Makeover Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Cake


It’s just not Thanksgiving at Shirley Dellinger’s house in Elwood, Indiana until she bakes moist Pumpkin Cake topped with cream cheese frosting for the grand finale. “I serve it for Christmas, too,” Shirley says. “I know how much everyone loves it, but I also know how much fat is in it. Can you help me make it lighter but still keep all the taste?”

With the holidays coming up so quickly, our makeover pros went right to work on Shirley’s recipe, cutting not only fat but also calories and cholesterol. They started by reducing the sugar and using only half the eggs, making up the difference with egg substitute.

Vegetable oil was replaced with half as much healthier canola oil and unsweetened applesauce. And a splash of buttermilk helped replace the moistness and tender texture lost with some of the oil.

Reduced-fat cream cheese was an easy and obvious substitution in the frosting. And using only half as much butter and a little less confectioners’ sugar kept the creamy texture and taste intact.

The finished Makeover Pumpkin Cake is a winner! Packed with warm pumpkin flavor and spice, it’s taller than the original cake but weighs in with just about half the fat, saturated fat and cholesterol and 187 fewer calories per slice. That’s sweet success no matter how you cut it!

Tasty Tip: The acid in buttermilk helps to tenderize baked goods.


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