Dear Jeanne: This recipe is supposed to be the same one they serve at a favorite buffet restaurant I go to. I would like to make it at home, but it's got a lot of fat — can you cut it down? Thank you! — Lisa H., Lancaster, Pa.

Dear Lisa: Making this cake may surprise some people because when you put it in the oven, it is a watery mess. When you take it out, it still looks a bit wobbly, but that's because there is a surprise at the bottom.

The cake rises to the top and creates a hot-fudge sauce at the bottom. Serve with a scoop of fat-free vanilla yogurt, preferably with the cake hot or reheated. We found that a smaller piece was very satisfying when combined with frozen yogurt, so I changed the number of servings to 18.


2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1/2 cup melted margarine

2 cups brown sugar

6 tablespoons cocoa

3 1/4 cups hot water

Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add the milk and margarine. Mix until smooth, then evenly spread in a 9-by-13-inch pan. Combine brown sugar and cocoa until there are no lumps of brown sugar. Add the hot water and stir until dissolved. Pour over the cake using a rubber spatula to prevent making a hole in the cake. Bake at 325 F. for about 40 minutes, or until done. Makes 12 servings.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups fat-free milk

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

6 tablespoons cocoa powder

3 1/4 cups hot water

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt, and set aside.

3. In a large measuring cup, combine the milk, oil and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined. With a rubber spatula, spread the thick batter evenly over the bottom of the pan.

4. In the large bowl, dissolve the brown sugar and cocoa in the hot water. Pour carefully over the batter in the pan by pouring the watery mixture onto a rubber spatula held over the batter to diffuse the stream and prevent a hole from being created in the batter. Bake for 40 minutes. When done, the cake will be floating on a pool of chocolate sauce. Makes 18 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original recipe: 352 calories; 9 gm fat; 3 mg cholesterol; 261 mg sodium; 67 gm carbohydrates; 4 gm protein; 2 gm fiber. Revised recipe: 163 calories; 3 gm fat; trace of cholesterol; 154 mg sodium; 34 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, 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.