Category Archives: Butterless Wheat Cakes

Cake in an hour – Whole Wheat Walnut Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Walnuts

That was a busy afternoon, with normal after school snack, home work and other activities of the young one at home. When there was news of sudden guests, I started thinking of quick and easy sweets to serve them. With just a couple of hours in hand and a desire to serve something good, if not exotic, I started surfing my brain for quick goodies. I opened the fridge to find a box full of walnuts and decided to bake a walnut cake. What started as a quick bake, turned out to be a perfect cake with additional chocolate ganache and walnut topping too.  As always, the cake is 100% whole wheat with olive oil and no butter. To reduce more, I mixed the whole batter in a blender, without any stress on hands.

Quick recipe for the quick cake…..

Whole Wheat Walnut Cake with Walnut Coated Chocolate Ganache



  • whole wheat flour – 2 cups
  • sugar – 1 1/2 cups
  • olive oil – 1 cup
  • eggs – 3 no.s
  • baking powder – 1/2 tsp
  • baking soda – 1/2 tsp
  • milk – 1 cup
  • vanilla essence – 1 tsp
  • walnuts (finely chopped) – 1 cup


Method of Preparation



  1. In a blender, beat 3 eggs – white and yolks combined
  2. Add sugar, olive oil and blend. You would arrive at a mayonnaise consistency
  3. Add 1 cup whole wheat flour and beat well in the blender
  4. Add baking powder and the rest 1 cup flour and blend well. Now, the mixture would be quite thick
  5. Boil milk in a pan and pour into a bowl with baking soda. The soda added milk would bubble-up into a frothy fluid
  6. Pour this frothy milk into the mixer jar and blend till well incorporated
  7. If one feels the mixture is still thick, add little water to make the batter a bit thinner
  8. At this point, preheat oven at 180 deg. C.
  9. While oven is getting heated up, transfer the batter into a wide jar and fold in the finely chopped walnuts
  10. Pour into greased tin. I used small loaf tins to bake tea cakes. One can bake a whole round or rectangular cake as preferred
  11. Bake the batter for 25-30 minutes or till a tooth pick comes out clean.



Chocolate Ganache with walnut topping

  • 70% dark chocolate – 150 gms
  • full cream – 150 gms
  • hersheys unsweetened cocoa powder – 2 tbsp
  • walnuts – 1 1/2 cups – little more or less – very finely chopped




  1. For the ganache, keep a double boiler on stove and place any good quality dark chocolate, preferably 70% cocoa. I prefer 70% here as there is no extra sugar needed and it is not too bitter.
  2. 70%-80% also gives me the freedom to use unsweetened cocoa powder to make it more chocolatty and slightly bitter as per my taste buds. 90% is truly bitter and adding sugar solidifies it more and that ends up in more cream for the texture of ganache.
  3. So go in for your own favorite good quality dark chocolate and combine with unsweetened cocoa powder and cream, and make your own very bitter/moderately bitter/less bitter ganache as preferred.
  4. Once the chocolate starts to melt, add cream and cocoa powder and stir well till it becomes thick enough to spread with ease. We don’t need pourable consistency here nor a thicker version to apply over the cake.
  5. Spread the ganache on the cake with ease and sprinkle the very finely chopped walnuts on top.
  6. Keep in freezer for 10 minutes to set.
  7. Cut and serve.
  8. The cake is equally good without the ganache too.



Eggless Whole Wheat Date and Walnut Cake



Merry Christmas to one and all!!

Next on the list is an eggless date and walnut cake. This was requested by one of my readers quite some time back. I know this is a very late response, my heartfelt regrets on that… yet better late than never!

This can also be an excellent substitute to a fruity Christmas Cake. There is no need for the caramel syrup in the Christmas Cake, this cake has the true goodness and color of dates. With no empty calories, it is surely a healthy snack or dessert for kids and adults alike.
100% Whole Wheat Eggless (No Butter) Dates and Walnut Cake






heaped cup of flour



dates and walnuts



  • whole wheat flour – 1 heaped cup – 175 gms
  • brown cane sugar – packed 1/2 cup – 90 gms
  • refined oil – little more than 1/2 cup – 90 ml
  • yoghurt – 4 tsp
  • baking soda – 1 1/2 tsp
  • chopped dates – 1 cup – 175 gms
  • chopped walnuts – 1/2 cup – 50 gms
  • boiling hot water – 3/4 cup – 120 ml extra water – 1/2 cup (if needed to add in the end to make the batter thinner)


soaked dates in water



Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven at 160 degrees C
  2. Grease a baking tray and keep ready
  3. In a wide bowl, place chopped dates, sugar and hot water; Close and let it soften for 10 minutes
  4. In another bowl, add baking soda and chopped walnuts to the whole wheat flour
  5. After 10 minutes, the dates would have become soft; add refined oil to the date, water, sugar mixture
  6. To this liquid mixture, add flour – walnut mixture little by little
  7. Now, the batter would be a thick one, add 4 tsp yoghurt and mix well
  8. Use the reserved 1/2 cup water if the cake batter is very thick or use as little water as possible to bring the batter to spoonable consistency
  9. Bake for 50 mins to an hour till a tooth pick comes out clean
  10. Cool and serve the cake.



