Don’t Skip the Sweets!!

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Don’t Skip the Sweets!!

The Holiday season has officially kicked into gear and along with the Holiday comes a multitude of fabulous holiday meals treats and traditions! Instead of skipping all your family favorites try to capture the flavors you know and love in these healthier versions! Don’t skip the sweets this year!

Light German Chocolate Cake


Cooking spray

1 (4-ounce) package Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup boiling water

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

4 large egg whites

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt


1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 (12-ounce) can fat-free evaporated milk, well shaken

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Coat two 9- x 1 1/2-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper and spray the parchment.

For cake: Place chocolate in a medium bowl, add boiling water, and whisk until smooth. Add yogurt, oil, vinegar, and vanilla to chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add egg whites; whisk until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine the next 5 dry ingredients (through salt). Pour chocolate mixture into flour mixture and whisk just until combined. Divide batter between the prepared pans. Tap pans lightly on a work surface to pop any air bubbles.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers of the cakes comes out clean (leave oven on). Cool in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Turn the cakes out of the pans, remove the parchment, and cool completely.

For topping: Spread the pecans and coconut on a large baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring once, until lightly browned (10-12 minutes); set aside. Whisk together evaporated milk and cornstarch in a small, heavy saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat and cook, whisking constantly, until thick and foamy (it will happen almost all at once), about 4 minutes. Whisk in sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt; cook for 3 1/2 minutes, until thickened. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Stir in coconut and pecans before frosting.

Place 1 cake layer on a platter and spread half the frosting over top of cake. Add the remaining cake layer and spread with the remaining frosting over top. Slice and serve.

Serves 18, each serving contains; Calories 376, Fat 15.2g, Protein 6g, Carbohydrates 56g, Fiber 2g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 291mg.

Carrot Apple Spice Cake with Browned Butter Glaze


1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons bourbon

3 large eggs

1 (18.25-ounce) box spice cake mix

1 cup grated carrot

1 cup grated peeled Honeycrisp apple (or any sweet-tart apple)

Baking spray with flour


1/4 cup butter

2 cups powdered sugar, divided

2 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons 2% reduced-fat milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dash of salt

1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cake, combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed for 1 minute or until well combined. Add cake mix to buttermilk mixture; beat at medium speed 1 minute or until well blended. Stir in carrot and apple until just combined. Divide batter evenly among 3 (8-inch) round cake pans coated with baking spray. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans; cool completely on wire rack.

To prepare glaze, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; cook 6 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Cool slightly. Combine browned butter, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed 2 minutes or until smooth.

To assemble cake, place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread 1/4 cup glaze over cake layer. Top with second layer and spread with 1/4 cup glaze. Top with third layer. Stir the remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar into remaining glaze. Spread remaining glaze over top of cake. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Serves 16, each serving contains; Calories 294, Fat 12 g, Protein 3.6 g, Carbohydrate 43.7 g,

Fiber 0.6 g, Cholesterol 45 mg, Sodium 259 mg.


Low Fat Gingerbread Cookies


3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 egg

1/3 cup dark molasses

3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. ground cloves
For the Icing:

1 1/2 tbsp. egg whites

1/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 cup powdered sugar

Pinch of cream of tartar
For the cookies:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar and applesauce until smooth. Add the egg and molasses, mix well. In another large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and spices. Add to sugar and molasses mixture, stirring well. Divide the dough into two flat balls; cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously dust the surface of your working area with flour before rolling out the dough. Work with one ball of dough at a time, keep the other refrigerated while you do so.  Roll the dough out to 1/4 or 1/8-inch thickness, sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough if it’s a little sticky. Cut the gingerbread with a cookie cutter shape of your choice.

Place cookies 1 or 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.

For the Icing

Mix the egg whites with lemon juice. Combine with powdered sugar, mixing well. If the icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar, if it’s too thick add a drop of lemon juice. Add to a piping bag to decorate cookies when cookies are cooled.

Serves 48, each serving contains; Calories: 66.2, Fat 0.8 g, Carb 14.9 g, Fiber 0.1 g, Protein 0.9 g Sugar 8.5 g, Sodium: 30.4 g

Buttermilk Pralines


1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup whole buttermilk

1 1/2 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Dash of salt

2/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1 1/2 teaspoons butter

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan. Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Continue cooking over low heat until a candy thermometer registers 234° (about 10 minutes); stir occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.

Stir in nuts, butter, and vanilla; beat with a wooden spoon until mixture begins to lose its shine (about 6 minutes). Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Let stand 20 minutes or until set.

Yields 30 pieces, each serving contains; Calories 65, Protein 0.4g, Carbohydrates 11.4g, Fiber 0.3g, Sodium 36mg.

Written By

Photo of Tammy Kelly, Ed. DTammy Kelly, Ed. DCounty Extension Director (252) 527-2191 tammy_kelly@ncsu.eduLenoir County, North Carolina
Posted on Dec 1, 2014
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