Canned pumpkin in the cake batter gives rich flavor and moistness, and a ring of mandarin oranges crown the top of this two–layer cake. Both of these orange–colored foods are high in disease–fighting antioxidants, as are the crimson pomegranate seeds that fill the ring of orange segments.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated fat-free milk
3 cups sifted powdered sugar, divided
3/4 cup (6 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 cups mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 2)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add pumpkin; beat well. Add egg substitute and vanilla; beat until well blended.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through nutmeg), stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour batter into 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.
Place 1 cup powdered sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add remaining powdered sugar and rind; beat until fluffy.
Place 1 cake layer on a plate. Spread 2/3 cup cream cheese frosting evenly over top of cake. Top with remaining cake layer; spread remaining cream cheese frosting over top, but not sides, of cake. Arrange orange slices in a ring around outer edge of top cake layer. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over center of top cake layer. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.
You can also prepare this in a 13 x 9-inch pan (bake for 40 minutes, and cool in pan for 10 minutes) or a tube pan (bake for 55 minutes, and cool in pan for 20 minutes). For the variations, you'll need an extra pomegranate and can of oranges for the topping.