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3 Crowd-Pleasing, Low-Cal Desserts

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Pastry chef and author of Sweet & Skinny, Marisa Churchill shares low-calorie and low-fat dessert recipes from her cookbook.

Old-Fashioned Fudge Cake

Makes: 16 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes


Nonstick cooking spray

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for coating the pan

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk

1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

4 egg whites from large eggs

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2/3 cup finely grated beets, loosely packed

8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons nonfat milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center position. Mist a 10-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and coat lightly with flour.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 3/4 cups flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, yogurt, egg whites, and olive oil until the mixture is smooth. Stir in beets and then the flour mixture until just incorporated.
  3. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, until cake is slightly domed in the center and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes. Then run a knife around the edge and invert the cake directly onto the rack; let cool completely, about 1 hour.
  4. While cake is cooling, make the frosting. Using a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Sift in powdered sugar and cocoa powder; continue to mix, starting on low speed and increasing to medium as sugar is incorporated, until frosting is completely smooth. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla extract and milk, mixing until incorporated.
  5. Use a spatula to frost the top of cake first, starting at the center and pushing frosting out to the sides. Frost sides. Cut cake into 16 slices before serving.

Nutrition facts per serving (1 slice): 289 calories, 7g protein, 51g carbohydrate, 8g fat (4g saturated), 3g fiber

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mlporter91913 wrote:

289 calories is NOT a low calorie dessert if you are trying to lose weight. Is she nuts?

2/14/2014 02:04:48 PM Report Abuse
mjeubanks13 wrote:

try using ground flaxsead meal instead of butter, i have come up with a few healthy good for you and hummy muffins to cake by using it.m. eubanks

11/18/2011 07:44:14 PM Report Abuse

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