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Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (REDUCED FAT & 402 Calories)

Posted Jan 04 2011 10:31pm

Yesterday on my husband's birthday, I had a doctor's appointment.  I was kinda excited because I wanted to know if my sugar levels were in check since I love dessert.  I knew my cholesterol would be okay, but I was more concerned about my sugar since my mom is diabetic.  Being her offspring and a sugar lover, that isn't a good combination!  What's funny is all 3 of my siblings have a sweet tooth.  We all love having tea with dessert and over Christmas break that's really all we did.  

My doctor read out my cholesterol to me, but I specifically asked her what my sugar level was.  She said it was, "fine, normal."  To my surprise my sugar level went down by 2 points from last year and this was news to me after having eaten so much dessert over Christmas break, I was delighted.  I then proceeded to ask my doctor, "it really went down?"  She's like, "yeah, well you probably aren't eating cakes and cookies."  I mischievously smiled and said, "weeeellllllllllllllllllllllllll, I do."  My doctor then said, "well if you are, you certainly aren't eating too much of it."  And that I agreed with.

My husband will be the first person to tell you how much I love desserts and I want something sweet EVERY SINGLE NIGHT with my tea, he gets annoyed at me because he's partly concerned that diabetes runs in my family and I need to control my sugar.  Okay, I totally get that part.  Keep in mind though, as much as I love desserts, I don't eat them every night and I do eat them in moderation.  In addition, I do bake majority of my desserts so I know they are reduced fat and I certainly don't feel like I'm missing out, this way I can have my cake and eat it too.  Of course, if I'm in NYC, I will hit up one of my favorite bakeries.  The key is having desserts in moderation, exercising, and reduce the fat when possible without using weird ingredients.

Speaking of dessert and baking them reduced fat, I baked my husband this delicious Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting for his surprise birthday party .  I found this recipe on Williams-Sanoma's website and obviously tweaked it by reducing the fat big time.  The day I made this cake, it tasted wonderful, it was full of flavor, and it almost tasted like a carrot cake since I put walnuts and raisins in it.  The next day however, this cake dried up a bit, it wasn't as moist as day 1, so going forward I need to add in more moisture since I reduced the oil by 1/4 cup.  I'll give you some tips on how to fix this problem.  Enjoy!     

TELL ME: Do you have a sweet tooth?  How do you keep your sugar in check?

NUTRITION: Pumpkin is rich in Vitamin A and Fiber.  Walnuts are an excellent source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids.  Raisins are known to be an antioxidant rich fruit. Whole Wheat Flour added some protein and fiber to this recipe.

  • Based on the original recipe , I made 3/4's of this recipe.  
  • I skipped using cloves since it has a dominant flavor and not everyone likes it.
  • 3/4's of the recipe called for 3/4 cup of raisins, I used 1/2 cup instead.
  • 3/4's of the recipe called for 3/4 cup of oil, I used 1/2 cup of Canola Oil instead.  
  • 3/4's of the recipe called for 1 1/3 cups of pumpkin, instead I used 1 2/3 cup of pumpkin since I removed some of the oil.  Going forward though, I'll use 1 1/3 cup of pumpkin and use 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce to replace the oil.  This will add a lot more moisture.
  • For the frosting, I didn't use the recipe Williams-Sonoma suggested.  I wasn't too keen on using white chocolate chips, tons of butter and cream cheese for the frosting - that's just way too heavy in my opinion.  Instead I used my own Reduced Fat Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting which you can find below.

NOTE: you can create 20 slices or 24 slices out of this cake, and you can trim down the fat and calories even further.
  • Calories: 402 cals
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.9 g
  • Carbs: 63 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Fiber: 2.4 g

SPICED PUMPKIN CAKE (REDUCED FAT) (adapted by Williams-Sonoma )
~ yields 16 slices @ 350 degrees using a 2 9-inch round baking trays
~ fat reduced by 51%; saturated fat reduced by 68% (I KNOW); calories reduced by 30%.  Just to give you some shocking figures, the original recipe had 578 calories, 38 grams of fat, and 15.5 grams of saturated fat per slice... that is crazy!  My version isn't significantly healthy, but I believe my version made a huge difference in the fat department.

INGREDIENTS (recipe is based on 3/4's of the original and then modified):
  • Whole Wheat Flour - 1 cup
  • White All Purpose Flour - 1 cup
  • Baking Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Baking Soda - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Ground Cinnamon - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Nutmeg - 1/5 tsp (or just a little less than 1/4 tsp)
  • Salt - 3/4 tsp
  • Walnuts (chopped) - 1/2 cup
  • Raisins - 1/2 cup
  • Libby's Pure Pumpkin - 1 2/3 cups (next time use 1 1/3 cups)
  • Sugar - 3/4 cup
  • Dark Brown Sugar - 3/4 cup
  • Canola Oil - 1/2 cup
  • Eggs - 3
  • Unsweetened Applesauce - 1/2 cup (I didn't add this, but next time add this as a replacement for the missing oil) 

1.Grease 2 9-inch round pans.
2. Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl... white flour, wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

3. Combine.

4. Add chopped walnuts and raisins.  This will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake.

5. Combine.  

6. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients... pure pumpkin, sugar, dark brown sugar, and oil.  At this point you would also add the unsweetened applesauce if you use it.  

7. Combine until smooth.

8. Add each egg one at a time and mix in between.

9. This is what you should have.

10. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in 3 batches.  Gently combine.

11. This is how the batter should look.  See.. it could have been a little more moist.

12. Evenly divide batter into the baking trays. 

13. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.  Mine baked for 25 minutes exactly.  

14. This is what you should have. 

~yields enough frosting to frost a cake

INGREDIENTS (my version):
  • Neufchatel Cream Cheese - 1 8-oz. bar (or 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese)
  • Unsalted Butter - 4 tbsp
  • Ground Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
  • Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
  • Confectioners Sugar - 2 1/2 cups

1. In a bowl combine the cream cheese, butter, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.

2. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.

3. Add confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time.  Combine. 

4. This is what you should have.  Adjust sugar according to your liking.  

5. Frost the cake... middle and top layers, along with the sides.  I decorated the cake with walnuts.  I know it's very messy.  It was 4 AM!!!  :-)

I really enjoyed the frosting, it was just right.  The cinnamon added a more pumpkin feel to this cake which I loved.  If you feel like you need more frosting, go ahead and add 1 to 2 tbsp of butter.  I wouldn't add more cream cheese though.   

This cake was really good the day I made it, however I felt it lacked a little moisture.  I made a mistake by increasing the pumpkin amounts and reducing the oil.  I should have simply added applesauce instead.  Going forward, I'm positive the applesauce will correct the moistness when eaten a day later.  Despite that, this cake was really good, delicious, and relatively moist the day of his birthday.  My husband loved his birthday cake and that's all that matters.  The flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg gave this cake a more pumpkin feel to it.  It almost tasted as though I was eating a carrot cake.  I think banana or pineapple would taste so good in this cake.  It would then be a Pumpkin Banana Cake or Pumpkin Pineapple Cake. 

If you do consider making this cake with applesauce, please let me know how it turns out.  I'd love to know!    

TELL ME: Do you have a sweet tooth?  How do you keep your sugar in check?

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