Recipe calorie calculator

Calculate calories and fat in baked goods

The ideal coffee cake!

In the midst of some years of adult trauma, I found myself longing for a taste of innocent childhood. So, I tracked down the retired owners of Trost’s Bakery in Summit, New Jersey. The bakery had closed with nobody buying the recipes or carrying on the business. Charles and Elaine Trost happily gave me the recipe to their spectacular Butterfluff Coffee Cake, which had comforted me on many Sunday mornings growing up.

It turns out that the recipe (reflected in default inputs below) is extremely dense in calories and fat: over 600 calories and 36g fat per serving! trosts butterfluff

Eating one thin-ish slice of Butterfluff is not too different than scarfing a massively-larger, gooey Cinnabon (880 calories, 32g fat). Alternatively, you could have one large, proper, buttery croissant (about 400 calories, 36g fat). Croissants are essentially coffee cake minus the sugar (hence the calorie savings), with fat coming exclusively from butter.

I made this baked goods calorie calculator in order to understand what was going on with my Butterfluff Coffee Cake. The calorie content is primarily attributable to the flour – meaning the cake is just….really, really dense. A fluffier-textured cake would just have less stuff per unit volume. For example, a similar size slice of birthday-or-wedding sponge cake contains less than half the calories and fat (about 250 calories and 12g fat), before the frosting.

Is homemade always better?

It depends on your objective.

Less crap. Most importantly, homemade food typically doesn’t have artificial ingredients such as dyes, preservatives, texturizing chemicals, and other unpronounceable crap. General consensus and common sense suggests that natural is better, even if we can’t yet specifically predict negative health effects in all cases.

Fewer calories and less fat. Often, homemade items contain fewer calories and less fat than the commercial variety. Restaurants and commercial packaged foods add things to food that a home cook wouldn’t stomach witnessing go into the pot… even though we love the tasty effect when we aren’t uncomfortably aware how fat- and calorie-dense it is. They are expected to deliver very flavorful food, which means more sugar, salt, and fat to amp up the flavor.

People who eat lots of restaurant and processed food wind up with spoiled taste buds. An otherwise flavor-packed homemade breakfast burrito tastes bland compared to the microwaveable frozen variety, and the best homemade winter soup is just ‘meh’ without extra spoonfuls of salt, butter, and bacon bits. Their “tell” at a dinner party is salting their food without even tasting it…. an insult to the chef in (rare) circles where etiquette still matters, but more disturbingly an indicator of habituation to packaged food.

One trick of advanced home cooks is to add both sugar and salt to savory concoctions – they cancel each other out in terms of distinguishable flavor notes, but elevate the overall intensity. Similarly, adding a tiny bit of umami (e.g., in the form of anchovy paste) to the pot adds to the sensation of yumminess without bringing in an identifiable flavor note to interfere with taste.

More calories and fat. However, sometimes homemade items can have more calories and fat than the commercial variety. Without unusual additives and hard-core mechanical equipment to optimize texture, home cooks’ output can require more fat to achieve a similar flavor result as commercial food. This is the case with baked goods

Some interesting conclusions from using this calculator:

