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Butter Free Cake & Homemade Lemon Curd

@mvemother Butter Free Cake with Homemade Lemon Curd

I apologize.  It wasn’t that I forgot that I said I was going to share this little bit of experimental baking I did, I remembered.  Unfortunately, I didn’t keep an eye on the calendar and before I knew it, it was Saturday.  I’ll spare you the details of my MRI experience for now and just get on with the recipe.

On more than one occasion I’ve read that you can replace applesauce and/or yogurt for butter in baking recipes.  Sure it sounds all good and well, but see, I’m from Missouri, you’ve gotta Show-Me it works to make me believe it.  So last weekend I finally got up the nerve to try it out, here is the recipe I modified.  NOTE: I was too chicken to make the lemon curd with anything other than butter.  Maybe another time. 

@mvemother Homemade Lemon Curd with Butterless Cake

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 c. butter (replaced with 1 c. of homemade applesauce)
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 6 egg whites stiffly beaten (save the yolks you’ll use them in the curd) Butter-less Lemon Cake

Start off by whipping your egg whites until you have stiff peaks and then set them aside.

Cream together the applesauce and sugar, until it is as fluffy as applesauce and sugar can get.  Mix in flour and baking powder, alternating with milk.

Now comes the fun part.  Gently fold in the egg whites. No Butter Lemon Cake

Once its well incorporated, pour into your greased, round cake pans.  The recipe called for using 3 8” pans but I decided to use 2 10” pans instead.  I think 2 9” pans would have worked much better in my instance.  ALSO, be sure to spread out the cake batter so that it’s even.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops bounces back with touched.  Cool on racks.  While the cake is cooling, I made the curd.

Curd Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • juice and grated peel of 2 lemons


Combine all ingredients in the top of a double boiler and cook on med. heat. Be sure to keep stirring and once it’s thickened take it off the heat and let it cool. Homemade Lemon Curd

To test if it’s thick enough hold up your spoon or spatula in my case; if the mixture runs right off you’ll need to cook it longer.  If it looks more like the picture below, you’re done!

@mvemother Homemade Lemon Curd

You can tell from the pictures that the cake has a thick, ‘homemade’ look to it, however, it was deliciously soft and moist.  The problem was cutting it was like trying to cut a sponge.  I was actually surprised it tasted as good as it did.

The Verdict: The sponge-like texture was only really noticeable while cutting it.  The taste and moistness were great, so how could I NOT plan on baking with applesauce again?

@mvemother No Butter Lemon Cake

I had to add this picture.  I love that the piece on the bottom is so much smaller than the one on top!

@mvemother Butter-less Lemon Cake

Erin Sipes
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