We Love These Easy Hacks to Bake Moist Cakes with Fruit Juices

Instead of chugging them straight from the bottle

Annabelle D’Costa

Bright and bold health drinks have always been a hit on social media, from turmeric latte to matcha lattes. The most recent to take over was celery juice, which even got a nod from the likes of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow. The trend has managed to rack up more than 40,000 posts on Instagram, with #CeleryJuice and the #CeleryJuiceChallenge still going full steam.

Juices have always been a simple way to ingest plant nutrients. However, if the only time you’re reaching out for that glass of nutrition is in the AM, you're doing it wrong. Both, fruit and vegetable juices, especially if it’s homemade, are your kitchen's unsung heroes, says

Rachel Goenka, Founder and CEO

of The Chocolate Spoon Company. Consider this a crash course in putting your juice to work: in glazes, in baked goods and even as ingredient substitutes.


How to make fruit juice cakes with premixes


If you’ve got some juice, store-bought or homemade, lying around in your fridge, sub it — cup for cup — for the water or liquid that your cake mixes call for. A novice baker’s best bet, cake pre-mixes are easy to make, so you can enjoy fruit or vegetable-flavoured baked treat no matter your level of baking skills. Simply replace the oil, milk, or water called for in the recipe with the juice in equal proportions. Here are some flavour combos we love:

1.       If you’re using a premix, a yellow or white sponge cake works best since the flavour of the juice will not clash with the cake. However, if you really want to step out of your comfort zone and experiment a little, you can use a fruit-flavoured cake premix to compliment the flavour of the juice.

2.       When it comes to pairing pineapple juice, our vote goes to an orange or strawberry-flavoured cake mix. Baking pros could altogether skip the cake mix and try baking with a fruit or vegetable juice right from scratch.

3.       For starters, you could try with orange juice, follow Instagram’s popular baker Shivesh Bhatia’s step-by-step-guide on his blog, Bake With Shivesh. Bear in mind, that as with orange and most other fruits, the flavour can sometimes have trouble coming through on its own just by using juice. If you opt for the zest, be aware that too much zest may make your cake bitter.

4.       Vegetable juices can be tricky. Ginger juice gives a good flavour, especially when combined with a few spices. Check the Baking Bites blog for a tomato-ey take on cake.  Word of caution, you might just fall in love with this Tomato Cake Recipe.

Also Try: Give this Gingerand Polenta Olive Oil cake recipe made using apple juice a try



How to give fruit juice glazes on your baked goodies


Naturally colourful glazes and toppings add a bold look to any baked goodie. Not just on sweet treats—think glazed ham and meats cooked in fruit sauces! Yummy! These delightfully sweet coatings require only a few ingredients. Skip the synthetically produced glazes and give natural fruit juices a try.

1.      

For a cake glaze:

Melt some sugar in the fruit juice of your choice and simmer on a stove until the liquid has a syrupy consistency. Spoon and brush over freshly-baked cake and allow to cool completely before cutting. Goenka likes working with cranberry juice, especially around Christmas. A natural way to go about your red velvet cake is sneaking in some beetroot juice, she adds. Other times, she relies on citrus juices for her glazes and poaching liquids.

2.      

For a glaze to be used on other confectionaries:

Add some milk to your fruit or vegetable juice, along with confectioner’s sugar, heat on a low flame while whisking till you achieve desired consistency. Add a pinch of salt. The mixture should be thick enough to hold a line when you drizzle it. Add milk to adjust the texture. 


How to add fruit juice to breads, puddings and savouries

  

Fruit juices are natural sweeteners. The most preferred are apple, orange and white grape juice, but you are free to experiment with others. “For every cup of white sugar in the recipe, substitute 3/4 cup of any juice or concentrate of your choice,” explains Goenka. “You need to reduce the juice until the water has evaporated considerably,” she shares. Here’s how to add juices or concentrates to your breads and bakes

1.       If you add the juice directly, change the recipe--for every tablespoon of juice used, subtract three tablespoons of the other liquid. You can follow this simple rule for breads, muffins, bread puddings and more.

2.       Reduced fruit juices are not considered a successful sugar replacement in baked goods due to the liquid they contribute. However, they do make a nice addition to most savoury baked dishes – we’re thinking pork with reduced pomegranate juice or bacon with reduced apricot nectar!
 

How to replace oil or butter with fruit juices 


In the middle of baking if you realise you’re out of vegetable oil, simply swap your fruit juice with it. "It's less fattening, healthier and makes for moist cakes as well as brownies," shares Goenka. Try this with banana bread and muffin recipes. Here’s how to replace oil with juice in your healthy bakes:

1.       Replace equal parts of oil, with fruit or vegetable juice. Besides oil, you can also replace water or milk in your recipe, with a juice. This works well with cookies, cakes, and bread recipes. Any stone fruit juice such as applesauce, peach and/or pear works well. 

2.       “If you are lactose intolerant and a recipe has milk in it, then substitute with equal parts fruit juice but reduce the sugar you add,” adds Goenka.

3.       If the recipe has multiple liquids—like milk and oil—you are allowed to substitute the juice with only one of the liquids.

4.       When baking yeast bread, warm the yeast in fruit juice instead of milk, before adding it to the dry ingredients. 


Image: Instagram

Don't forget to check our #31DaysOfBaking series for the latest in baking 

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