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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Slice off calories, fat from apple spice cake

 •  Staying true to her (kitchen) self

By Elaine Magee

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Apple spice cake can be served warm or cold, and with a mini serving of light vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt drizzled with caramel.

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Q. I noticed that this apple spice cake is one of the most popular recipes right now on Marthastewart.com. For health reasons, this is just too rich for me, but I was hoping you could lighten it up and then I could try it.

A. I love lightening up popular recipes because it tells me that the original recipe is probably top-notch, and that people already love this particular taste combination and will hopefully love the light version too.

The apple cake calls for 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil. We cut this down to 1/3 cup and called for the higher omega-3 and mono-unsaturated oil canola oil. Low-fat buttermilk took the place of some of the oil. Making the cake with half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose white flour adds fiber and nutrients. I reduced the sugar by one-quarter without ill effect, and I used 2 eggs instead of 3. In place of a homemade caramel sauce, I blended a bottled caramel sauce with some light whipped topping. Not including the caramel sauce or topping, we cut the calories per serving by almost 200 calories and the fat grams dropped from 26 grams to 7.5. Cholesterol was cut by a third, and we doubled the fiber.

If you want to skip the caramel topping, this cake works really well with a mini scoop of light vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Original recipe contains (not including caramel sauce) 494 calories, 26 grams fat, 2.2 grams saturated fat, 53 milligrams cholesterol and 1.7 grams of fiber, per serving.


  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk

  • 1/3 cup canola oil

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs (higher omega-3 if available)

  • 1/4 cup egg substitute or 2 egg whites

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 cups chopped apples cored and sliced apples cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 14 ounces of packaged sliced apples can be used)

  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts (optional)

    Caramel Whip Topping:

  • 2 cups light nondairy whipped topping

  • 5 tablespoons bottled caramel topping

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan or tube pan with canola cooking spray; set aside.

    Add flours, cinnamon, baking soda and salt to medium bowl or 8-cup measure and whisk to blend well.

    Add buttermilk, canola oil, sugar, eggs, egg substitute and vanilla to a large mixing bowl and with the paddle attachment, beat together on medium-high speed until smooth (about 2 minutes).

    On low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients, mixing just until blended. Stir in chopped apples and nuts if desired. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean (about 1 hour and 15 minutes). Remove from oven and let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then invert the cake onto a serving plate and remove the pan to help the cake cool completely.

    For the caramel whip topping, add 2 cups of whipped topping to a serving bowl and gently stir in the caramel topping.

    Serve each slice of apple cake, warm or cold, with a dollop of the caramel whip topping, if desired.

    Makes 12 servings.

  • Per serving (without caramel topping): 300 calories, 6 g protein, 54 g carbohydrate, 7.5 g fat, .9 g saturated fat, 4 g monounsaturated fat, 2.1 g polyunsaturated fat, 36 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 344 mg sodium. Calories from fat, 22 percent. Omega-3 fatty acids, .8 g. Weight Watchers points, 6. Omega-6 fatty acids, 1.3 g.

    Caramel topping (per serving) adds 48 calories, 1.4 g fat, 9.5 g carbohydrate and 30 mg sodium.

    Elaine Magee is a registered dietitian. Learn more at www.recipedoctor.com.