  • It’s hard to improve upon Haagen Dazs. Homemade ice cream (classic style, with eggs and cream) has about twice the fat as high-end, commercial ice cream. Even without adding strange, enriching ingredients, commercial operations can make creamier ice cream without as much egg yolk, using advanced equipment to blend and freeze their batter. Also, as rich as ice cream seems, it’s still fewer calories and less fat to have a generous scoop of it, than to down a slice of Butterfluff.
  • Only make your own mayonnaise for the technical challenge. Hellman’s classic mayo has about 130 calories and 15g fat per tablespoon. Make it yourself through the magic of emulsion (12T butter/oil + 1 measly egg yolk transforms into a cup of glossy fluff) – and you will have about the same calorie and fat profile as from the jar.
  • Be careful if you have an Eggs Benedict habit. Hollandaise sauce is essentially cooked, collapsed mayonnaise. A small ladlefull of Hollandaise (egg yolks + butter, with negligible bits of sugar, water, lemon juice, and salt) adds tons of fatty flavor to your breakfast, comparable in nutrition effect of a scoop of ice cream. Two poached eggs on a split English muffin provide 155 calories and 3g fat; add the sauce, and it’s now double the calories and 27g fat!
Baked goods calorie and fat content calculator
Ingredient Quantity Units Calories / unit Total calories % of total calories Fat grams / unit Total fat grams % of total fat
Butter tablespoons 100 % 11.0 %
Flour cups 455 % 1.2 %
Sugar cups 560 % 0.0 %
Powdered sugar cups 467 % 0.0 %
Brown sugar cups 720 % 0.0 %
Whole eggs 70 % 4.5 %
Egg whites 15 % 0.0 %
Egg yolks 55 % 4.5 %
Skim milk cups 80 % 0.0 %
Whole milk cups 150 % 80.0 %
Ground nuts cups 540 % 32.0 %
1 1
Number of servings  
Values per serving 1 calories 1 fat grams

Click on the image to open the fully-detailed Trost’s Butterfluff recipe!

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11 Responses to Recipe calorie calculator

  1. Julianne O'Mahoney Etcheverry says:

    I, too, grew up in Summit eating Trost’s butterfluff and I’ve been craving it for some months. Is the recipe available? And how did you find the Trosts? I tracked them to Tuscon and then the trail went cold. Perhaps they weren’t the same Trosts from Summit. Anyway If you’s share the butterfluff recipe, I’d be forever indebted.

    Julianne
    SHS ’78

  2. amy says:

    Could you find out the recipe for their amazing petit fours? Such a loss!

  3. Treska says:

    Count me in as another one who grew up in Summit loving the butterfluff (and the Grandma Loaf, and those chocolate-coated leaf cookies, and everything else). I cannot even tell you how utterly transported with joy I am to see the butterfluff recipe. I’ll be testing it out at home and, if all goes well, surprising the heck out of my Trost-loving family at Thanksgiving.

    Thank you!

  4. barb says:

    This brings back memories but the one item from Trost’s I’m obsessing over is their honey cookie. At least, I think they were made with honey. Very flat, crunchy but bendy and with so much honey (?) in there, it would pool into transparent windows throughout the cookie. Or so I remember them. I’m on a mission to try to reproduce the cookie for my family so any info or links greatly appreciated! (Can still smell the bakery as we entered through the back door.)

  5. Julianne O'Mahoney Etcheverry says:

    One Summit friend mentioned Trost’s. I shared the butterfluff recipe that you so kindly shared with me. It’s gone viral. I posted this morning on and I’ve had over 60 responses. Many responses asked for a hazelnut torte and a hazelnut cake. Have you any more recipes, or a contact for Elaine and Charles?

    • admin says:

      I didn’t get any other recipes at the time, as I was so grateful for the coffee cake! I had tracked them down in Arizona using an online search for Trost – that would have been in 2011.

  6. Stephanie says:

    The hazelnut cake and their birthday cakes. The toll house cookies. OMG. Everything.

    • Melissa Mantel says:

      Oh my God! The Hazelnut cake was the best. I always requested it for my birthday. My brother carried a frozen one on the plane when he came to visit me in Texas.

  7. Andy says:

    I grew up with enjoying Trost’s, too, especially the butterfluff coffee cake on Sunday mornings after church. Thanks for the recipe. We’re going to try and make one this weekend. A question though. Is the “2 T yeast” fresh or powder yeast?
    Thanks,
    Andy

    • admin says:

      Powdered – and I don’t think it’s super sensitive to the amount, as yeast can be more or less active anyway, and you might thus adjust the amount for that reason. Enjoy!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    So nice to find this thread. I grew up and now live in Summit and truly, truly miss Trost’s. From the petit fors to honey crunch cookies to so many of their specialty cookies (especially the ones with the apricot or rasberry down in the middle) and my all time favorite of chocolate layer fudge cake. I would LOVE to have these recipes!!

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