Lower Sugar Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Frosting

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This delicious cake makes a perfect light birthday cake that’s sweetened with honey and coconut sugar!

Chocolate lovers, be sure to check out our Double Chocolate Banana Cake.

Low sugar lightened up moist vanilla cake with strawberry frosting. www.superhealthykids.com

The next time that you’re looking for a classic vanilla cake, whether for a birthday, holiday, or a special event, you must try this one! It’s easy to mix up, has a wonderfully delicate crumb, and it boasts the rich flavor that you expect from a vanilla layer cake. It also has less sugar in both the cake and the frosting than similar cakes. This makes it a nice choice to share with your entire family.

Low sugar lightened up moist vanilla cake with strawberry frosting. www.superhealthykids.com

This cake relies on a mix of coconut sugar and honey for sweetness and a combination of Greek yogurt, butter, and eggs for moisture. (If you’re looking for a perfect fruit-sweetened first birthday cake, check this one out. Or this Banana Birthday Cake. Or this Sweet Potato Apple Cake.) It also manages to maintain the flavor and texture that you want from a classic cake, while also including less sugar—especially since it features a cream cheese frosting, rather than one made from powdered sugar.

Low sugar lightened up moist vanilla cake with strawberry frosting. www.superhealthykids.com

A small slice of this cake is perfect for a birthday party or a special event. It also goes a long way towards satisfying a craving for dessert. The fresh berries add a nice contrast to the rich cake. The frosting, made with cream cheese, strawberry jam, and a little honey, is creamy without being cloyingly sweet. In short, the elements combine to make a delightfully less-sweet dessert with real ingredients that everyone  will love.

Low sugar lightened up moist vanilla cake with strawberry frosting. www.superhealthykids.com

My daughter, who generally prefers vanilla ice cream over any other dessert, loved her little slice of this cake. And she got her little fingers into the icing when I wasn’t looking. I took it to be a sign of homemade dessert success!

This vanilla layer cake is best served on the day that it’s made, though we had no problem eating up the leftovers on the day after. (Just be sure to cover the cake so that the frosting doesn’t dry out.)

Note about the coconut sugar: If you can find “blonde” coconut sugar, that will give you a lighter color. Otherwise, the darker kind that’s often more readily available will create a slightly darker golden cake, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just to manage expectations. (Both work the same in the recipe.) Can’t find coconut sugar? Try using organic cane sugar instead.

Lower Sugar Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Frosting

Delicious cake, sweetened with honey and coconut sugar!

4 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lower Sugar Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Frosting
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 16 1 slice
Calories: 307kcal


  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, plain
  • 4 tablespoon butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 4 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cup flour, whole wheat
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup strawberries


  • 1 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoon butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup jam, all-fruit
  • 3 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease two 9-inch round baking pans well. Use the pans to trace rounds of parchment paper, cut out, set inside the pans, and grease again. Set aside.
  • Use a hand-held mixer to beat and soften the yogurt, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and honey until well mixed and aerated, about 3 minutes.
  • Using a spatula, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk, stirring very gently in between. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, shaking gently to ensure that the batter is spread to the edges. Bake for 24-26 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then invert carefully onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
  • Place one cake onto a serving plate and top with about 1/3 of the frosting. Layer on the sliced strawberries. Add another 1/3 of the frosting onto the second cake and invert on top of the strawberries, sandwiching the berries between the frosting. Add the remaining frosting to the top of the cake and spread evenly to the edges. Top with whole berries if desired. Serves 12-14.
  • With a hand-held mixer, combine 1 1/2 packages of cream cheese at room temperature, 2 tablespoons butter softened at room temperature, 1/4 cup seedless all-fruit strawberry jam, 3 tablespoons honey, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until light and fluffy.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SuperHealthyKids or tag #SuperHealthyKids!


Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 192mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 25g

Amy Palanjian shares recipes and feeding inspiration for little ones at Yummy Toddler Food. Follow her on Instagram or find her on Facebook

Lower Sugar Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Frosting

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im just trying this recipe just now- is the batter supposed to be so wet? ive just added about another half cup of flour…. there really doesnt seem enough mixture for 2×9″ tins either?

I made doubled the recipe and made these into cupcakes today. They were not very sweet at all and I could hardly taste the vanilla. Mine also came out a bit wet/moist in the inside. I think the frosting will help it taste a little sweeter.

I tried this recipe the other day, I know I’m a little late to the party. The taste was very good, but the texture came out incredibly bready. Is that how the cake usually turns out or did I maybe do something wrong? I’m considering adding crushed raspberries for extra flavor and liquid content–maybe that would help the texture? Any idea how much extra liquid I could add without making the batter useless?

What should I mix first butter and sugar or butter with eggs? or it doesn’t matter I won’t be putting baking powder since I don’t want the cake to expand

This cake is DEVINE!! Thankyou so much for posting. Ny while family loves it. Will definitely be making it again soon.

i would love to make an icing that is cream cheese free, do you think i could use coconut cream? i don’t know much about baking lol i am DEF making this cake though thank you so so much!

looking at the nutrition facts for this per serving — I thought at first they were typos! This is supposed to be a healthy alternative. no way.

Hi Mary, I’m really glad you caught this! The number of servings shown on the recipe was incorrect, which caused the nutrition facts to be inaccurate. We’ve updated the recipe to have the correct number of servings, and nutrition facts to match. Thank you!

Hi Leah! Yes, you can freeze this cake just fine. I’d wrap the slices in plastic wrap and then store them inside a gallon zip-top bag.

5 stars
Hi if I wanted to do a 3 layer naked cake with 8in pans would I 1.5 the recipe do you think? Thanks!

Hi Ashley, yes! I think making 1.5 times the recipe is a good idea if you want to make three layers. Good luck!

This recipe is amazing! We have switched to a cleaner eating lifestyle, but a 6 year old still needs cake for his birthday. This cake was delicious without using refined sugars or other junk ingredients. My son loved it! This will be the go-to cake recipe from now on!

I saw nutrition info mentioned in the comments, but couldn’t find it anywhere. About how many calories per serving would there be in this? Would really like to try this out for my birthday!

Hi Kristen! Thanks for reaching out. We don’t calculate nutrition facts directly on the site anymore, but we DO have them calculated for all our recipes in the Prepear app. I just checked this one, and if you cut the cake into 12 slices, each slice contains 307 calories. You can see the full nutrition facts for this and thousands of other recipes in Prepear, here: https://www.prepear.com/ Oh and have a happy birthday!

Hi Barbara! We like “white whole wheat flour” which is a delicate, light-colored, 100% whole grain flour. You get the lightness of cake flour but the nutrition of whole wheat.

Hi Amanda, good question! You can definitely sub maple syrup in the cake batter using a 1:1 ratio Your cake should turn out the same. It might be a little trickier to make that substitution in the frosting, because syrup has a runnier texture than honey and that might create a frosting that’s too loose. If you’re avoiding honey altogether you could try just using extra jam in the frosting. (I haven’t tried this for sure, so I can’t say 100% how it will turn out!) Happy experimenting!

5 stars
Made it with sprouted whole wheat flour, added a tsp of almond essence and baked the whole batch it in one silicone mold. I had to increase cooking time by 15 minutes but the result was EXCELLENT! Moist, just sweet enough, a new family fave!

Hi there, I’m not totally sure how best to scale up the recipe for a bigger pan, but 1.5 times the recipe sounds like a good bet to me!

This cake is DEVINE!! Thankyou so much for posting. Ny while family loves it. Will definitely be making it again soon.

1 star
I made this cake and followed the instructions carefully. Unfortunately it came out flat as a pancake and tasted horrible.