Thanksgiving has come and gone, that is, if you live in the great white North, but I still want to take this time to be thankful, gracious, and grateful. After all, if I publicly declare how much I love fall (impending inclement weather and hazardous road conditions forthcoming), getting older (how does one really handle simultaneous wrinkles, zits, dry patches and oily skin?), and the upcoming Christmas shopping season (angry mad crowds, the pressure of finding the “perfect gift”, and fighting over the last remaining parking spot)… it must be true. Kind of like a self fulfilling prophecy, right?
After all, fall is a beautiful time of year. The leaves are gorgeous colors of bright yellows and stunning reds. The sunlight is soft and golden. The air is cool, crisp and clean. Fall produce lends itself so well to comfort food and time spent with loved ones and family. And my personal favorite: the winds often dies down and the mornings are cool and hazy, my perfect running weather.
So I WILL be thankful for my family and friends. Their love and support means the world to me. And I will age with grace. I hope. And I am grateful for all the blessings bestowed on me like the fact that I can go Christmas shopping, Starbucks spiced pumpkin latte in hand, and spoil my beautiful nieces and nephews with gifts. But for those of you who are not near a Starbucks (I am working on being grateful for my place of residence. Working… but it’s a slow process. I’d really prefer a Cafe Artigiano’s) try this cake. It’s a pretty good second!
For the Cake:
- 3 C all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 C butter at room temperature
- 1/4 C applesauce
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 C granulated sugar
- 1/2 C brown sugar
- 1 C pumpkin puree
- 2/3 C fat free vanilla yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 block low fat cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 2 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1/2 C sugar
- 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 C icing sugar
- 1/ 2 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1 to 2 Tbsp espresso (or strong coffee if you don’t have access to espresso)
- Preheat your oven t0 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9″x9″ baking dish.
- Beat together all the ingredients for the cream cheese layer until nice and smooth.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
- Beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg, about one minute. Fold in the pumpkin, apple sauce yogurt and vanilla.
- Gently fold in the dry ingredients.
- Put about 2/3 of the cake mixture into your baking dish. Spoon over the cream cheese layer and smooth out using the back of the spoon until the cake is covered. Gently spoon on the remainder of the filling again, using the back of the spoon to smooth out the batter.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire baking rack.
- While your cake is cooling whisk together all the ingredients for the glaze. One the cake is cooled, drizzle the glaze on top.
- You may replace the 1/4 C applesauce with butter, the fat free yogurt with full fat, and the low fat cream cheese with regular cream cheese. The above is the slightly more “figure friendly” version. Because getting older is hard and your metabolism slows down. And you know what fall means? Winter. Which means WINTER VACATION. And a bikini.
- If you want a sweeter cake, feel free to add an additional 1/4 C to 1/2 C sugar. I thought the cake was great without it and so did my husband who doesn’t always appreciate my “de-fatted” foods. This one passed the test.