Eggless Chocolate Cake

Here comes a Chocolate Cake – Eggless!  I prefer using eggs in my cakes… it’s just that I like the texture of the cake when eggs are used. But, I try to bake eggless cakes for my friends who do not include eggs in their diet.

As usual, butter is substituted with oil and all-purpose flour with wheat flour.   Eggless cakes are also baked using condensed milk – here yoghurt is used instead. Of course, another healthier option – brown cane sugar is used in place of white sugar. 



Eggless Chocolate Cake 


  • wheat flour – 1 small cup – 100 gms
  • brown cane sugar – 3/4 cup – 75 gms
  • cocoa powder – 1/4 cup – 25 gms
  • cooking oil (I used sunflower oil) – 1/2 cup – 50 ml
  • yoghurt/curds – 1 1/2 cups – 150 ml
  • baking powder – 1/2 tsp
  • baking soda – 1/2 tsp
  • milk – a little (if needed)
  • salt – a pinch
  • vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp



Method of Preparation

  1. Sieve wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda and keep aside
  2. In a wide bowl, mix oil, sugar, yoghurt and vanilla extract till sugar melts
  3. Add the sieved dry ingredients little by little
  4. If batter is thick, add milk as needed to make a batter of pourable consistency  and lump-free too
  5. Pour in a greased tray
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees centigrade for 20 minutes
  7. Check with a tooth pick
  8. Cake is ready when tooth pick comes out clean
  9. Cool and serve.


 forgot to take a snap before i started cutting…



  1. If one needs more sugar, can be added
  2. Quantity of yoghurt can be reduced or diluted with  very little water
  3. Nuts, especially walnuts can give the cake a nutty taste
  4. This cake gives nearly 20 small pieces – quantity can be altered for bigger or smaller cakes – checking at the right time is important!


Christmas Fruit Cake

Any place of worship – be it a temple, church, mosque or any other religious place – being worshipped for number of years, especially centuries has a special aura. Prayer, Meditation, Chanting, Devotion, Peace and many more things occupying the worship area –  make it a special place. I experience Peace and Tranquility in a temple – one of the reasons being the religious stories that I have been fed with, since childhood. When I grew up, I was pulled towards the ancient past of the 1000 to 1500 year old temples of Tamilnadu and the history and literature of the Tamils behind those walls and the stone inscriptions of the historic past on the walls of the temples. 

I experience the same unexplainable respect for the ancient past and people of the past when I enter a Church which depicts valuable stories of history. The architectural beauty of Cathedrals amazes me and I tend to travel to another world!

Though this post comes a couple of days after Christmas, I thought I could share a few photographs of some of the most beautiful and powerful religious monuments that we’ve visited in Europe. Capturing those magnificent architectural marvels in a camera everyone would agree, can never be satisfying.

In Germany…


pictures of koln cathedral







frankfurt dom or cathedral


In Switzerland…


bern cathedral


cathedral de loussanne


In France…


notre-dame, paris


st.denis bascilica, st.denis


In Scotland…


St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh


glasgow church


A few other christmas clicks that we relish…


christmas eve in brussels




santa at kaufhof shop, dusseldorf


Now, some culinary business for Christmas!

The best Fruit Cake or Plum cake I have ever tasted is the Thoothukudi Bakery Plum Cake. Thoothukudi, the original tamil name of the place, the Britishers changed to Tuticorin for their safe pronunciation. This is a port city in down south Tamilnadu.  It holds a special place to me because of several reasons – 1.  it is the place from where my mother comes from; 2. the place I started my schooling as a child; 3. After we shifted to Chennai, it was my only favourite holiday destination to spend the school annual vacations at grandparents’ place!

It  is famous for Pearls – it is also called muthunagar or the pearl city and Salt Fields.  Thoothukudi also holds a special place in Indian Freedom Struggle as the First Swadeshi Ship was launched here in British India in 1906 by V.O. Chidambaram Pillai.

