Annette Sym's delicious chocolate banana cake.
Annette Sym's delicious chocolate banana cake. Annette Sym

Annette Sym bakes the low fat way: Chocolate banana cake

IF YOU have a sweet tooth then it is important that you satisfy your cravings otherwise you won't last very long on any diet or healthy regime.

When you deprive yourself you are setting yourself up for a binge, yo-yo dieting or highs and low moods, which can weaken the most disciplined person.

To have a balanced eating regime high sugar foods do need to be monitored and eaten only occasionally as they are high in calories.

Let's face it - most high sugar foods have very little nutritional value so if you want long term weightloss success make sure you include some of your favourite foods.

By learning how to make cakes and biscuits my way you can enjoy them without the guilt.

In all my cookbooks there is a baking section so you don't have to miss out - yes you now can have your cake and eat it too. Here are some tips:

1. Baking with low fat margarine is a great way to lower the fat count.
2. It's amazing how much fat you can save when you use skim milk in baking, at only 0.2g of fat a cup compared to nearly 10 grams for full cream milk.
3. Egg yolks are full of saturated fats and of no real benefit to cakes. I use only the egg whites, which have all the nutrients and raising ability, so why add 6g of fat per yolk when you don't need too.
4. I use 1 x 120g can pureed apple Heinz® (found in baby food section) instead of oil or butter in many of my cakes or in muffins. Add some bicarb soda to the pureed apple (it will froth) which will keep the baking light. Pureed apple gives the moisture butter or oil would normally give, but has no fat so this is another fantastic way to cut down the fats in baking;
5. One of the tricks to making a low fat cake or muffin is in the folding. You really need to be careful when folding the flour through because if you overbeat they will come out tough or rubbery. Baking my way means there is no fat in the recipe. Butter or oil normally protects the gluten when folding, so when cooking my recipes remember to fold flour through as if making a delicate sponge.
6. Cooking spray or baking paper is better than greasing cake pans with butter and flour.
7. Watch what you add to baking as there are many hidden fats, such as adding nuts, yes these are good for you but they are also high in fat so use sparingly in baking. The same goes for coconut, cream and cream cheese.

Annette's cookbooks SYMPLY TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE 1-7 are sold in all good newsagencies or visit for more tips and recipes.

Chocolate Banana Cake





3 egg whites

⅓ cup brown sugar

¾ teaspoon bicarb soda

1 cup mashed banana (2 large)

3 tablespoons (45g) Flora® Light margarine melted

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

¾ cup skim milk

2 cups self-raising flour

⅓ cup cocoa

cooking spray



¾ cup icing sugar

1 teaspoon Flora® Light margarine

2 tablespoons cocoa

a little skim milk


Preheat oven 180°C fan forced.


To make cake: In a large mixing bowl beat egg whites and sugar with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Combine bicarb soda with mashed banana (it will froth) then add to egg whites. Pour melted margarine and essence into milk then add to egg mix. Sift flour and cocoa into mix in one go. Gently fold flour through mix. DO NOT BEAT as this will make the cake tough. Once combined, pour into a 20cm cake tin that has been coated with cooking spray. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked in centre.


To make icing: Mix all icing ingredients together adding enough milk so it is spreadable. Cover top of cake with icing then leave to set.



Omit icing for a lower all over nutritional breakdown.


Suitable to be frozen minus icing.


Note from Annette

Adding banana to this cake gives both flavour and texture and adding chocolate can only be a good thing. Great for those times when you want chocolate, and a much healthier option.


Dietitian's Tip

Great when visitors drop in for afternoon tea. This cake makes 12 serves, so enjoy one serve and leave the remaining for your guests!