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Monday, August 24, 2009

Low Fat Applesauce Cake

We've all heard about substituting applesauce for fat in cake recipes, so I went searching for some ideas for an applesauce pumpkin cake. Several sites suggested that cakes made from scratch really don't work well using this substitution, that it works best with cake mixes.

As you may have seen from earlier posts, I like to play around with cake mixes, but these comments were a challenge. Surely I could come up with something edible and acceptable without a mix. The result was a flavorful cake that, while not really "low cal" or truly "healthy," can still be enjoyed with at least a little less guilt. And, if your garden (or that of your friends) yields "free" pumpkin and/or applesauce, the cost can be kept low as well.

Low Fat Pumpkin Applesauce Cake

2 large/extra large or 3 medium eggs
1 c pumpkin puree (canned or home-cooked)
1 c applesauce
1/4 c water
1 c sugar
1 2/3 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t allspice
1/4 t cloves

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a 9 X 13 pan.* (You can do this while preheating the oven.) Stir in 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle with about 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
3. Combine all cake ingredients and beat with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes, until very smooth. Pour batter over butter and sugar mixture.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, until center springs back or a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean.
5. Cool for about 5 minutes and then invert onto a tray.

(The 9 X 13 pan makes a cake only about the height of a brownie. A 7 X 11 pan can be used if higher pieces are desired.)

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