightly darker golden cake, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just to manage expectations. (Both work the same in the recipe.) Can’t find coconut sugar? Try using organic cane sugar instead.

Amy Palanjian shares recipes and feeding inspiration for little ones at Yummy Toddler Food. Follow her on Instagram or find her on Facebook

Lower Sugar Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Frosting

  • 1/3 cup – Greek yogurt, plain
  • 4 tablespoon – butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup – coconut sugar
  • 4 large – egg
  • 1 teaspoon – vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup – honey
  • 2 cup – flour, whole wheat
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon – baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon – salt
  • 3/4 cup – milk
  • 1 cup – strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cup – cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoon – butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup – jam, all-fruit
  • 3 tablespoon – honey
  • 1 teaspoon – vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease two 9-inch round baking pans well. Use the pans to trace rounds of parchment paper, cut out, set inside the pans, and grease again. Set aside.
  2. Use a hand-held mixer to beat and soften the yogurt, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and honey until well mixed and aerated, about 3 minutes.
  3. Using a spatula, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk, stirring very gently in between. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, shaking gently to ensure that the batter is spread to the edges. Bake for 24-26 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then invert carefully onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
  4. Place one cake onto a serving plate and top with about 1/3 of the frosting. Layer on the sliced strawberries. Add another 1/3 of the frosting onto the second cake and invert on top of the strawberries, sandwiching the berries between the frosting. Add the remaining frosting to the top of the cake and spread evenly to the edges. Top with whole berries if desired. Serves 14-16
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. With a hand-held mixer, combine 1 1/2 packages of cream cheese at room temperature, 2 tablespoons butter softened at room temperature, 1/4 cup seedless all-fruit strawberry jam, 3 tablespoons honey, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until light and fluffy.

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Claire Reid

It doesn’t say when to add the flour! I’ll assuming it’s in the cake mixture


im just trying this recipe just now- is the batter supposed to be so wet? ive just added about another half cup of flour…. there really doesnt seem enough mixture for 2×9″ tins either?


Can I make these into cupcakes? How long do you think I need to put it in the oven and at what temperature? Thanks!


I made doubled the recipe and made these into cupcakes today. They were not very sweet at all and I could hardly taste the vanilla. Mine also came out a bit wet/moist in the inside. I think the frosting will help it taste a little sweeter.


I tried this recipe the other day, I know I’m a little late to the party. The taste was very good, but the texture came out incredibly bready. Is that how the cake usually turns out or did I maybe do something wrong? I’m considering adding crushed raspberries for extra flavor and liquid content–maybe that would help the texture? Any idea how much extra liquid I could add without making the batter useless?


What should I mix first butter and sugar or butter with eggs? or it doesn’t matter I won’t be putting baking powder since I don’t want the cake to expand


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