Sweets rule in the South. So when my family comes to Sunday lunch, Bob and I restock the candy box (always a hit with our nephews!), pack the fridge with Dr. Pepper and load up on alternative sweeteners. Everyone expects sweet tea but that's not where they want to spend their calories!
But wouldn't it be nice to serve a better-for-you option? The folks at Truvia want to give one lucky reader the chance to do just that. They've teamed up with us to give away a gift set including a super supply of their reduced-calorie sweetener. (Check the end of this post for details on this sweet sweepstakes!) Made from the best-tasting part of the stevia plant, Truvia contains only natural ingredients and zero calories. You heard right, "ZERO!"
Truvia must be good because my sister-in-law Cyndi prefers it. She's a Nicu (that's neonatal intensive care unit) nurse who's keen on nutrition. And she says that, in addition to being healthier, Truvia tastes better than other sweeteners she's tried, especially in coffee. My nephew Garrett's also a big fan.
Bob and I don't have a weakness for sweet drinks but desserts are our downfall. That's why we wanted to try new Truvia Baking Blend. Specially formulated for at-home baking, this mixture of Truvia sweetener and sugar offers 75% fewer calories per serving than sugar alone.
Since I'm crazy about carrots (seriously, I can't go a day without crunching into at least one), I used the Baking Blend to make Truvia's Carrot Cake (recipe below).
This mega-moist, reduced-sugar spin on one of my favorite cakes boasts nuts, raisins and a luscious cream cheese frosting. Even better, it contains 30% fewer calories and 60% less sugar* than the full-sugar version.
Although it calls for 13 ingredients, you don't need any special skill to make this company-worthy cake. In fact, it's really simple to prepare as long as you have help chopping nuts and grating carrots. (We're pecan people so I used them instead of walnuts.) If you're like me and no one's available to pitch in (you know Bob disappeared about then), you'll want to pull out the food processor to do the job.
Afterwards, completing the cake is a matter of measuring, pouring and stirring; no mixer required until you get to the frosting. Start by whisking Truvia Baking Blend with flour, cinnamon and the other dry ingredients as described in the recipe below. The Baking Blend has a handy spout that opens easily (I didn't even have to ask Bob for help!), pours without making a mess and closes tightly so the sweetener stays fresh.
In a second bowl, beat the eggs with a fork or whisk and mix in the canola oil, buttermilk, vanilla and carrots.
Add the carrot medley to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Then fold in the nuts and raisins, pour the batter into a 13" x 9" pan that you've sprayed with Pam and bake. About 30 minutes later, you can pull your creation from the oven to cool before moving on to frosting.
Since you need only two ingredients (cream cheese and Truvia Baking Blend), mixing up the icing is a breeze. And it's even easier it you use a hand mixer and let the cream cheese come to room temperature before beginning.
Wonderfully delicious! Thanks to Truvia, you can cut calories without giving up any flavor. So you'd never guess this super-moist cake laced with oodles and oodles of soft, chewy raisins and crunchy nuts has less sugar. We loved it and the tasty cream cheese frosting so much that I can't wait to experiment more with Truvia Baking Blend.
This cream cheese frosting would be a natural on my favorite Pumpkin Bars. And when baking, you can easily make over cakes, cookies and more by using 1/2 cup Truvia Baking Blend in place of 1 cup of sugar. What a great way to fool everyone into eating lighter!
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9" x 13"-inch cake pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine flour, Truvía Baking Blend for the cake, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and whisk together.
In a second bowl, beat eggs. Then mix in canola oil, buttermilk, vanilla and carrots.
Add carrot mixture to flour mixture and stir to combine. Fold in walnuts and raisins. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
Grind the Truvía Baking Blend for the frosting in a blender, food processor or coffee grinder.
Add Truvía Baking Blend to cream cheese and whip with a mixer until light and fluffy.
Spread on cooled cake.
* This cake has 230 calories and 11 grams of sugar per serving as compared to 320 calories and 30 grams of sugar per serving in the full-sugar version.
Available at retailers nationwide including Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, Whole Foods Market, Publix, Sam's Club, SuperValu, Food Lion, Stop & Shop, Giant and Martin's:
For other Truvia ideas, follow the natural sweetener on Facebook or check Truvia.com.
Want to score a sweet gift set sure to slash calories? 1 lucky reader will win an approximately $117-value baking bonanza from Truvia natural, zero-calorie sweetener including:
To enter the contest*, email your name, mailing address (no PO Boxes please) and phone number to Enter@BoomerBrief.com by May 23, 2013 and put "Sweet Gift Set" in the subject line.
Thank you to Truvia for providing free samples of Truvia Baking Blend and spoonable Truvia for review and testing.
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