Recipes for a less-sweet breakfast cake?
May 14, 2019 5:58 PM   Subscribe

I read once on my own Ask about a type of not-very-sweet chocolate cake that people ate for breakfast on their study abroad in France. I’m looking for recipes in a similar spirit that will scratch my itch to bake without leaving me with 24 cookies I can’t eat on my diet.

I’m not a fan of super sugary breakfasts, so the “not too sweet” is for dietary as well as taste preferences. I saw a recipe once for a strawberry cake that was very plain— just a white cake with strawberries baked in— that I’m planning on attempting, but I’m not a skilled enough baker to know if/when I can cut the sugar and how much sugar makes for a good “breakfast cake.”

Basically if you have a recipe for a not too sweet cake (or a cake that would make a good breakfast with alterations that you can vouch for) that keeps it relatively simple, bring it on.
posted by stoneandstar to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
I very much like Barmbrack for breakfast but it may not be the type of cake you are looking for
posted by Ftsqg at 6:25 PM on May 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

I've made something similar to this orange cake and really liked it. I don't know that I'd pile on the powdered sugar as shown in the illustration though.

And here's advice on reducing sugar in cakes.

I spent a very long time seeking out not-too-sweet muffins (also for breakfast) but eventually found it easier to find existing recipes and just cut the sugar, usually in half to start. Then I take notes on the result and whether it could be cut more, etc.

So far zero muffins have been ruined by cutting sugar. I always figure if I bake something that's not sweet enough, I can always top it with jam, honey or icing. So far I haven't felt the need.
posted by bunderful at 7:18 PM on May 14, 2019 [5 favorites]

I made a cake twice recently that I liked. I make not so sweet cakes, for breakfasting. This makes two, six inch cakes that will bake in my toaster oven in 18 minutes at 425 degrees.
Dry ingredients
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rough almond flour
1/ 3 cup organic cane sugar
(then fill the 1/3 cup up to 1/2 with dark coconut sugar or brown sugar)
1+1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cardamon
1/2 tsp ginger

Stir the dry ingredients in your bowl. Turn on the oven or toaster oven to pre heat. I use a couple of fluted ceramic baking dishes to make these, I rub the dishes with cold butter to make the cake release.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil stirred into the dry ingredients
2 organic eggs stirred in
1/4 teaspoon almond extract or a little more but not much.
About 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk, or enough to make a batter that pours slowly. Stir well. This should pour, not be thick like cookie dough.

Pour into the baking dishes and put into your oven of choice. In about 18 minutes they should be done, they will bounce back if you pat the top. I cool these on a cookie rack. They are nice to eat hot or cold.

You can use milk for this recipe, put in lemon zest if you like. You can use lemon juice if you want it to be lemony. You can add nuts or coconut.

I like this with blue berries on top, even with whipped cream, or greek yogurt with blue berries.
posted by Oyéah at 7:28 PM on May 14, 2019 [5 favorites]

Chocolate bread is not cake but it is amazing and wonderful with a smear of butter. I leave out the chocolate chips.
posted by bunderful at 7:54 PM on May 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Do a search for cake sale and you will find many recipes that might appeal.
posted by brookeb at 8:04 PM on May 14, 2019

This French Yogurt Cake is very good by itself or toasted.
This Blood Orange Ricotta Almond Cake from Tartine is seriously delicious, just leave off the optional jam glaze.

Also, have you considered quick breads such as banana or zucchini bread? Ohh, or how about muffins?
posted by Champagne Supernova at 8:26 PM on May 14, 2019

I'm a big fan of Mark Bittman's muffin recipe. I use whole wheat, and add bran, apricots, walnuts, pumpkin and an extra egg. You can vary the sugar or oil(butter) and flavors. Quick bread is pretty much cake, and muffins are just quick bread in muffin tins. You might also like scones.
posted by theora55 at 9:50 PM on May 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

My mother in law just makes carrot cakes and doesn't frost them. If you skip the cream cheese icing many carrot cake recipes can be used without alteration as not-terribly-sugary breakfast cakes.
posted by potrzebie at 10:48 PM on May 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've reduced sugar by 25% or so in a bunch of cake/quick bread/muffin recipes with no ill effect on texture or other aspects.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:18 AM on May 15, 2019

