Cook It Light —Reduced-Fat Orange Marmalade Cake

Dear Jeanne,

This is my famous marmalade cake recipe. I am hoping that you can make it easier and also lighten it for me. Thanks! — Julia, Sarasota, Fla.

ORANGE MARMALADE CAKE

3 cups cake flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks softened unsalted butter

2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk, divided use

ORANGE SYRUP:

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup sugar

FILLING:

1 cup orange marmalade, divided use

FROSTING:

3/4 cup well-chilled heavy cream

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup sour cream

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans, line with wax paper, then butter and flour the paper, shaking out the excess.

2. In a bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt.

3. In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and add the sugar, a little at a time, until combined and light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, orange zest and vanilla extract. Beat in 1/3 of the dry ingredients alternately with 1/2 cup of the buttermilk until combined. Add the remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk and beat until combined. Finally, beat in the remaining dry ingredients until the mixture is smooth.

4. Evenly divide the batter between the cake pans, and smooth the surface. Rap each pan on the counter to expel any air pockets or bubbles, then transfer to the oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool in the pans for 20 minutes.

5. For the orange syrup, in a bowl, stir together the orange juice and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.

6. With a toothpick or wooden skewer, poke holes at 1/2-inch intervals in the cake layers and spoon the syrup over each layer, allowing the syrup to be completely absorbed before adding more. Let the layers cool completely.

7. For the filling, in a small saucepan, heat the marmalade until just melted. Let cool for 5 minutes.

8. For the frosting, in a bowl, whisk the heavy cream with the sugar until it forms firm peaks. Add the sour cream, a little at a time, and whisk until of spreading consistency.

9. To assemble the cake, arrange one of the cake layers on a cake plate, carefully peel off the wax paper, then spread 2/3 cup of the marmalade over the top, smoothing it into an even layer. Invert the remaining layer onto the top of the first layer, peel off the wax paper and spoon the remaining marmalade onto the center of it, leaving a 1-1/4-inch border around the edge. Frost the sides and top of the cake, or add marmalade to the top as garnish. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Makes 12 servings.

Dear Julia,

This is a delicious, moist and easy orange cake that is refreshing and light for a summer’s day.

 REDUCED-FAT ORANGE MARMALADE CAKE

1 (18.25 ounces) yellow-cake mix

2 tablespoons canola oil

3/4 cup liquid egg substitute

3/4 cup water

1 teaspoon orange zest, or 1/2 teaspoon orange extract

ORANGE SYRUP:

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons sugar

FROSTING:

8 ounces fat-free cream cheese

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon light sour cream

12 ounces fat-free, frozen whipped topping, thawed

FILLING:

3/4 cup orange marmalade, divided use

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray with added flour, or sprinkle flour over the spray and knock out the excess. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, canola oil, egg substitute, water and orange zest or extract. Beat with a mixer for 2 minutes, and divide evenly between the cake pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pans on racks for 15 minutes, then turn out to cool completely on a rack.

3. While the cake is cooling, make the syrup. In a small bowl, combine the orange juice and sugar, and stir until the sugar dissolves.

4. Poke holes in the cake with a toothpick or wooden skewer, and spoon the syrup over each layer, allowing the syrup to be absorbed before adding more.

5. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together, then beat in the sour cream. Carefully fold in the whipped topping and set aside.

6. To assemble the cake, place one layer of the cooled cake on a serving plate. Heat the marmalade to thin it slightly, cool for 5 minutes, then spread half of it over the bottom layer. Place the second layer on top and spread the remaining marmalade to within 1 1/4 inches of the edge. Then frost the sides and top of the cake, or add marmalade to the top as garnish.

Makes 12 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 579 calories; 26 gm fat; 122 mg cholesterol; 212 mg sodium; 85 gm carbohydrates; 6 gm protein; 2 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 346 calories; 8 gm fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 431 mg sodium; 60 gm carbohydrates; 6 gm protein; 1 gm fiber.