May 18, 2015

We know that cake is not on most weight loss plans. But appropriately, our SCALE CAKE contains some good news for everyone who’s doing some summer dieting (including us). We’ve included a few clever strategies for keeping this cake LOW FAT and LOW CALORIE.

Start with a box of Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix—but to get a low fat cake prepare to make a few substitutions. The first strategy is to bake the low fat version of the recipe on the Duncan Hines box, using apple sauce in place of the oil. This will give you a nice moist cake which is lower in fat. The second strategy is to use an old dieter’s trick, and substitute 1 can diet coke for the liquid ingredients (oil, eggs, and water). Simply add the can of soda to the dry mix, stir well, and bake as directed. The resulting cake will have a different texture from a full fat cake, but is still a tasty treat.

Also plan to use low fat whipped topping to frost the cake. Cool Whip Free has a nice texture and is a tasty accompaniment to the cake. Making those adjustments are a wonderful way to have your cake and eat it, too. Even while you are dieting.

Here’s the complete recipe:


1 chocolate cake mix (Duncan Hines, plus ingredients called for on box, or the substitutions listed above)

1 tub low fat whipped topping (Cool Whip Free)

blue neon food coloring (McMormick)

12 chocolate taffy chews (Tootsie Rolls)

cocoa powder (Hershey)

blue decorating sugar

blue stick gum (Wintergreen)

red stick gum (Big Red)

round necklace candy

1 tube chocolate decorating icing (Cake Mate)



Bake chocolate cake in a 9 X 13 inch prepared pan. Cool and remove cake from the pan. Use a serrated knife to level the top of the cake. Place the cake in front of you, lengthwise, top to bottom. Remove a piece from each of the top corners about 1 1/2 inches wide by 5 inches high, leaving a rectangular shape at the top about 6 inches wide by five inches high. Round the corners of the rectangle to make the rounded numbers area for the scale. (See photo.) Starting at the top right side and then the top left side, remove a long narrow triangle from the sides about 8 inches high and 1 inch wide, to taper the shape to the bottom of the scale. (See photo.)

Place the cake on a cardboard cut to fit, trimmed side down, so you have the flat bottom of the cake on top. (This makes a flatter surface for decorating.) Place the cake on the cardboard in the freezer to chill.

Tint 1 1/2 cups of the whipped topping pale blue using the food coloring, place in a freezer weight ziplock bag, and seal. Using the remaining whipped topping, frost the entire chilled cake, top and sides, and smooth. Place the cake in the freezer to chill.

Roll out the 12 Tootsie Rolls to make a large sheet of candy about 1/8 inch thick. Cut foot shapes from the candy sheet. Make one right foot, one left foot and ten toes ranging in size from big toes to pinkies. Cut a 4 inch circle from the candy sheet. Cut out the center of the circle to leave a 1/2 inch thick circular band of candy. (This is the border surrounding the scale’s needle.)

Cut the red stick of gum into a needle shape (see photo). Cut the blue stick of gum into a small rectangle shape about 1 inch high by 3/4 inches wide. Trim the two long sides of the rectangle to taper the blue rectangle slightly at the bottom. (See photo.)

Place 1/4 cup of the cocoa power on a sheet of waxed paper.Add about 3 tablespoons of water to the sheet and stir to make a slurry of the cocoa powder. (It should be thin but not too runny, about the texture of light cream.) Dip the flat side of a metal skewer into the cocoa slurry, pressing to pick up a good amount of the brown liquid. Press the flat side of the skewer onto the frosted cake to score the whipped topping with a chocolate diagonal mark. Continue making score marks in the same direction, about 1 inch apart. To create the diamond pattern, add score marks 1 inch apart, perpendicular to the first marks. Lightly sprinkle the top of the cake with the blue decorating sugar.

Using the blue whipped topping, snip a medium size corner (about 1/2 inch) from the freezer weight ziplock bag, and pipe a blue border all around the scale. Add the chocolate taffy feet and toes to the scale. Place the chocolate taffy circle in the rounded area at the top of the scale. Add the red needle, and the necklace candy to the base of the needle. Place the blue medallion at the top of the rounded area.

Using the tube of chocolate decorating icing, add custom numbers to the scale.

All in all, the cake serves 12.

You’ll notice that we’ve kept the candy decorations to a minimum, and even used low fat whipped topping for the frosting. All in the name of creating a sweet low calorie reward!

Of course, we all have to remember to exercise portion control. Like we’re always saying to ourselves: ONLY ONE SLICE!!

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen

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