I was looking for a fun, healthy, and festive cake for this holiday season to satisfy my health cautious family’s sweet tooth. Being a dietitian, I also want to be a role model when I distribute holiday treats to my dear neighbors and friends on Christmas morning after opening our gifts. We started this tradition last year and would like to continue as long as I can. I looked through so many recipes online for this cake. Most of them were either too lengthy or too complicated until I landed on this Joy of Baking page. I highly recommend you watch this video. She made it so easy for me that I made the whole cake without even printing her recipe. I just made some variations to her recipe to make this delicious cake healthier.
Note 1: Sorry, I have a long ingredient list in here. But please do not get discouraged. Just watch this video and follow her directions. She makes it so easy. She recommends 3 cups of any dried fruits and 3 cups of any dried nuts. And that is what I exactly measured my fruits and nuts. So keep the measurement simple.
Note 2: I followed her directions except using whole wheat flour (3/4 cup) and all-purpose flour (1/4 cup), and 4 eggs instead of 3. I also cut down on sugar, and sweetness was just optimum. This way, I was able to turn a Red dot recipe into a Yellow Dot recipe (healthier version) 🙂 And I decided to add some clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg powder (1 teaspoon each) for an extra boost of flavor and wellness.
1. Heat oven to 300-degree F. Prepare baking pan (9×12) with a coat of butter, then sprinkle 1 tablespoon of whole wheat flour to prevent it from sticking.
2. Chop dried fruits and nuts into large size pieces. They look pretty and provide a nice texture when you cut through the cake. Mix all the nuts and fruits in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. Pour this flour mixture into the fruits and nuts bowl and mix with hands well. Add orange zest. I grated the whole tanagrine into the bowl, squeezing some juice and pulp as well. Use your fingers to ensure that all the fruits and nuts have been coated with the flour mixture.
3. In another bowl, crack eggs and whisk with either hand mixture or electric mixture until the egg rises and is fluffy (this will take about 5-10 minutes depending upon your speed and whisker). Add vanilla extract. Add the egg mixture to the fruit and nut mixture and mix until all the fruit and nut pieces are coated well with the batter.
4. Evenly spread into the prepared pan, pressing with the back of a spoon—Bake for 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the loaf in there for about 4-6 hours. This will allow the cake to cook in low heat and provides a nice chewy texture. It also helps all the flavor to get in.
Orange Zest note: I grated whole small tangerine orange and squeezed some of the juice in the mixture as well. It gave the cake a nice orangy tangy flavor.
Baking Note: If you don’t like chewy texture, then bake for about 90 minutes as it is recommended on the video and take out the cake from the oven immediately after it is done.
NutriPledge Food Health Rating
This healthy Fruits & Nuts Coffee Cake is rated as a Yellow Dot in our food rating system (Food Coach), making it a healthy snack for your tea/coffee breaks. This fruit and nut cake was found to be healthy due to the following nutritional qualities, which are known to promote positive health and wellbeing,
- Moderate in calories per serving
- A healthy balance of good fat, carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fiber
- Contain zero trans fats.
- A healthy balance of sodium and added sugars
- Good source of potassium (10% of daily value)
- Good source of iron (10% of value)
- No food additives, or color
Therapeutic Health Benefits:
This whole grain-based healthy and delicious cake provides about 8% of your daily grain, 39% of fruit, and 34% protein intake with a good protein quality. Besides being a good source of iron and potassium, it provides about 155% DV of selenium, 37% manganese per serving. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant known to prevent many diseases like heart disease and cancer and plays a significant role in thyroid health. Manganese and dietary fiber (18% of DV, 5 g) will help regulate blood sugars making a great dessert choice for people with diabetes. This bread is also a great source of B vitamins (7% or more of DV) to keep up with the energy level.
Dietitian Nutritionist Recommendations:
This fruit nut cake is healthy but calorie-dense. So watch your portions to prevent unwanted weight gain. Enjoy a small piece with a cup of evening coffee or tea as a refreshing snack and eat with confidence.
Happy and Healthy Holidays !!
Dietary Cautions: Watch out for the nuts allergies!
Disclaimer: This page is not medical advice. This can only be used as general guidance to a healthy and balanced diet for your health and wellness. This food does not ensure an adequate or inadequate and safe level of intake for a single person. Please consult your health care provider and purchase our Medical Nutrition Therapy to ensure your personal medical, nutritional needs. Thank you!