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It's not even December and I'm already well into my holiday baking. Every year I start baking earlier and earlier. It seems as though everyone is looking for cakes, cookies, and pies to use for holiday parties, dinners, and to give as gifts during the holidays. While I love a good sweet as much as anyone else, sometimes it gets to be a little much during the holidays.
That's why this year I'm giving the SPLENDA® SWEET SWAPS™ Initiative a try. The SPLENDA® SWEET SWAPS™ Initiative is all about making smarter, balanced decisions for a healthy lifestyle. That means swapping full sugar in holiday baked goods for SPLENDA® Sweetener Products in order to save calories.
I headed to Walmart to see if they had any of the SPLENDA® sugar blends. In the baking aisle I found both the SPLENDA® Sugar Blend and the SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend. Both of these products are a blend of pure sugar and SPLENDA® brand sweetener. Not only do these sugar blends have just half the calories of sugar but I only need to use half the amount in my baking! When using SPLENDA® Sugar Blend or SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend I can substitute ½ cup for 1 cup of sugar that the recipe calls for.
My idea was to make a spice cake with a fresh Cranberry Nut Topping. We were having friends over for a holiday meal and I thought a spice cake would be the perfect dessert after a huge meal. Instead of coating it in sugary frosting I went with an easy Cranberry Nut Sauce sweetened with SPLENDA® Sugar Blend.
I made the spice cake in a Bundt pan and spiced it up with cinnamon, nutmeg, and candied ginger. It came out beautifully and smelled amazing. The Cranberry Nut Sauce was both sweet and tart and had a bit of crunch from the walnuts. The flavor of the sauce went well with the sweet and spicy cake.
I would definitely make this cake again for any holiday party. Cutting the sugar by using SPLENDA® Sugar Blends that can be found at Walmart really did help this dessert to not be overly sweet. Plus, cranberries are the perfect topping on any dessert at the holidays!
For the cake:
- ½ c. butter
- ½ c. applesauce
- ¼ c. SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
- ¼ c. SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 ½ c. flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 Tablespoon candied ginger, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ c. milk
For the cranberry nut sauce:
- 1 c. fresh cranberries
- ⅓ c. SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
- 1 c. water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ c. walnuts, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the butter, applesauce, SPLENDA® Sugar Blend, and SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend. Mix well until combined.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla and stir well.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and mix well until combined.
- Stir the milk into the butter and flour mixture and mix until well combined.
- Add in the remaining flour mixture and mix for one minute or until well combined.
- Pour the batter into the Bundt pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 1 hour.
- Run a butter knife around the edge of the pan and turn it onto a plate.
- To make the cranberry sauce combine the cranberries, SPLENDA® Sugar Blend, water, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat.
- Once the mixture boils stir frequently for 10 minutes or until it has thickened.
- Remove from heat and stir in the nuts. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- When ready to serve spoon the cranberry nut sauce over top of the spice cake.
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