Pumpkin, meet Butter Cake


I’ve missed you all sooooooo much!

45 hr of work+ nursing school = when the heck do I get to blog?

I have finished up another semester of working towards my BSN, and am on Winter Break. Alleluia! But despite that equation of little sleep, a girls still gotta eat, right? So no worries, my blog family. I’m still a cooking machine!

Last year, I brought bourbon-spiked sweet potato casserole to the table. This year, I’m still keeping it orange.

There is a bakery I grew up on in Philly called Stock’s Bakery. The sticky buns, danishes, and donuts are massive. Every Easter, Grandmom gets pound cake for everyone.

But… on special occasions, we get butter cake. Not like Betty Crocker butter cake… BUTTER CAKE!

How in the world can I make this decedent, guilty pleasure? I’ve asked the universe since I was a wee one.

When I was younger, Stock’s would sell out of butter by noon. If we remembered, we would call and reserve it. It is nothing fancy to look at:


All Photo Credit: Stock’s Bakery Facebook


Off-white, cracked surface, in a shallow metal tin, wrapped in wax paper. The End.

Then you cut into it, and as you remove your knife from the pan, you watch this gooey, creamy filling mask the metal of the cutlery. This thin square you have just cut is melt-in-your-mouth heaven!

Oh my goodness, I think I’m drooling on my keyboard.. Oops!

Then, last year, on one of my Cooking Channel binders, I saw Bobby Deen make a lighter version of his Mama’s Gooey Butter Cake. Game on, Bobby, game on. After reviewing his recipe, I cut it back a bit more using applesauce, liquid egg substitute, and a reduced fat cream cheese. (I can’t believe cream cheese is the secret!) But then October hit.

It’s Pumpkin Season!!!

Then November rolled around, and suddenly, it’s Thanksgiving! The family has been in a funk over the past year, and getting even funkier, but with my own apartment, now, and a dad and an uncle so close to me, it was my turn to have my very first thanksgiving!

On the Menu:


NOT sharing


  • Rosemary and apricot glazed turkey breast
  • Bourbon-Spiked Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Roasted Thyme and Lemon Veggies
  • Cranberry sauce made from scratch
  • The last of the beloved Grandmom Thanksgiving Stuffing from the freezer
  • Turkey gravy
  • Spinach Roll (A Wilmington institution, Serpe’s Bakery, caught fire last year and had to close. They reopened and we had to get a slice of tomato pie. While there, Dad mentioned how difficult it must be to make their spinach and pepperoni rolls. I accepted the challenge. I think he knew I would, that sneaky old man!)

But it isn’t quite Turkey Day without…

Turkey… duh..

No, dessert!

With pumpkin on the brain, the warming scent of cinnamon air that fills the season, and a partial (very large) can of pumpkin in the fridge, the gears began-a-turning…

When I made Bobby’s cake, the “crust” was much thicker than Stock’s. Ok, let’s cut that back. Flavor was there, but… Ok, let’s “Fall” this thing up!

 Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

10-16 slices

The Cake

  • ½ package of carrot cake or spice cake- cake mix
  • ¼ cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp lemon juicepump
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce, maybe pumpkin

The Gooey

  • 8oz fat free cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin, NOT pie filling
  • ¼ cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp light buttery spread (like Blue Bonnet light, or Country Crock light)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cup powdered/confectioners sugar


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix all cake ingredients well. Transfer to a 9 inch pie pan or square pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Beat the filling ingredients, slowly incorporating the powdered sugar. Pour over the cake batter and smooth the surface.

Bake 30-35 minutes, and allow it to rest and cool.


Optional: Drizzle with melted white chocolate. Why? Just because.

Nutrition (1/16):

Calories: 100, Fat: 1g, Sat. Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 2.2mg, Sodium: 192.6mg, Carbs: 19.8g, Fiber: 0.7g, Sugars: 12.8g, Protein: 3g


It is a rich cake, so with a bit of whipped cream, 1/16 is quite guiltlessly satisfying. But be my guest to cut a bigger piece… You’ll want to! 

