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How to Bake a Light and Fluffy Chocolate Cake Without Oil or Butter

by Deborah Lundin, studioD

In a typical chocolate cake recipe, it is the butter or oil that helps deliver a moist, flavorful dessert. When you are looking for healthier options or trying to lose weight, however, that butter or oil may be enough to make you pass on the yummy treat. Various fruits offer ideal substitutions for the moisture while enhancing the natural flavors of the chocolate cake and reducing the calorie and fat content.

Place your favorite fruit into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. As an alternative, applesauce is already pureed and is an ideal substitution for oil and butter in just about any cake recipe, regardless of flavor. For chocolate cakes, fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, bananas, peaches or pears provide the necessary moisture for a light and fluffy cake without compromising the chocolate flavor.

Combine your chocolate cake ingredients as the recipe suggests. When you reach the part where you add the oil or butter, substitute the fruit puree. Fruit puree substitutes at half the amount of oil or butter your recipe requires. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, measure out 1/2 cups of pureed fruit and add to the other ingredients. Combine ingredients as directed.

Pour the cake batter into a pan and bake at the directed temperature. When you replace oil or butter with fruit puree, the cooking time is often reduced. Begin checking your cake for doneness about 10 minutes before the recommended cooking time. For example, if your recipe calls for a 30-minute cooking time, check your cake at 20 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, take your cake out of the oven, as cooking is complete.

Items you will need
  •  Fruit (fresh, frozen or canned)
  •  Blender or food processor
  •  Mixing bowl
  •  Measuring cups
  •  Cake pan
  •  Toothpick


  • Low-fat or fat-free yogurt or buttermilk also make good substitutes, though aren't quite as light. When substituting for butter, replace with 1/2 of what the recipe calls for. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, replace with 1/2 cups of yogurt or buttermilk. For oil, begin with a half substitution. If the batter seems too dry, continue to add up to 3/4 of what the recipe calls for. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, begin adding 1/2 cups of yogurt, adding an additional 1/4 cups if necessary.

About the Author

Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.

Photo Credits

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