When you want the cake, but not the fat

May 06, 1998|By COOKING LiGHT MAGAZINE CREATORS SYNDICATE

Ah, the glory of a cake: No other food has stood so universally as a messenger of love and honor, a symbol of occasion. A cake makes a statement: This is important. Problem is, cakes also have been statements of fat and calorie overloads -- at least until now. We've lightened a few of them, halving the fat while enhancing the flavor that made them American classics.

You'll need a candy thermometer to make the Fluffy White Frosting for the White Triple-Layer Cake With Lemon Filling. Candy thermometers are different from meat thermometers and can be found in many supermarkets. Store the White Triple-Layer Cake loosely covered in the refrigerator.

The Red Velvet Cake has half the fat of its traditional namesake. Our test kitchens staff was divided on what kind of frosting is best on it. One side had memories of a Cream Cheese Frosting, while the other insisted that Cooked Buttercream Frosting makes it a true Red Velvet Cake. What's presented here is the buttercream version. Don't substitute margarine for the light butter in the buttercream recipe. The texture and taste will not be the same.

We cut the fat by more than 50 percent in the Coconut Triple-Layer Cake. For a variation, use the Lemon Filling from the White Triple-Layer Cake between the layers.

Coconut Triple-Layer Cake

Makes 16 servings

cooking spray

1 tablespoon cake flour

3 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 3/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup butter or stick margarine, softened

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large egg whites

1 2/3 cups fat-free milk

1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon butter extract

Fluffy Coconut Frosting (recipe follows)

2/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.

Lightly spoon sifted flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine sifted flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Combine sugar, butter and oil in a large bowl, and beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the milk and yogurt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in extracts.

Pour cake batter into prepared pans. Sharply tap cake pans once on counter top to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.

Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 2/3 cup Fluffy Coconut Frosting, and top with another cake layer. Spread with 2/3 cup frosting, and top with the remaining cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle top of cake with coconut. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

Per serving: 298 calories (18 percent from fat), 5.8 grams fat (3.3 grams saturated, 1.3 grams monounsaturated, 0.8 grams polyunsaturated), 4.4 grams protein, 57.3 grams carbohydrate, 0.2 gram fiber; 8 milligrams cholesterol, 2 milligrams iron, 195 milligrams sodium, 83 milligrams calcium

Fluffy Coconut Frosting

Makes 4 cups

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

dash of salt

3 large egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon coconut extract

Combine first 5 ingredients in top of a double boiler; place egg-white mixture over barely simmering water in bottom of double boiler on cooktop. Beat at high speed of a hand-held mixer until stiff peaks form and candy thermometer registers 160 degrees. Add extracts; beat until blended.

White Triple-Layer Cake With Lemon Filling

Makes 16 servings

cooking spray

1 tablespoon cake flour

3 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 3/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup butter or stick margarine, softened

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large egg whites

1 2/3 cups fat-free milk

1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon butter extract

Lemon Filling (recipe follows)

Fluffy White Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray, and dust pans with 1 tablespoon flour.

Lightly spoon sifted flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine sifted flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Combine sugar, butter and oil in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine milk and yogurt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in extracts.

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