Daniel was invited to a co-worker’s house at his new base, for which I was very thankful. I think he was super excited, too, because he baked three pies to take with him! Yeah, he bakes! Crazy, right?!

So after some good company, yummy food, a glass of wine, and a slice of Fall heaven, it was time to relax.



The following day, I was back in the kitchen! I baked ALL day! I may or may not have raided the discount rack at the farmers market and bought like 20lb of apples….

You’d think after baking 2 apple pies, 3 batches of cookies, and about 10lb of apples worth of applesauce, I’d be exhausted, right?

I could not pass up the invitation to catch up with my friends at Tim and Tori’s house! I went to high school with both of them, and now they are engaged! Timmy was my first crush in high school and Tori is one of my bridesmaids.

I walked into Timmy and Tori’s house to see a kitchen of my high school crushes! Some of them I haven’t seen since high school graduation! It was like we never parted! Hugs and laughs the whole night! It was absolutely fantastic and just what I needed to break away from the stress, monotony, and isolation of being a working student.


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving, surrounded by love and laughs!

Clementine Bakery

If there isn’t a Flyer’s game on, you can pretty much guarantee that either FoodNetwork or Cooking Channel is on our TV. The other night, while watching Unique Sweets, one of the most mouth-watering-induced shows on television, a cake really caught my eye, and ironically, I had all the ingredients in my kitchen. The episode featured a vegan bakery in New York called Clementine Bakery. Everything she bakes has fruit… but I never would have thought about baking grapefruit… Having just gotten two perfectly ripe grapefruit, I felt it was a sign to try my hand at her raspberry and grapefruit bread with glaze. I love the concept of baking with another citrus fruit, besides lemon!


My first attempt was in a loaf, just as the bakery makes it. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get the center to cook through, though that did not take away from the flavor.  I blanked on everything that the Clementine baker used besides grapefruit, raspberries,a glaze, oh, and that fact that its vegan. My goal was for it to resemble the density of pound cake… Come to think of it, I’ve never made a pound cake… Anyway… it turned into a loaf of beautiful colors an fresh tastes!

Raspberry Grapefruit Bread

makes 12


  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, plus 1 Tbsp
  • 1 cup all purpose flourWP_005771
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar
  • 1 cup Splenda, granulated
  • 1/3 cup light buttery spread (like Brummel and Brown)
  • 2/3 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 cup grapefruit sections, about 1 large grapefruit, 1/4 cup juice reserved
  • 1 cup raspberries


  • 1 tsp confectioners sugar
  • 2 tsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Splenda, granulated

Preheat oven to 375 to 400 F. Sift together flours, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and powder. Stir in the Splenda blends. In a separate bowl, blend the applesauce, buttery spread, vanilla, almond, and liquid eggs. Add the drained sectioned grapefruit and raspberries to the wet bowl. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. (I added a tablespoon of the grapefruit juice to the batter just for a taste.) Transfer batter to a bread pan sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Bake for 40 minutes.

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Combine the glaze ingredients and brush the top of the loaf. Rotate to pan 45 degrees and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes. Allow the loaf to cool before removing it from the pan to slice.

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If I would have had extra raspberries, I would have loved to make a raspberry glaze!

Serving Suggestion: After the loaf has cooled and been sliced, toast the slice. Dad and Barry both enjoyed it with a variety of toppings… peanut butter, cream cheese, butter, sugar-free jam, etc.

Nutrition (per slice):

Calories: 150, Fat: 2.1g, Sat. Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 212mg, Carbs: 27g, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugars: 7g, Protein: 4g

I was really impressed by Barry’s flavor palate. He told me how the different fruit flavors shown through more depending on the temperature of the bread. Way t use that palate, Barry!

On a side note:

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!

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