Pumpkin Pie Cake lightens up to meet challenge of lower fat

July 05, 1995|By Charlotte Balcomb Lane | Charlotte Balcomb Lane,Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service

Summer picnics and family camping trips call for foolproof desserts. Featherlight Pumpkin Pie Cake is a simple-to-make recipe that combines the warm, spicy flavors of pumpkin custard pie with a crunchy, nutty topping of yellow cake.

This sturdy Midwestern confection is slightly more complicated than a basic box cake to make, but the results are delicious and indestructible enough to stand up to long hours packed in the bottom of a cooler or bouncing in the back seat of the car.

Featherlight Pumpkin Pie Cake is a revised recipe of one sent in by Bob and Kay Rutledge of Galesburg, Ill. The Rutledges wanted a simple, dependable cake that would also be low in fat and calories.

The revised recipe is certainly not fat- and calorie-free, but it contains exactly half the grams of fat of the Rutledges' original recipe and almost 100 fewer calories per serving.

Fat-free egg substitutes and evaporated skim milk cut the fat and cholesterol in the custard portion. Reducing the amounts of margarine and nuts by half cut additional fat in the cake topping.

Best of all, the two cakes are almost indistinguishable from each other in taste and texture. But Featherlight Pumpkin Pie Cake allows you to enjoy a delicious finale to a picnic or camping trip without packing on the unwanted baggage of excess calories and fat.

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Makes 16 servings

1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon dried ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 (18.5-ounce) package yellow cake mix

1 cup margarine, melted

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat together the pumpkin, eggs, evaporated milk, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Pour into an ungreased 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

In a separate container, stir together the cake mix and walnuts or pecans.

Sprinkle cake mix over pumpkin mixture, then pour the margarine over the top. Bake for 1 hour or until firm. Cool completely before serving.

Nutritional information per serving: calories, 412; protein, 6 grams; carbohydrate, 51.6 grams; fat, 21 grams (45 percent of calories from fat); cholesterol, 60 milligrams; sodium 388 milligrams

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Featherlight Pumpkin Pie Cake

Makes 16 servings

1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 cup fat-free egg substitutes (equivalent to 4 eggs)

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated skim milk

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon dried ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 (18.5-ounce) package yellow cake mix

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1/2 cup margarine, melted

3/4 cup skim milk

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. In the bowl of an electric mixer or large-capacity food processor, beat together the pumpkin puree, egg substitutes, sugar, evaporated skim milk, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

In a separate bowl, stir together the cake mix, nuts, melted margarine and skim milk to make a thick batter.

Spoon the batter over the pumpkin mixture, then smooth it with the back of the spoon.

Place the baking pan on a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan to protect your oven in case of spills. Bake 1 hour or until the cake is firm. Cool completely before serving.

Nutritional information per serving: calories, 313; protein, 5.8 grams; carbohydrate, 49 grams; fat, 11 grams (31 percent of calories from fat); cholesterol, 2 milligrams; sodium, 339 milligrams.

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If you have a recipe you would like streamlined to contain less fat and fewer calories, send it to Eat for Life at 2411 A Rice Ave. N.W., Albuquerque, N.M. 87104. Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope and the name of your newspaper.

The recipes in this column have been computer-analyzed using Nutritionist IV by N-Squared Computing.

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