Pink Lemonade Magnolia Cakes | Healthy & sugar free

Scented with lemon and coconut, these mini pink lemonade sponge cakes look like spring and taste like summer. Because they are oh-so-soft and light, you’d never guess they’re 100% whole grain. Other high-nutrient ingredients like flax, yogurt, almonds, coconut make these sugar-free, gluten-free, and high-protein cakes very figure-friendly and just perfect for the spring to summer transition!

Pink Lemonade Cakes by Vivian Tang

There is something enchanting about this flower, in an amazing yet depressing sort of way. Petal by petal, the magnolias exposed themselves to the world, and as soon as they reach the height of their existence, they’d wither to the ground, petal by petal. What took so much effort to grow into this thing of beauty and wonder only lasted for so long.

Pink Lemonade Cakes by Vivian Tang

I am so grateful to have 3 gorgeous magnolia trees conveniently growing next to my dorm room window. Since the beginning of April, I have been watching the flowers grow from blunt stubs to magnificent blooms.

(c) Vivian Tang (c) Vivian Tang

And if living next to the magnolias has taught me anything, it’s that life is too short. Too short to not stop and smell the flowers and much too short to not eat cake! 😉

Inspired by the magnolias, I set off to bake some cakes, which I made into flower form and colored ’em pink.

Baking with a view! I am so grateful to have these beautiful magnolia trees right outside my dorm room.

Lemon Throw 1.1

lemon funny

Hahaha. Oh Lemon, you are so funny! 😉

ingredients_vivian tang lemon zest _ vivian tang

These cakes may look like spring flowers, but they have the flavors of summer, so they are perfect for this current spring-summer transition.

This is my favorite time of the year. When spring showers are just about over and early summer flowers are on its way.

While I love flowering trees, I realize that I much prefer May flowers that grow on the ground. Watching petals fall from branches to the ground it kind of depressing.

Before mix vivian tang Mixed_vivian tang

Anyways, enough about magnolia flowers. Let’s get to this cake, and look at this gorgeous batter!

Can you believe there is zero food dye in these? I used 100% natural beet powder for the color. If you don’t have beet powder, no worries, you can omit it, but I wanted these cakes to have a pinkish hue.

baking_vivian tang SONY DSC

flowers vivian tang flowers 2 vivian tang

Ain’t going to lie. I’m gosh darn happy with this little recipe I’ve come up with. These cakes turned out mighty fine. They are just so gosh darn pretty, but I love their taste even more!

Pink Lemonade Cakes by Vivian Tang

The texture is oh-so-soft and spongey, and I love the zesty flavor from the lemons, which gives a layer of freshness to these cakes, along with the subtle hint of coconut. Such a delicate and lovely flavor profile.

Early summer in a bite.

inside vivian tang 2
Pink Lemonade Cakes by Vivian Tang

These cakes got the looks and tastes. What could be better? They are good for you. I don’t know if all flowers make for a complete breakfast or tea time snack, but these flowers do. 😉

Cakes by Vivian Tang Cakes by Vivian Tang

Because they are so soft and light, you’d never guess these are 100% whole grain!

Cakes by Vivian Tang

Not only that, these are high in nutrition thanks to flax, oats, almonds, and coconut. Yogurt makes these cakes high in protein but also keeps these cakes soft and moist with an extra lovely tangy flavor.

I always have on-hand healthy and yummy treats, so I can satisfy my sweet tooth with an energy boost without that nasty sugar crash.

(c) Vivian Tang
Point is, yes, you can eat beauty for breakfast! (Or in my case, afternoon tea 😉 )

Pink Lemonade Cakes by Vivian Tang

Pink Lemonade Flowering Magnolia Cakes | gluten free, sugar free, high protein
Makes 2 dozen mini-muffin-sized cakes.

* = see notes below

Oat flour: 40 g (1/2 cup)
White sorghum flour: 34 g (1/4 cup)
Coconut flour: 9 g (1 tbsp)
Whey protein (high-quality): 10 g (1 heaping tbsp)*
Almond meal: 24 g (1/4 cup)
Beet powder: 1 tbsp
Flax: 14 g (2 tbsp)
Lemon zest: 1 lemon’s
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch salt

Plain low-fat yogurt: 190 g (.85 cup)
Low fat milk: 20 g (1-2 tbsp)
Egg whites: 90 g (2 egg whites)
Lemon juice: 1/2 lemon
Honey: 2 tsp
Pure liquid stevia: 1/4 tsp (to taste)
Coconut oil: 1 tsp
Vanilla extract (100% natural): 1 tsp
Lemon extract (100% natural): 1/4 tsp*
Almond extract(100% natural): 1/4 tsp*

Pink coconut sprinkles (optional)
2 tbsp coconut flakes
1 tsp beet powder

*If you don’t have whey protein, you can leave it out.
*If you don’t have lemon or almond extracts, you can simply omit.

Mix the dry ingredients with a whisk. Mix the wet: yogurt, milk, egg whites, lemon juice, honey, stevia, coconut oil, extracts.. Add the wet to the dry. Set aside and let sit for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, make your coconut sprinkles by mixing the coconut flakes and beet powder. You can alternatively just leave the coconut flakes, as I did for some of cakes. The white coconut flakes and the pink cakes goes lovely together as well. 🙂

Fold gently with a spatula and do not overmix. Divide into mini muffin pans, greased with more coconut oil. (You can either “flour” the muffin pan with coconut sprinkles, or you can sprinkle them after putting the batter into the muffin pans. For some, I placed the coconut sprinkles on bottom and some on top.)

Bake 350*F for 15 minutes.

Nutrition info for 1 mini cake (serving size is about 2-4 cakes)
30 kcal; 1g fat, 3.7g carbs (0.8g fiber, 0.8g sugar), 2g protein

I really enjoyed these cakes, and I think you will too. I will surely be making them again.

If you try this recipe out, don’t forget to share and tag me on Instagram @vivanttang. I love seeing y’all’s rendition of my recipes!

Pink Lemonade Cakes by Vivian Tang

tea time
tea time


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