Dear Jeanne: This deceptively "light" cake is full of calories, but it's so good — especially in the summertime. Could you please lighten it up for me? Thank you. — Shirley Kalavity, Akron, Ohio

Dear Shirley: This cake does taste "light," but the revised version actually is light, and it tastes even better! I found that using the four-serving size of pudding instead of the larger one made the topping taste fresher and not so heavy.

The directions on the cake mix say to beat for two minutes, so I assume the oranges are meant to be totally pureed into the batter. The flavor of orange was not discernible; if you want that flavor, just a few drops of orange extract will do it. This is a super-simple, fast and thoroughly enjoyed cake at my house — perfect for summertime.

PINEAPPLE ORANGE CAKE

Cake:

1 box yellow cake mix

4 eggs

3/4 cup oil

1 small can mandarin oranges with juice

Mix together the above ingredients according to directions on cake-mix box. Pour batter into a 9-by-12-inch cake pan. Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes, or until done. Cool and frost with topping.

Topping:

1 8-ounce carton whipped topping (like Cool Whip)

1 6-ounce box instant vanilla pudding

1 small can crushed pineapple with juice

Mix all ingredients together and frost cake. Refrigerate. Makes 12 servings.

LIGHT PINEAPPLE ORANGE CAKE

Cake:

1 box yellow cake mix

1 cup liquid egg substitute or egg whites

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 small cans (10 ounces each) mandarin oranges in juice

3 tablespoons water

Topping:

1 box (1 ounce; 4-serving size) instant sugar-free vanilla pudding mix

1 can (10 ounces) crushed pineapple with juice

1 carton (8 ounces) fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, egg substitute, oil, oranges with juice and water. Beat for two minutes with a mixer on high speed. Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake for about 25 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned and a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

3. For topping, in a medium-size bowl, fold the pudding mix and pineapple into the whipped topping. Spread immediately over the cooled cake. Refrigerate. Makes 12 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 458 calories; 24 gm fat; 72 mg cholesterol; 488 mg sodium; 56 gm carbohydrates; 4 gm protein; 1 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 252 calories; 8 gm fat; 1 mg cholesterol; 366 mg sodium; 46 gm carbohydrates; 4 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 (58 cents), self-addressed envelope. © King Features Syndicate Inc.