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Yellow Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting & Berries

July/August 2013

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This healthy yellow cake recipe is perfect for making a sheet cake for a birthday, holiday or any celebration and the easy cream cheese frosting recipe is ready in just five minutes. Use fresh berries to decorate the cake with flower designs or get creative and make your own pattern. We made this yellow cake healthy—with less saturated fat and calories than traditional versions— by replacing some butter in the cake with oil, using reduced-fat cream cheese and low-fat Greek yogurt for the frosting instead of full-fat cream cheese and butter, and using fruit instead of colored frosting for decoration.


Makes: 20 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature (see Tips)
  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (see Tips) or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Frosting & Decoration

  • 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced

Preparation

  1. To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper; coat the paper and sides of the pan with cooking spray.
  2. Beat granulated sugar, oil and butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just incorporated.
  3. Whisk whole-wheat (or all-purpose) flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons vanilla and almond extract in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl alternately with the buttermilk mixture, beating just until incorporated after each addition, scraping down the sides as necessary. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 28 to 34 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out onto the rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
  5. To prepare frosting: Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth.
  6. To decorate: Invert the cake onto a platter. Spread the frosting over the top and sides. Use raspberries and blueberries to make flowers all over the top of the cake, leaving a little space between each flower. If using blueberries for the center of the flowers, stack two on top of each other and stick together with a little bit of frosting. Place strawberries slices all around the edge of the cake with the pointed ends up.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare frosting and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature before using.
  • Tips: To bring eggs to room temperature, either set them out on the counter for 15 minutes or submerge them (in the shell) in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for 5 minutes.
  • Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Available in large supermarkets and in natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.

Nutrition

Per serving: 261 calories; 11 g fat (4 g sat, 4 g mono); 57 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrates; 16 g added sugars; 5 g protein; 2 g fiber; 212 mg sodium; 113 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (24% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 other carbohydrate, 2 fat


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Recipe Categories

Total Time
More than 1 hour
Servings
8 or more
Type of Dish
Desserts, cakes
Main Ingredient
Vegetarian, other
Ethnic/Regional
American
Preparation/ Technique
Bake
Health & Diet Considerations
Low cholesterol
Low sodium
Meal/Course
Dessert
Holiday
July 4th
Ease of Preparation
Easy
Publication
July/August 2013
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