Posted by: Cailyn | May 29, 2009

Birthday Cake

There aren’t very many things that I feel so strongly on that I won’t compromise.  Birthday cake is one of them.  Everyone should have a cake on their birthday.  We started this low-carb lifestyle shortly before Lowell’s birthday.  He figured that meant no cake.  I refused to accept defeat and combined about 5 different recipes and a large amount of Good Eats knowledge to create a delicious cake for him.  It’s pretty easy to make- easier than a “normal” cake I think. 

One of the sources that I used for inspiration was traditional Austrian desserts.  Many of them are made with nut meals and small amounts of sugar.  And of course, there is always Schlag. Schlag is the Austrian term for whipped cream.  A popular way to drink coffee in Austria is “mit Schlag,” or “with whipped cream,” instead of with sugar and milk.  Schlag is delicious.  It’s not the stuff that comes from a aerosol can.  It’s actual cream that’s been whipped before putting it on a cake or in coffee.  It’s just about perfect atop this cake, especially when it’s chocolate Schlag! 

When I make this cake, I halve the recipe and bake it in a little 6″ cast iron frying pan.  That makes about 6 servings and is just right for us. 

The sweetener in this recipe has been a bit of a sticking point for me.  Originally, I used Splenda Sugar Blend, which is a blend of sucralose and sugar.  Since this cake is an occasional thing, I don’t really mind using an artificial sweetener if it’s needed to keep the carbs down.  The last time I made this cake for Alton’s birthday, I cut back somewhat on the sugar, but the cake tasted overly sweet because we had all been avoiding anything resembling sugar.  Just a dash of sugar is really all it needed for our tastes.  Next time I make this cake, I am going to use a small amount (maybe 2-3 tbsp?) of actual sugar like Sucanat instead of sucralose.  Feel free to use whatever sweetener you want in this recipe.  You may need to tweak the amounts for your personal preference.  Don’t be afraid to lick the spatula.

Remember, this is a special occasion.  Have fun and don’t freak out about a few grams of carbs.  Freak out about the terrible puce and lavender hat you just got from Aunt Bertha instead.

[There will be a picture here next time I make this cake.  Apparently we have no pictures of cakes.]

Basic Vanilla Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Splenda Sugar Blend (or 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar, Sucanat, evaporated cane crystals, etc)
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups almond meal/flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, mix together almond meal, baking powder, and salt.

Cream together butter, cream cheese, and sweetener of choice in a large bowl.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Slowly pour in dry ingredients until well combined.

Pour batter into a well-greased cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes about 12 servings.

Cake Nutrition
Data for cake using 1/2 c Splenda, 12 servings


Pineapple Upside Down Cake Variant

  • Basic Vanilla Cake batter, using only 1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, brown sugar, or Sucanat for the sweetener
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, brown sugar, or Sucanat for the sweetener
  • 7-10 slices of fresh pineapple (not canned, even in juice!)

Preheat oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix together melted butter and sweetener.  Pour into cake pan.

Arrange pineapple slices in the bottom of the cake pan.

Carefully pour cake batter on top of pineapples.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

pineapple cake nutrition
Data for variant using 1/2 cup total Splenda, 12 servings

Schlag Icing (to ice a 10″ cake)

  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream or raw cream, well chilled
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp powdered sugar or a few drops of Stevia extract

Chill metal or glass mixing bowl in freezer for about 30 minutes.

Beat cream on high until slightly thickened.  Slowly add in vanilla extract and sugar.  Option 1: Beat on high until stiff peaks form and spread on cooled cake before serving.  Option 2: Beat to medium peaks and dollop onto warm slices of cake just before serving.  Garnish with fresh berries if desired.

Chocolate Schlag: Add 2 tbsp of good quality cocoa powder (I use Green and Black’s) while incorporating the sugar.

schlag nutrition
Data for plain schlag using 2 tbsp sugar, 12 servings


  1. Soooooooooo goooooooooooooooood….

    I hate you for making me want cake at work đŸ˜›

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