Sunday, February 26, 2012

If I Knew You Were Dietin' I'd Have Baked a Cake: Weight Watchers "Soda" Cake!

I'm pretty sure Soda Cake isn't in here. Image via
Some recipes become classics for a reason. They deliver, consistently and with little effort.
Every. Single. Time.

"Soda Cake" has been a classic among Weight Watchers for years, and it's no wonder that it frequently shows up on weightloss blogs. My friend Stefanie, from If Curves Could Talk, recently posted this recipe there. But since I am a grizzled (or perhaps "classic"?) veteran of Weight Watchers for lo these many, many years, I think I have some tips to pass on that will help you make this classic into something that does not even remotely resemble "diet food."

Like most people, I was introduced to this recipe by another enthusiastic Weight Watcher. "It's GREAT! Just take a regular cake mix, add a can of diet cola and bake! Voila! YOU CAN HAVE CAKE AGAIN!!" And trying it, I found it to be....okay. But I think there may be a reason that Betty Crocker never launched "Chocolate Cola" as a cake flavor. Which got me to thinking, "What would Jean Nidetch do?"
The irrepressible woman herself, with current Weight Watchers CEO David Kirchhoff (image via
I looked at the back of the cake box to see which ingredients were being replaced by the soda. Eggs, Oil, Water. None of these ingredients were adding any flavor to the cake, so why should the soda? Can't you just use carbonated water? YES YOU CAN!

Anyone who has made this cake will tell you that, while delicious, it can be a bit crumbly. Meaning it doesn't slice as clean as a cake made with oil and eggs. I guess the fat has something to with it? TIP: After much experimentation, I have found that Perrier mineral water makes a moist, delicious cake that is easy to slice. Just use 2 cups of mineral water in place of the can of soda. Don't ask me why Perrier works better than other brands, I have no idea-it just does. Voila!

That said, you can certainly use soda to enhance the flavor of your cake! For instance, today I had a real hankering for something sweet. And since I've given up chocolate and ice cream for Lent (my only nod to my Catholic upbringing), a soda cake seemed perfect! I  used a lemon cake mix, a can of diet grapefruit soda (my hubs' fave) and I even added some lemon zest to give it a real "made from scratch" taste.
This recipe is not only easy to make and a great fit for your weightloss plan, it is CHEAP! Since I am an avid couponer I never pay more than $1 for a box of cake mix or more than $2 for a case of soda. So this entire cake cost me just $1.16!!!

I plugged all the nutritional info into my Weight Watchers PointsPlus calculator and 1/16 of the cake plus 2 tablespoons of fatfree Cool Whip is only 4 Pointsplus. I know that doesn't sound like a very big piece of cake, but it is!

Also? As I've mentioned, I am a TERRIBLE baker! I almost burned this cake because I thought it would be a great idea to shop for a new coffeemaker online while it was in the oven. Fortunately, it smelled so good that it distacted me from my shopping and I got it out of the oven just in time! And yes, this is the only way my children know how to make a cake.
So there you have it, a "diet" dessert that you can be proud to serve to your family and friends! Hope you'll give it a try soon!

And by the way, have you read "The Jean Nidetch Story"? I'm reading it for the second time. I bought it in my Weight Watchers meeting room last year and I hope they'll continue to reissue it periodically. I love that woman!

Wishing you love with extra cheese-
Nacho Mama

Disclosure: I am not affiliated with Weight Watchers, just a regular paying customer, folks!


carla said...

okay I have heard how awesome this cake is for YEARS.
it may be time to try :)

Itzel Yagual said...

Wow 1sttime I've heard this wonderful food item! Thanks for sharing!

Trina said...

The soda cake is the BOMB.DOT.COM!