Now, Thoothukudi is also famous for its Bakery Foods. Thoothukudi Macaroons are very famous- a little change – macaroons are famous – but not many people would know it comes from Thoothukudi/Tuticorin. I have enjoyed  kilograms and kilograms of macaroons while young and even now, thaatha used to bring us from the bakery and additionally send for our friends in chennai to enjoy the true flavour of Thoothukudi. Beyond Macaroons, the most enjoyed bakery product used to be the Plum cake. So, when I wanted to bake a Christmas cake at least a bit similar to thoothukudi plum-cake, I searched the net. I found where Viki, the author of the blog had additionally mentioned, the cake was similar to the plum-cake of thoothukudi. I tried it with some minor changes, keeping the basic structure intact. It was certainly a good fruit cake, but not as good as thoothukudi plum-cake as I had made those changes. Thanks Viki for the recipe!

As usual, I replaced all-purpose flour with wheat flour/gothumai maavu/atta. I used cooking oil instead of butter.  I used fresh orange juice to soak candied fruits instead of rum or brandy. Since dates, raisins, candied fruits and caramelised sugar has been used, the quantity of sugar is reduced. As I had candied cherries and apples, I used them – candied plums, pears, prunes and apricots make the cake more ‘fruitful’.


the christmas cake


Christmas Fruit Cake

Ingredients (gives 2 medium size cakes)

  • wheat flour – 1 1/2 cups
  • sugar – 3/4 cup
  • eggs – 3 no.s
  • oil – 3/4 cup
  • baking powder – 1 tsp
  • baking soda – 1/4 tsp
  • salt – 1/2 tsp
  • vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • caramel syrup – 1/2 cup

to soak in 1 cup orange juice 

  • candied cherries -1/4 cup
  • candied apples – 1/4 cup
  • dates – 1/2 cup
  • raisins – 1/2 cup

finely chopped dry fruits – 1 cup

  • cashew nuts
  • almonds
  • walnuts

spice mix

  • cloves – 3 no.s
  • cinnamon twigs – 1/2 inch twig
  • nutmeg powder – 1/4 tsp
  • dry ginger powder – 1/4 tsp

Caramel Syrup

  1. Take 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tbsp water in a utensil and let it boil in medium heat
  2. After a while, the syrup would start becoming brown in colour
  3. When it becomes darker, add 1/2 cup warm water and mix well
  4. Be careful while adding water to the very hot caramelised sugar, it might sprinkle and cause burns
  5. Caramel syrup is ready


soaked fruits into the batter


ready to be baked


Method of Preparation

  1. Soak candied fruits, raisins and chopped dates in orange juice for minimum 12 hours
  2. Finely chop dried nuts and keep aside
  3. Make fine powder of spices
  4. Take a wide bowl or a cake blender in a processor can be used
  5. Beat eggs, sugar and oil
  6. Add caramel syrup, spice mix and soaked fruits without the juice into the blender
  7. Add wheat flour, baking powder and baking soda and blend well
  8. Add salt and vanilla extract and mix well 
  9. Add the left over orange juice if needed
  10. Mix the chopped nuts in 1 tsp flour so that nuts do not settle in the bottom of the mixture
  11. Preheat oven at 175 degree celsius
  12. Grease a baking tray and sprinkle some flour
  13. Pour the cake mixture into the tray and sprinkle chopped nuts
  14. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes and check with a tooth pick to see if done
  15. After nuts were sprinkled,  I did not mix it. That is why, nuts remained on top and formed a nutty covering. If mixed a bit, nuts would have mixed well in the cake for a better nutty flavour throughout.


Cake done!


the last pieces left for the click..


Wishing you all Merry Christmas!!

Basic Wheat Cake/Atta Cake

This is another cake with just the basic ingredients. Flour, sugar, butter and eggs are the basic ingredients in any cake. Here again, the all purpose flour is substituted with wheat flour; brown cane sugar in place of white sugar and  cooking oil is used instead of butter. I wanted to bake this cake without eggs – but my daughter who loves the beating part in cake making, insisted using egg. So, egg is used.

This cake does not need much beating. Just mixing one ingredient after the other is enough. It is very quickly done.




  • wheat flour – 1 cup/100 gms
  • sugar – 3/4 cup/75 gms
  • oil – 1/2 cup – 50 ml
  • egg – 1 no.
  • yoghurt/curds – 3/4 cup
  • baking powder – 1/2 tsp
  • baking soda – 1/2 tsp
  • vanilla extract – 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

  1. In a wide bowl, beat egg and sugar – enough to melt sugar
  2. Powdered sugar can also be used for easier melting
  3. Add oil and vanilla extract and mix
  4. Mix baking soda and baking powder with gothumai maavu/wheat flour/atta
  5. Start adding flour little by little to egg, sugar, oil mixture
  6. The batter would be thick half way – now add little yoghurt to set right the consistency
  7. Add all the flour and yoghurt to bring batter to thinner consistency
  8. Grease a baking pan and dust it with a light coating of flour
  9. Pour the batter into the pan
  10. Preheat oven at 200 degrees centigrade and bake for 30 minutes
  11. Check at 30 minutes with a tooth pick – if it comes out clean, cake is ready
  12. Depending upon the oven, it might take another 10 minutes too – so it is better to check at 30 minute point
  13. Remove from oven and let it cool to serve.


