Mom and Dad were coming to dinner and I wanted to bake a cake. I also wanted to go light. I have seen this cake recipe in my Best of Cooking Light cookbook many times as I would flip through the pages, but never had made it.
I had all the ingredients except for the caramel apple dip, but I knew how to improvise for that! This cake turned out so awesome! The crumb was tender and the cake was light. Believe it or not, for what it looks like - it wasnt' too sweet either. To top it all off, it has 309 calories per serving and only 8.4 grams of fat (provided you use all the ingredients as they suggest). It makes 12 servings. These are pretty good sized servings and I would only eat half of a regular serving just to cut the calories even more - but at that, if you wanted to eat the whole slice, you still could do it guilt free!
Cooking Light has been one of my favorite recipe sources for many years now. I have the annual cookbooks going all the way back to 1999. I have many of the magazines in storage that I pull out to go thru for each season too! What I love about their recipes is they are easy, simple to find ingredients and best of all light!
Dad loved the cake so much he was threatening to just take my whole cake dish home. I didn't let him. ;o) But I sent a good portion home with him!
1 tablespoon flour
1-½ cups boiling water
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
1-½ cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1-⅔ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar (I only had light brown)
2-3 tablespoons fat free milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
⅔ cup fat free caramel apple dip (I melted some kraft caramels with a little fat free half and half)
¼ cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
Preheat oven to 350. Coat bottoms of 2 (8-inch) cake pans with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pans); line bottoms with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.
Combine boiling water and cocoa, stirring well with a whisk. Cool completely.
Place granulated sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, and vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon 1-⅔ cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1-⅔ cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Pour batter into prepared pans, sharlply tap pans once on counter to remove aid bubbles. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean (Mine baked for exactly 30 minutes and came out perfectly!) Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire rack, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.
To prepare frosting, melt 2 tablespoons butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and 2 tablespoons milk, and cook 1 minute or until sugar melts. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Combine buttter mixture and 2 teaspoons vanilla in a large bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar, beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating until spreading consistency.
Place 1 cake layer on a plate, and spread top with half of frosting. Place caramel dip in a small zip-top plastic bag. (i dip is too thick, place bag in microwave for 20 seconds.) Snip a small hole in 1 corner of bag and drizzle half of caramel dip over frosting. (This is where I just melted the caramels with some fat free half and half and then put the melted caramel in a wilton decorating bag to pipe over the cake). Top with other cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top of cake, and drizzle with remaining caramel dip. Sprinkle with pecans.