Dear Jeanne: My friend always bakes this cake for office luncheons. I love it and allow myself only one piece. I've yet to bake it since I don't trust myself with the whole cake in the house. Would you please reduce the fat and calorie count for this recipe? Thank you! — Frances L. Higginbotham, San Antonio

Dear Frances: I have revised this same recipe before, but it was baked in a larger, 10-by-15-inch pan, also known as a jelly-roll pan. I recommend doing that because it makes it easier to cut a small piece, more like a brownie. If I gave the nutritional amounts for a standard-size piece (1/12), it would be double the amounts. Bake this when you can share it with others, or cut it into serving-size pieces and freeze — that will help with the self-control!

CHOCOLATE SHEET CAKE

Mix together:

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

Boil together:

1 stick butter

3 1/2 tablespoons cocoa

1 cup water

1/2 cup Crisco

While still hot, pour into flour-and-sugar mixture and beat well.

Add:

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pour into a 9-by-13-inch pan and bake approximately 35 minutes at 350 F.

Topping:

1 stick butter

6 tablespoons Pet milk

3 1/2 tablespoons cocoa

1 cup chopped pecans

Bring the above ingredients to a boil and then beat in 1 box powdered sugar. Pour over cake as it comes out of the oven and enjoy! Makes 24 servings.

REDUCED-FAT CHOCOLATE SHEET CAKE

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup water

1/4 cup cocoa

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing:

1/4 cup cocoa

4 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup nonfat milk

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.

3. In a small saucepan, combine the 1 cup water, 1/4 cup cocoa and 6 tablespoons butter. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, stirring often. Pour hot cocoa mixture over flour mixture and stir to combine.

4. Combine the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Stir into the chocolate mixture and beat well.

5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

6. While the cake is baking, make the icing. Combine the cocoa, butter and nonfat milk in a small saucepan. When the cake is done, bring the ingredients to a boil, then beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla, and mix well. Add the pecans to the icing or sprinkle on top. Spread hot icing on the hot cake. Makes 24 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 332 calories; 16 gm fat; 38 mg cholesterol; 235 mg sodium; 46 gm carbohydrates; 3 gm protein; 1 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 199 calories; 6 gm fat; 29 mg cholesterol; 158 mg sodium; 35 gm carbohydrates; 2 gm protein; 1 gm fiber.


Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most recently "Cooking From the Cupboard" (Rodale Press). For more information, you can go to her Web site, jeannejones.com. Send your recipe for revision to: Cook It Light, Deseret News, P.O. Box 1212, La Jolla, CA 92038. Please include a stamped (63 cents), self-addressed envelope. © King Features Syndicate Inc.