BF Test Kitchen: Sugar-Free, Low-Carb Protein Mini-Pound Cakes

First let me explain exactly what a test kitchen recipe is
(in my head). That means it’s a recipe I’m working on that hasn’t quite “made
it” to where I want it to be.
I say this again and again but I am not the Bariatric Foodie, I am a
Bariatric Foodie, so I realize there are some bakers out there that might have a
Of course there is a backstory.
Before Christmas I was at the craft store and found the
cutest mini-bundt pans for a dollar. I bought two. I ended giving one away to
my sister-in-law thinking I probably didn’t need two. After this fun experiment
I need to go buy myself a few more!
S’anyway. I love pound cake. Don’t you? Even though I can
only eat a few bites of pound cake now, I still adore the stuff. I made a few
during the fall and all the while I was thinking about whether a pound cake
could ever truly be WLS-friendly.

Enter my good friend Toni. She, for some generous reason, gifted me a bag of
Atkins Baking Mix. You’ll see a lot of recipes on this blog using this mix
(although that will change soon) but unfortunately Atkins has discontinued it.
There are still bags out there but they go for a premium price and are not easy
to find so when Toni sent me one it was like a dream! I felt obligated to do something more creative than my
standard protein pancakes.
Now…enter the polar vortex. This gave me the time to think
about my recipe. And, finally, enter the freezing rain that is set to usher in
spring-like temperatures to Maryland over this weekend. The storm first produced
freezing rain which delayed my children’s school opening by two hours which
gave me time, during which I was awake, to give this thing a first shot!
Ok, so now that we’re all up to speed, here’s how I made the
cake you see above.
Nik’s Sugar-Free
Low-Carb Protein Pound Cake (Test Recipe)
(Makes two of the mini-bundt cakes shown above)
  • ¾ c. Atkins Baking Mix (while we wait for Atkins to come to
    their senses my alternate suggestion is EITHER using ¾ c. low-carb baking mix
    which would have less protein – or ½ c. low-carb baking mix with ¼ c. of your
    favorite vanilla protein powder)
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. Cream of Tartar or egg white powder (if you don’t
    have either you can omit it but it helps with the texture)
  • 3 tbsp. butter or butter substitute (I highly recommend just
    using butter)
  • No-calorie sweetener equivalent to ½ – ¾ c. of sugar (check
    your favorite sweetener’s website for a conversion chart because it’s not all
    the same!)
  • ¼ c. unflavored Greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg white
  • ½ c. milk (I used unsweetened almond milk but use whatever
    you have on hand)
  • ¼ tsp. lemon zest (or, in a pinch, ½ tsp. lemon juice or ¼ tsp.
    lemon extract)

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine Atkins Mix (or equivalent), salt, baking powder and
cream of tartar/egg white powder (if using) in a bowl. I actually sifted the
Atkins Mix to make it a bit more fine although the fiber in the Mix doesn’t
sift easily!

In another bowl mix the butter with the Greek yogurt and sweetener
(I’d call it creaming but it’s not really!). Add the egg and mix in thoroughly
before adding the egg white. (In retrospect I think I could have gotten away
with just using two egg whites, so I’m going to try that on the next batch!).
Add half the egg/yogurt/butter mixture to the dry
ingredients and stir (I used a hand mixer). Then add half your milk and stir
again. Repeat once more until all ingredients are incorporated. Batter should
be thick but not so thick as cookie soft cookie dough batter (it should look
like cake batter).

Grease and flour the mini-bundt pans (Note: Actually this pan is actually a more convenient thing to own if you ask me. Also, I generally flour with actual flour and
not the Atkins Mix but if you want to save a few carbs you can also just use
non-stick cooking spray). Divide batter between evenly between two mini-bundt pans. This should mostly
fill up the pans. Do not overfill! Set extra batter aside.

Bake for about 20-ish minutes or until the cake is set and a
toothpick inserted comes out clean. Turn the pans over onto a cooling rack and
they should pop right out.

What I did like about this recipe
It was the correct texture. Pound cakes are very dense and
ones made with Greek yogurt/sour cream have that crispness to them. The cream
of tartar also helped with that.
It wasn’t overly sweet. It was sweet enough and I liked it.
Some of you might not like this, but it tasted like a cross
between a pound cake and a pancake but I think that’s just because that’s what
my mind associates Atkins Mix with!
What I did not like about this recipe
Atkins Mix has this special “peripheral taste” (I don’t call
it an after taste because it doesn’t come after you swallow it but while you
are eating it). I have not found an adjective to adequately describe it. It’s
not a bad taste but not a delicious one either. At any rate, I could taste
that. Usually once I’m done tinkering with the mix I can’t taste that anymore.
Now, if you use something other than Atkins Mix you are very likely not to get
that taste. In retrospect I notice I forgot to add vanilla to my batter so that
may have made a difference.
How I think I should proceed with this recipe
I think because the cakes took on the Atkins Mix flavor, I
need to make a more flavorful pound cake. I thought the lemon would do it but
it did not. I’ve made chocolate pound cake before and I think that might be the
way to go here. You’ll see I also did not top the cake itself with anything
(although I did put a dollop of whipped cream on my lil’ slice that was the
size of half my thumb!). If I make a chocolate one, I could see myself dusting
it with some Chike PB powder. That would make an awesome combo!
So why am I telling you all this?
Well, I’ve given you the recipe I used. I’ve given you the
method I used to make it and my initial impressions. (NOTE: Every recipe you
see on BF goes through this process, by the way, I just don’t usually bore you
with the details unless I get stuck!) I’m willing to make these suckers as many
times as is necessary to get them right! So if you have a suggestion to help
the cause, let me know! Once the recipe is where I want it to be I will publish
a final version of it and then you get to make and enjoy it!

The motto of this blog is “play with your food” so let’s get
those creative juices flowing!


  1. I mis the Atkins baking mix as well but have been considering mixing soy flour with the carbquick stuff. I think that is the main difference between the two brands. I'm not sure what the ratios would be (2:1, 1:1?) but it might be something a foodie could play around with.

    The other thing I want to try is Bob's red mill Low carb baking mix. It looks like decent nutritionals. Better protein anyway than the carbquick.

  2. This recipe seems to be circulating around the web (found it by Googling "Make your own Atkins baking mix."


    * 1 cup soy flour
    * 2 cups soy protein isolate
    * 2 Tablespoons baking soda
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * 2 Tablespoons Splenda

  3. Makes 3.25 cups