I am not a fan of really sugary pastries for breakfast, but I love a good Danish Puff. It has no sugar at all in the cake--the only sugar is in the glaze, so you can apply to your own taste to sweeten it up.
posted by dlugoczaj at 6:43 AM on May 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

This is my favorite type of cake to make! My go-to is this olive oil almond cake, with this lime yogurt cake and this raspberry buttermilk cake tied for second. I usually decrease the amount of sugar in all of these by at least half a cup.
posted by quatsch at 7:42 AM on May 15, 2019

Have you investigated the world of biscotti? If the sugar worries you you can cut it back or it swaps out for splenda or stevia with no problems as it's a very forgiving recipe. They are nice & crunchy & lovely with a milky morning coffee for dipping and last ages so you don't feel like you need to eat them all at once.
posted by wwax at 7:58 AM on May 15, 2019

Oh hi I basically live on this kind of thing for breakfasts hello.

Seconding doing a search for "quick breads". That's where you're going to find a lot of things like zucchini bread, banana bread, etc. Also, any "quick bread" recipe is interchangeable with "muffin" recipes; the vast overwhelming majority of the time you'd be able to take a muffin recipe and pour all the batter into a loaf tin instead of a muffin pan and it'll come out just fine.

I have a growing collection of recipes for this since I try to bake a loaf of a quick bread on the weekend and that's my breakfast through the week - slicing off a bit and working my way through it. I'm about to make this cornmeal one this coming weekend. I've also made this chocolate buckwheat cake (although, pay attention to the pan size with that one, I used a pan that was too small and it overflowed in the oven). Another one to try is pain d'epice, a French gingerbread-y kind of thing that also uses molasses and honey. That's not the recipe I use, I use another one from one of my IRL books that suggests adding some chopped up candied ginger to the dough.

I've also had great success with a lemon/zucchini bread (the recipe is in one of my IRL cookbooks), pumpkin breads (for which there are umpty-squillion recipes), banana bread, date bread, cranberry bread, blueberry bread....Here's a recipe for a fill-in-the-blank customizeable formula for quick breads, adapting it how you choose.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:08 AM on May 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Further thoughts on the subject -

One non-quick-bread thing I make is these bars from Smitten Kitchen. I discovered them when I had a glut of rhubarb and strawberries from my CSA and they not only used up a great bunch of both in one go, but they also had a low enough sugar content that they satisfied my "breakfast" requests. Also the recipe is designed so that you mix the dough part directly in the baking pan, so you don't need to dirty a mixing bowl. (Basically you make a base that's kind of like halfway between an oatmeal cookie and the topping for a fruit crisp, scoop out a half cup or so of it and press the rest flat; then you throw on some cut-up rhubarb and strawberry and sprinkle the rest of the oatmeal base on top of that.)

I eagerly wait for rhubarb to come around in my CSA every year just so I can make them again.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:57 AM on May 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

There's low sugar monkey bread which links to a recipe book.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 10:52 AM on May 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don’t know if these simple apple muffins even count as cake, but I love them for breakfast.

You want as proportions:
1 apple, peeled and chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon of porridge oats
Scale up accordingly to whatever size batch you want.

Mix, put into muffin cases and cook on a moderate heat for 15-20 minutes.

They’re basically apple muffins but more savoury - but the contrast with the egg makes the apples taste super sweet and juicy.

They freeze well, just take them out the night before and defrost on the counter for the next day’s breakfast.

You can switch up and use different fruit, but apple’s my favourite, with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top when they come out of the oven. Yum.
posted by penguin pie at 2:34 PM on May 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Blueberry breakfast cake. This has been a big hit with my family, and I don't find it overly sweet at all (I love baking but have a low tolerance for sugary things). But you could skip the cinnamon sugar topping to reduce it further, if desired.
posted by cellar door at 4:33 PM on May 15, 2019

Thank you everyone! So many great ideas, especially with fresh summer fruits coming soon...
posted by stoneandstar at 11:20 AM on May 16, 2019

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