Warning: Unhealthy food ahead

So, I love to bake.  As I mentioned earlier this week, my mom baked and sold custom birthday cakes out of our kitchen when I was little, and I grew up licking beaters and getting little dollops of frosting on my finger.  (I won’t delve into how this has influenced my later weight and eating issues, but whatever.)  Baking has always been my solace–I love zoning out and measuring precisely and coming out an hour later with something delightfully warm and wonderful.

When I started losing weight, I tried “healthy” baking.  It didn’t really catch on.  Well, that’s not entirely true, I suppose–I still like making whole wheat breads and pizza doughs and such.  But all the lower-calorie cookies and cakes to me are just subpar pale imitations of the real thing (and yes, I can taste the difference between applesauce and oil), so I kind of had to figure out a happy medium.  I tried giving up baking entirely, and that made me sad.  So, I finally just had to figure out some strategies so that I could keep my favorite hobby, but not the extra pounds it was causing me.

Enter strategy number one: GIVE IT AWAY.  I started baking right before I had meetings to attend for school, and would bring treats to share with everyone.  (Bonus: this makes you popular.)  Since we’ve moved, I’ve taken to baking things and sending a good portion of the stuff to work with T.  (Unfortunately, he has a very small office, so I can’t get rid of too much this way.  He needs more coworkers!)  Tonight, I baked a double batch of Bakerella’s Cake Balls.  Half of them will be going to the Ronald McDonald House where I volunteer, for families of hospitalized children to eat.  About a quarter will be going to work with T, and the rest will stay at home.

(Instead of making red velvet cake balls–been there, done that–I made one batch using strawberry cake mix/rainbow chip frosting/white chocolate coating and another batch making German chocolate cake mix/coconut pecan frosting/dark chocolate coating.  Mmm.)  Here is the pictorial evolution of the cake balls:

cakeballs 001

cakeballs 002

cakeballs 003

cakeballs 005

cakeballs 006

Delicious!  (Note: I don’t usually use so many baggies, but the house director at Ronald McDonald House suggested individual size packaging for snacks so families can grab them on their way out the door.)

Strategy number two for baking: portion control.  One batch of cake balls yields probably 36 balls–so, that’s basically 1/36 of a cake, 1/36 of a can of frosting, and a minimal amount of chocolate coating.  Compare that to a whole cake, in which if you eat one slice, you’re eating what, 1/8 of the cake?  1/16, maybe?  No, it’s still not good for you, but it’s less of a calorie hit when you downsize a bit.  The trick with cake balls is to just stop at one, which, trust me, is easier said than done.  But I find that if I bake smaller things, like cake balls instead of cake, or mini muffins instead of muffins, I don’t miss the huge chunk of dessert–it’s nice to just get a taste.

Anyway, what are your strategies for baking?  Anyone else a slightly reformed baker like me?

5 Responses

  1. Awesome! I think my approach is similar to yours – if I make a “real deal” treat, I eat in moderation. Other ways I’ve “reformed” my baking – I’ve recently become a vegan so I love veganizing recipes. 🙂 Also – I feel like a lot of times the “healthy desserts” can be an acquired taste. But even with “healthy” baked goods – a baked good is still a baked good and should still be eaten in moderation. (So why not just go for the good stuff, right?) lol. Just some of what I’ve learned on my baking journey. 🙂

  2. I’ve tried the healthified baking and it doesn’t work so well. I think that baking, the real way, is one of life’s indulgences I am going to take advantage of.

  3. My strategy is to share! I give baked goods to my babysitter, co-workers, neighbors and family!

  4. I make desserts for a restaurant and catering company.. and boy, it is THE hardest thing for me not to lick the spoon! Pastries are not what I want to do with my life because I don’t want to end up hating it.

    The point, when I bake at home, I also make mini desserts, cupcakes, brownie bites, truffles, etc. Such a compromise, and they’re so darn cute! Just found your blog, and I love it. Very inspiring, and you look great! (Cake balls.. MUST try.)

  5. […] it was onto Brie’s famous cake balls. Aka Bakerella’s red velvet cake […]

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