Mandy's Marvelous Meals

Recipes, tips, tricks, and my journey into cooking fabulous food!

Slimmed Down Cakes!!


Well, as expected, this week’s weigh-in was not a pleasant one….gained 2 lbs. Although I am not surprised between feeling lousy (stupid allergies!) and eating badly (it had to be the all you can eat meat buffet I took Hubby to for his b-day or the ice cream cake I made him!) I’ve just had a rough week. I’m really hoping I can get my butt back in the saddle ASAP because summer is quickly approaching and I am nowhere near where I want to be. I just have zero motivation…even the things that normally motivate me are not…just feeling kind of blah.

So I’m wondering what those of you out there do when you feel this way? How do you keep up your motivation? I really could use some advice. It’s so disheartening when I was doing so well and I thought I was really changing for the better…here I am 2 lbs heavier…:(

Anyway, enough of that pity party nonsense. Let’s get to something more interesting…like CAKE!

So as I mentioned in Sunday’s post I wanted to share some “Slimmed Down” cake recipes. I do not actually have my own recipe that I’ve come up with but I can tell you what I’ve found to be the tastiest recipes from others. Hungry Girl offers this information for cake mix and I’ve tried the pumpkin, diet soda, and yogurt versions. I have to say that my favorite is the pumpkin. It is the truest to tasting like whatever flavor cake mix you are using and has a nice texture and remains moist. The yogurt is pretty good too and the diet soda version is just “ok.” It makes an unusual texture (but stays moist) and depending on what flavor combo you use (for example: vanilla cake mix with lemon lime soda) you can taste the flavor of the soda.

Cupcake Made from Yellow Cake Mix and Diet Lemon-Lime Soda

Then there’s microwave cakes…I’ve seen so many different ways to make microwave cakes either from scratch or with a cake mix & have tried most of them, that it’s hard to even keep track of which is better than which. However, I have to say my favorite at this point is a recipe I came across on the Taste of Home website Community Boards called 3-2-1 cake (If you do a google search for this you will find a gazillion bloggers have already blogged this so I’m not sure where the recipe originated). First and foremost it’s only 2 Weight Watchers Points Plus (most of the other individual microwave cakes are 3 or 4 WWPP) and second it is the easiest to make. Basically you combine a box of angel food cake with any flavor cake mix in a large Ziploc bag. Then when you want cake you simply measure 3 tbsp. of the angel food/cake mix mixture into a small microwaveable dish, then add 2 tbsp. of water stirring until all the lumps are gone and then microwave for 1 minute! Comes out perfect and tastes great!

Another one of my favorites is to make a pumpkin cake in the microwave using 2 tbsp. of yellow cake mix, 1 tbsp. of pumpkin, and ¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice. This cake is great with a scoop of fat free vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. The individual cake is also only 2 WWPP.

Last month when I made Hubby his Cadbury Cupcakes, I made a slimmed down version using devil’s food cake mix and pumpkin. Below is the recipe to make 4 cupcakes and a slimmed down frosting (will make enough for the four cupcakes). You will need a food scale to weigh the ingredients of the cupcakes. This is the best way to figure out the appropriate amount for a small batch of cupcakes. If you want to make the Cadbury cupcakes like the ones pictured, just add one mini Cadbury Crème Egg to the batter. This will make the WWPP go up to 4.

 

Slimmed Down Devil’s Food Cupcakes (Adapted from Hungry Girl)

Makes 4 cupcakes (WWPP = 3)

3 oz. devil’s food cake mix

2.5 oz. canned pumpkin

  1. Combine cake mix and pumpkin in a bowl and mix until well combined. Mixture will be thick, but do not add water!
  2. Divide batter into a muffin tin.
  3. Bake in a 350 degree F preheated oven for about 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Slimmed Down Vanilla Frosting(Makes enough for 4 cupcakes, approx. 1 tbsp per cupcake. WWPP = 1)

2 tbsp. fat free Cool Whip, thawed

1 tsp. Sugar Free Fat Free Instant Vanilla Pudding

1 tsp. fat free or skim milk

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined and smooth.
  2. Top each cupcake with approximately 1 tbsp. of frosting.
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Easy & Delicious Chocolate Frosting


This is a really easy chocolate frosting and it tastes great. It is also great for when you are “In a Pinch” like the other night when Hubby called and said he was going to pick up our goddaughter so she could stay over…could I possibly make a birthday cake for her?? Of course I did…in no time at all. I hadn’t made this frosting in a while so I forgot how good it was and especially how easy!

If you have trouble with the consistency, simply add milk if it is too thick or add more powdered sugar if it is too thin, but be careful…if you add too much sugar it will be too sweet. If this happens, just add more cocoa powder a little bit at a time until you get it to your taste preference.

If you are really in a hurry soften the butter in the microwave and combine all ingredients in a bowl and use a whisk to mix it all up…you don’t even need a mixer! I always use my mixer because I think the consistency is better, but if you are really in a hurry you could definitely just whisk away! 😉

This makes a TON of frosting, so you may want to cut the recipe in half. This is more than enough for a two layer cake (2 round 9″ cake pans). Don’t be alarmed by the amount of butter…it’s definitely not healthy in the least but it tastes awesome. My theory when it comes to cakes & frosting…might as well do it right. Later this week I’ll share some Slimmed Down versions of cake & frosting for those of you who are watching what you eat…but ultimately there is nothing like the real thing!

Quick & Easy Chocolate Frosting

3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup milk, room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  1. In a mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the vanilla. Then add the cocoa a little bit at a time until well combined.
  3. Add the milk and mix until light and fluffy.
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