Sunday, May 5, 2013

THIS is How You Make Cake! (Healthily)


It seems appropriate that I start my life as a Penn State alum by keeping my promises--specifically, the promise to show you the recipes I experimented with for our family get-together last night. One was a success; the other two were just so-so.


Let’s start with my pride and joy.

My mom wanted to buy one of those premade graduation cakes from the Walmart bakery. Don’t get me wrong, I love store-bought cakes with their awesome buttercream frosting...well, I like the frosting, anyway (it just happens to only come attached to a cake). But there’s something about Funfetti cake that I can get excited about, and we had a leftover Funfetti cake mix in the cupboard, so I asked her to let me make it instead.

She must have more confidence in my culinary abilities than I do, because she agreed. But this was no ordinary Funfetti cake with Funfetti frosting slapped on top. I wanted to “healthify” this cake...without anybody knowing it.


It’s actually really simple. Three ingredients: cake mix, one single-serving cup of Greek yogurt, and a cup of water. I used Chobani 0% plain, but I’ve heard of people using different flavors to complement the cake mix. And yes, that’s a Christmas-themed holiday mix. But by the end of this, you can’t even tell, I promise.


Nothing fancy about the preparation, just throw it all in a bowl and mix it up!


And, just because this is Penn State graduation, some blue food coloring for good measure.


You have NO IDEA...this batter smells heavenly. It tastes heavenly, too. I usually try to be “good” when baking, but this time I licked the bowl! So proud! :) And...it’s egg free, so you don’t have to worry about salmonella.


Anyway, you’re supposed to just follow the package instructions for your pan size, but...I had it in the oven for about four minutes less than that, and it still burned! I was so depressed. The edges were all crunchy, but the middle was still moist. Luckily, it moistened overnight, and the damage was mostly aesthetic. Which wasn’t even an issue, because you can’t have a cake without frosting!



It seemed pointless to put regular Funfetti frosting on my healthified cake (plus ours was green with Christmas sprinkles), and I just happened to come across a really easy, healthier frosting recipe on Pinterest. Only three ingredients for this, too:


Vanilla pudding mix (mine was fat free/sugar free), one cup of milk (I used skim), and a tub of Cool Whip (light, of course). All you do it mix the pudding and milk until there are no lumps (or not very many, anyway), and then mix in the Cool Whip. It’s a little tough to get the pudding totally mixed into the Cool Whip, but you’ll know it’s done when the whole thing turns yellow with no white streaks.


Warning: this makes a LOT of frosting. I used up all the blue food coloring trying to make it blue...at first it just turned green. And the layer on top of the cake was really thick. Which is always a plus. :) Just slap it on with a rubber spatula and you’re golden. But just because I had tons of time to kill...


Sprinkles! Yes, I picked the blue and white out of that tub of rainbow sprinkles. We had separated red, pink, purple, yellow, and green, but no white or blue. It figures. But I am so proud of this creation...and it was delicious! I even told my sister there was Greek yogurt in it about halfway through her piece...and she kept eating! It was a hit. In fact, I don’t think I’ll make a cake any other way again. But I will be watching more closely while it bakes!

Oh, I almost forgot...one piece of this cake (1/24 of the pan)? 120 calories. So you can have three...or four....
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