Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Cider Sauce

This is my take on a two-ingredient pumpkin/cake mix cake that is making the rounds of food blogs.  I didn’t have yellow cake mix and used chocolate fudge instead with the addition of some pumpkin pie spices.  The sauce is a simple confectioners’ sugar mixture using apple cider or apple juice.

This is a really nice dessert and 5 Weight Watchers Points/Plus based on 15 servings.


For the Cake:

  • 18.25 box of chocolate cake mix (Betty Crocker Super Moist Chocolate Fudge)
  • 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger

For the Sauce:

  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tblsp. apple cider*
  • Approx. 1 Tblsp. warm water

Preheat oven @ 350 degrees F

Grease a 9×13 baking pan

To make the cake:

Place the contents of the boxed cake mix, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger into a large mixer bowl and beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.

Spoon batter into a greased  9×13 baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Do not overbake.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.

To make the Glaze:

Combine powdered sugar, apple cider*, and warm water to make a smooth sauce.

*If you are lucky enough to have Boiled Cider on hand, it makes a tangy, full flavored sauce.  I bought mine online at King Arthur Flour.

While still warm, cut cake into 15 squares.  Serve warm or at room temperature with a tablespoon of the Cider Sauce.

Servings:  15

For 15 pieces with 1 Tblsp sauce:

Diet Power:  189 calories, 2.5 g fat, 41.3 g carbs, 2.0 g fiber, 2.1 g protein.
Weight Watchers Points/Plus:  5

Two-Ingredient Lemon Cake – 4 Points/Plus

This is my version of a recipe that’s been making the rounds of the cooking blogs.  It’s an easy two-ingredient cake that is only 4 Weight Watchers Points/Plus for a decent size piece.  I used the “super-moist” type with pudding in the mix and got a very good, soft cake that is a real treat for someone who has been dieting all week.


  •  1 (18 ounce) box dry yellow cake mix (Betty Crocker Super-Moist – 18.25 oz.)
  • 12 ounces diet lemon soda (Sierra Mist lemon/lime)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Spray the bottom only of a 13×9 baking dish

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine dry yellow cake mix and diet lemon soda.  Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to blend, then on medium speed for 2 minutes to thoroughly mix batter.

Pour batter into prepared pan …

…and bake @ 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes until cake is golden brown and tests done when a tester is inserted in the middle.

Allow cake to cool on a wire rack.  Cut into 12 pieces.

Cake may be served plain with the following nutritional count: per serving:  160 calories, 1.5 g fat, 35 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein.  Weight Watchers Points/Plus – 4

Cake may be served with 2 Tblsp. light whipped topping:  180 calories, 2.5 g fat, 38 g carb, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein.  Weight Watchers Points/Plus – 5

Or cake may be served with one tablespoon of a reduced fat Lemon Cream Cheese Sauce (recipe below):  209 calories, 3.5 g fat, 41.9 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1.2 g protein.  Weight Watchers Points/Plus – 6

Servings:  12 slices of cake


  • 4 oz softened low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 Tblsp. plus 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar

In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese and lemon juice (a fork works well for this).  Blend in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

About 10 one-tablespoon servings.

So far, I have only tried this cake, but here are some other suggested combinations:

  • Orange cake with diet Mountain Dew
  • Cherry chip cake with diet cream soda
  • Angel or yellow cake with diet orange soda
  • White cake with diet peach soda
  • Spice cake with diet lemon-lime soda
  • White cake with diet ginger ale
  • Chocolate cake with diet cherry soda
  • Devils food cake with diet cola
  • Chocolate cake with diet vanilla cola
  • Devils food cake with diet vanilla cola
  • Chocolate cake with diet root beer
  • Marble cake with diet cream soda
  • Lemon cake with tangerine Diet Rite
  • Chocolate cake with diet Dr. Pepper

Note that the nutritional count might change a bit depending on what kind of cake mix is used.  The count per serving can be found on the side of the box.  Mix and bake cake according to package directions for the type of pan you are using.

Warm Chicken Salad with Cantaloupe

My youngest daughter is a busy stay-at-home mom who always finds time to get together with me on Fridays for lunch.  I try to make meals that are tasty, quick and easy, and reduced in fat and calories.  Here is what we enjoyed this week.

This recipe is adapted from one in a favorite cookbook, Elsah Landing (Grafton, Illinois).  Their recipes are from their restaurant menu, so attention is paid to making the dish look pretty.


  • ½ cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast, warm
  • 3 green onions with tops, diced
  •  8 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise (Hellman’s Olive Oil)
  • 1/2 Tblsp. soy or teriyaki sauce
  • ½  tsp Greek seasoning
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 ripe cantaloupe melon
  • Leaf lettuce – 4 pieces

Spray a small non-stick skillet and saute mushrooms until tender, drain.  Place mushrooms in a medium bowl, Add chicken, onions and olives.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, soy/teriyaki sauce, Greek seasoning and pepper.  Gently fold the dressing into the chicken mixture.

Cut chilled melon into rounds, remove seeds/rind.  Place lettuce leaf on each plate.  Put melon round on top and fill center with warm chicken salad.

4 servings

It’s really great to take a bite of cold melon along with some of the warm chicken salad.

Nutritional count according to my Diet Power software:  169 calories, 6.8 g fat, 12.7 g carb, 1.3 g fiber
Weight Watchers PointsPlus:  4

To round off the meal, we had Toffee Angel Food Dessert – 5 Weight Watchers PointsPlus.

Tuna and Veggie Pasta Salad

My youngest daughter is a busy stay-at-home mom who always finds time to get together with me on Fridays for lunch.  I try to make meals that are tasty, quick and easy, and reduced in fat and calories.  Here is what we enjoyed this week.

I’ve been making this salad for several years, adjusting and lightening it as I went.  It’s a good salad to make for a quick lunch, using whatever fresh vegetables are on hand.  A nice-sized serving is 6 Weight Watchers PointsPlus.


2 cups of dry pasta, cooked and drained
½ cup light mayonnaise (Hellman’s Olive Oil)
1 Tblsp. granulated sugar
3 Tblsp. red wine vinegar
Sprinkling of salt and pepper
One cup of assorted chopped vegetables (red or green peppers, tomatoes, onion, celery,  cucumber, etc.)
One 5 oz. can of white albacore tuna in water, drained and flaked
2 Tblsp. chopped cilantro (optional)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.  Add the pasta along with the chopped vegetables and tuna.  Add cilantro or other fresh herbs if desired.

Chill for at least an hour.

Makes 6 generous cups of salad 

A serving of 1-1/3 cups = 235 calories, 8.0 g fat, 31.4 g carb, 9.2 g protein, 1.5 g fiber

Weight Watchers Points Plus = 6

For dessert, we enjoyed Grandma Martha’s Rice Pudding and Lemon Sauce – 6 Weight Watchers PointsPlus.