DEAR JEANNE: How can I reduce the fat and calories of this favorite recipe without sacrificing the taste? Thanks! — Sharyn, Vista, Calif.


Yellow cake mix

3-ounce package orange Jell-O

4 eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup water


Mix together:

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 stick butter or margarine

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Beat all cake ingredients with a mixer for 5 minutes. Pour batter into a 9-by-13-inch pan and bake for 35 minutes at 350. Remove from oven; punch holes with meat fork. Spread glaze over top and return to oven until glaze bubbles slightly (about 3 minutes).

Makes 12 servings.


DEAR SHARYN: This cake actually could be any flavor that you like; you could have raspberry, apricot, peach or lemon, and that’s just with Jell-O — you also could use fruit-flavored sugarless drink mixes, or even extracts. The amount and kind you use is up to you, but I used 1 teaspoon of extract (e.g., orange or lemon) or 2 teaspoons of drink mix. The drink mix or Jell-O will add the appropriate color, which you must add in the form of food coloring if you use extracts. I also like using the zest of an orange, lemon or lime for flavoring, in the cake and glaze.


1 box (18.25 ounces) yellow cake mix

1 small box (4 servings) sugar-free orange Jell-O, or 1 teaspoon orange extract, or 2 teaspoons sugar-free fruit-flavored drink mix

1 egg

3 egg whites

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

3/4 cup water


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons orange juice

Orange zest, optional


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

2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, Jello or other flavoring, egg and egg whites, canola oil, buttermilk and water. Beat with a mixer for about 3 minutes.

3. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Pierce the top with a fork (make a design, as you will see these holes, or omit this step).

4. For glaze, combine the powdered sugar, orange juice and zest, if using, and pour over the top of the cake. Return to the oven for 2 minutes. Remove and cool. Glaze will harden as it cools.

Makes 12 servings.


Each serving contains approximately: Original recipe: 506 calories; 28 g fat; 92 mg cholesterol; 406 mg sodium; 60 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; negligible fiber. Revised recipe: 288 calories; 8 g fat; 19 mg cholesterol; 357 mg sodium; 50 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; negligible 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, P.O. Box 1212, La Jolla, CA 92038. Please include a stamped (61 cents), self-addressed envelope.


– King Features


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