  1. It is again a small cake with less sugar
  2. Double it for a bigger cake and quantity of sugar can be added if needed.


Baking Cakes Healthy! – Oats and Apple Cake

Passion for traditional food has always been there within me. But, when I was young and started trying my hands in cooking, I would attempt only exotic recipes from cookery books. Biriyanis, Pulavs, North Indian Specialities, and especially Cakes and other baked items used to be favourites. There was always amma and aachi to make the Tamilnadu specialities.

One such item which was always on my list of exotic recipes was cake. Cakes are hugely popular among young and old ones – irrespective of age. The soft, fluffy, sugary, sometimes nutty – vanilla, strawberry, pineapple, caramel and the king of all flavours if I can say – chocolate – cakes and their flavours steal the show in many places.

I remember amma baking cakes on stove – in a cake making vessel with sand as the base inside. First, sand used to be filled in the cake making vessel and preheated on the burner. The cake baking vessel looked like an idli kopparai or traditional idly steaming utensil. The cake batter would be prepared, poured in the metal baking tray, which would be placed on top of preheated sand and the vessel would be closed with lid. After an hour or so, cake would be ready. In the meantime, the exotic smell of cake being baked on top of sand would spread in the house… kids waiting for the minute to open and have the king and queen’s share!

Now, with oven in every household, cookery books, blogs and cookery classes – baking cakes have become a household affair – everything made easy. Though, baking cakes of different varieties has become easier now, I have always not been a great fan of the self-raising flour/all-purpose flour or maida as it is called locally. Maida, a refined product, too fine and sticky is considered as empty calories and quite often a waste material to the system. The usage of maida in my cooking is near to nil. So, I try baking a bit healthier cakes. Sugar is another empty calory intake – I try substituting sugar with other healthier options. Not compromising on the fluffy texture and basic nature of cakes, I have tried some cake varieties. At least, the guilt feeling of having an empty calorie sweet is reduced and the cake is also made fibrous and more nutritious for kids!

I always told my daughter sugar was bad. I substitute jaggery for sweetness in her porridges. Till today, she is not interested in the various sweets made at home or outside. She always says ‘sugar is bad amma’! So, when I started baking cakes with whole wheat flour, she immediately asked me – can we bake cakes without sugar? I seriously took that in mind and tried it. Next time she said – ‘butter is also bad amma’ – so I started baking cakes with whole wheat flour, any natural sugar substitute like raisins or dates with very little unrefined cane sugar and oil instead of butter.

When I plan to bake a cake,I would take out all ingredients and arrange them and just call my daughter to mix. She is the true mixer at home. My work is to give her all the ingredients and after she blends them well, keep the baking tray inside the oven. (I lend a helping hand to bring it to proper consistency). Though she loves to beat the eggs and roll the batter, she doesn’t try tasting any of them. She only bakes for others. Just that the sweet tooth forgot to appear till today!


Oats and Apple Cake


hands of my little one beating the cake batter


arrange apple pieces




  • whole wheat flour – 50 gms
  • Oats – 50 gms
  • cane sugar – 75 gms
  • eggs – 2 nos
  • refined oil – 50 gms
  • milk – ¼ cup
  • apple – 1 small
  • baking powder – ¼ tsp
  • baking soda – ¼ tsp
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

  1. Take sugar and oil in a wide bowl and mix well
  2. Beat eggs well
  3. Mix eggs with the sugar – oil mixture
  4. Sieve whole wheat flour, baking powder and baking soda twice
  5. Add oats to the wheat flour and mix well
  6. Slowly fold in the flour with the egg-sugar-oil mixture little by little
  7. Add the vanilla extract for flavour
  8. To bring the batter to better pouring consistency, add milk
  9. Cut apple into long slices
  10. Grease a baking tray and arrange apple slices
  11. Pour the cake batter on top of slices
  12. Preheat oven at 200°C
  13. Place the cake batter in and bake for 30 minutes
  14. Check after 20 minutes with a knife if the cake is done
  15. If the knife comes out without batter sticking to it, cake is done. If batter sticks, take it out at 30 minutes.



baked well






  1. This is a small cake and might give about 12 small pieces.
  2. If one needs a bigger cake, just double the quantity of all ingredients
  3. Sugar content might be less in this cake – if one feels to add more, sugar quantity can be slightly increased.