I mentioned last week that I still had another strawberry recipe coming up, and I couldn't wait any longer to share it with you!
I love making healthy snack cakes because they're usually so easy to put together - just mix the batter and pour it all into one pan. I also like that you can eat them whenever and however you like - I enjoyed these as part of my breakfast, as morning and afternoon snacks, and for dessert!
I was inspired to make this snack cake by a recipe I had bookmarked from Sweet & Natural for banana coconut bars. Since I also had some local strawberries that I wanted to incorporate into some kind of baked treat, I decided to modify the recipe by adding chopped strawberries to the cake.
I made a few other changes to the recipe as well, like substituting spelt flour for half of the whole wheat flour, adding vanilla extract, replacing the molasses with cane sugar, and eliminating the agave syrup because I thought the cake would be sweet enough already. I also added some chopped pecans for extra texture and crunch.
I have to say, this may be one of my favourite snack cakes I've made yet! The texture turned out the way a lot of low-fat baked goods tend to be, which I happen to love - dense and slightly chewy, and super moist.
I thought the strawberry, banana and coconut flavors all came through in just the right balance, and it had just the right amount of sweetness too (I actually would have preferred it a bit less sweet, but I think my sweet tooth is lacking a bit - my sister assured me it was perfect the way it was!)
I shared some of this cake with my family, and they all loved it too. It's a nice treat to have around for snacking, especially because it's pretty healthy and light, so you can eat a couple pieces without feeling stuffed. It also keeps well for a few days in a container, although it might not last that long!
This would be a great way to use up any strawberries you might still have, but don't worry if you can't get local ones anymore - I think the store-bought ones would work well in this recipe too. Or you could try the recipe with another summer fruit - I think blueberries would taste amazing with the banana and coconut!
Low-Fat Strawberry Banana Snack Cake
Adapted from Sweet and Natural
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup light spelt flour
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used sweetened but next time I would try unsweetened)
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsbp cane sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped strawberries
1/3 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8x8 pan with cooking spray.
Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl (flours through to salt). In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients (mashed banana through to vanilla extract).
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Gently fold in the strawberries and pecans.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 35-45 minutes, until the sides start to pull away from the pan, the top feels firm, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to finish cooling before cutting into squares.
Makes about 16 squares.