My Healthier Take on Birthday Cake

08/26/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Think back to your favorite childhood birthday party. Remember the look of wonder on your face when the lights went out and your cake -- candles aglow -- came gliding in? I remember those moments, and in many ways, I keep trying to recapture them with each and every cake that I make. My name is Alexandra Mudry. I'm a baking and pastry student, at The Culinary Institute of America, and I am honored to have the privilege of introducing the official birthday cake of the American Cancer Society today.

Healthy living - eating right and exercising on a regular basis -- is a way in which each and every American can fight cancer every day. As much as I love cake, I know that most of them don't quite fit the definition of healthy living. That's why the American Cancer Society, The Culinary Institute of America, and Duff Goldman from Food Network's hit show Ace of Cakes came together to create a new, healthier take on the birthday cake as the official cake of the American Cancer Society -- and hosted the "Taste More Birthday's" cake contest to find it.

Why would the American Cancer Society be interested in birthdays? Because they recently started a new movement to fight for less cancer and more birthdays. There are 11 million cancer survivors in America, and they cherish each and every birthday as a victory over their terrible disease. The More Birthdays movement exists so that Americans can stand together to ensure, through healthy living and spreading the word, that cancer doesn't steal any more birthdays.

To help Americans celebrate their birthdays in a more healthful way -- and create a tasty treat in the process -- I came up with my take on red velvet cake. My red velvet cake delivers plenty of taste but has much less sugar and fat than a traditional recipe. In addition to cutting back on sugar, eggs, oil and butter, I added some inventive ingredients like roasted beets, dried cherries, applesauce and whole grain flour to help kick the nutrients up a notch.

After an exciting day of baking at Charm City Cakes -- home to Food Network's hit show Ace of Cakes -- Duff Goldman (the ace himself) picked my cake as the winner. I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity, and I hope that my cake will help people enjoy many more birthdays.

Click here to bake my cake yourself: