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New Recipe: Healthier Cake (AKA "Diet Cake")

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No Thanks to Cake: New Recipe: Healthier Cake (AKA "Diet Cake")

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Recipe: Healthier Cake (AKA "Diet Cake")

The year I graduated college, I spent about 8 months on Weight Watchers and lost a LOT of weight.  I got down to my all-time smallest during this round of WW.  I had great support from my leader and friends and was 100% committed to the program - - two ingredients that assure success with any weight loss program, if you ask me.

I remember my 22nd birthday rolling around and being VERY disappointed.  I mean, birthdays had always been associated with indulging and gooey chocolate cake - - my definition of CELEBRATING.  It definitely wasn't the first time in my life that I had been "on a diet" on my birthday, but it was the first time that I was determined to lose and was willing to make a birthday sacrifice in the name of weight loss. 

What I didn't expect was a cake to be delivered to me as my birthday present!  My dear friend Linda made me what she called "diet cake" for my birthday.  What an AWESOME present it was!

It looked like this, but fluffier.  Just your basic sheet cake and oh-so-good.
Unknowingly, Linda chose to make a lemon cake with lemon frosting which I had never had in my life.  I've mentioned before that trying "new favorites" have been key to my losing weight... and this was just another example.  While it wasn't a gooey chocolate cake, it was a REALLY good lemon cake... unlike any I'd ever had!  That made it even better.  This was the only way that I'd ever had lemon cake, so I didn't miss all the extra fat/calories/etc that would have went with a standard lemon dessert.  BRILLIANT!

Linda's original recipe exchanged the oil and eggs with applesauce and, like this recipe, can be used to make ANY flavor cake.  When my birthday celebration rolled around this year, I figured it was time to bring back this old favorite.

Thanks, Linda Lou, for making such a special cake for me and for creating a cake I could celebrate with years later!  I've adapted it slightly over time based on recipes I've learned from fellow "losers", but credit you eternally for teaching me that substitutions can make EVEN cake healthier!

Adapted from a recipe from Linda "G-Money" Dohnal

1 cake mix 
1 can diet soda
1 jar whipped frosting

Choosing your Cake Mix-Soda Combination:  Sugar-free cake mix isn't required, but it was something I wanted to try.  Also, the soda doesn't give much flavor to the cake, but I usually match it up by color.  You can really use any combination, but here's a few I recommend:

Yellow Cake + Diet Sprite
Chocolate Cake + Diet Coke or Diet Cream Soda
Devil's Food Cake + Diet Dr. Pepper
Red Velvet + Diet Coke
Funfetti + Diet 7-Up
Lemon Cake + Diet Sierra Mist


1.  Mix cake with can of soda.  Cake mix batter will be foamy to start, but will lessen as you combine it.

I decided to make 1/2 a cake because I didn't want leftovers.  Yay for Food Scales!
Can you see how foamy it is? 
Mix it up, just as the box says....
2.  Pour batter into a greased cake pan.  Bake per cake mix instructions.

I made a 9-inch round with my 1/2 a cake.
Let your cake cool before you start frosting it.

3.  Top with your favorite frosting and enjoy!  I used whipped frosting because it had significantly less calories than the standard jars.  You could surely make your own frosting or skip this step, but I wanted easy frosting! 

And... that poor cake looked so flat, so I decided to make it a layer cake!  I cut the round in half and layered it with frosting.

Note to Self:  Must buy a knife with a serrated edge.
The sprinkles were a nice touch!

Warning:  Taking 1/2 a cake to any party leaves you wide
open for all the "did you eat the other half?" jokes...
I took the cake to my friend Deb's house where we were celebrating my birthday with a beautiful dinner. (Yes, I insisted on bringing my own cake!)  Deb made an awesome filet au poivre and accompaniments from Cooking Light - - YUM!  Such a treat!  Thanks, Deb and Matt! 

The cake was a huge hit and everyone seemed shocked that it was made with soda.  Try it, and then tell people after they eat it.  I promise, they won't even know... 


Seriously, why ever make it the other way again?? 
Pretty sure I just heard some GASPs all the way here in Salt Lake City.

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At January 10, 2012 at 9:19 AM , Blogger Emily said...

Looks yummy :d

At January 10, 2012 at 9:22 AM , Blogger Mom on a mission said...

Tx for the recipe, it looks delicious:)

At January 10, 2012 at 12:34 PM , Blogger Sharlie said...

I'm going to have to try this!...I just tried the diet coke brownies and they were pretty good!

At January 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM , Blogger Tim said...

I just found your blog and I wish I hadn't now because I keep seeing lots of amazing foods which I want to eat! haha!


Tim aka a new follower :)

At January 10, 2012 at 7:30 PM , Anonymous Tammy said...

Okay, while I am skeptical, I am so intrigued. So no oil or eggs? I will have to give this a try for sure. Thanks for sharing.

At January 10, 2012 at 10:51 PM , Blogger No Thanks to Cake said...

Try it, y'all. I promise, it's delish! Tammy, I expect a full report...

At January 11, 2012 at 11:35 AM , Blogger Weight Loss Girl (Nikki) said...

I've heard about making cake with diet soda. I think I am gonna have to try it. Looks delish xxx

At January 11, 2012 at 1:32 PM , Blogger Erin said...

I can totally vouch for Kelly on this one - it's AMAZING. I'm a big big big fan of cake and I seriously can't even tell the difference when it's made with diet soda instead. And I always find the cake to be very moist and fluffy.

Mmmm and now I want cake.


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