If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen a slew of recipes making the rounds. Many of them have mouth-watering photos attached. Today, I saw “Elvis Presley Cake,” and I couldn’t stop thinking about how delicious and down-right disastrous it sounded.
ELVIS PRESLEY CAKE
1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 cup white sugar
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1. Prepare cake according to instructions on package. Bake in a 9×13 inch pan. Allow to cool. Make holes in cake with fork.
2. Combine pineapple and sugar in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Spoon over cooled cake.
3. In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add vanilla. Add pecans and mix well.
4. Spread cream cheese frosting over cake.
Once I got to my computer, I ran the numbers. The recipe didn’t specify a serving size, so I imagined how I would have portioned this cake in my previous life. Generously. I calculated the nutrition facts for this serving recipe 12, which is what the Internet told me “family-size portions” would be.
Here’s what I came up with: 648 Calories, 6g Protein, 89g Carbohydrates, 32g Fat (13g monounsaturated, 5g polyunsaturated, 12g saturated), 95mg Cholesterol, 1.5g Fiber, and 419mg Sodium PER SLICE.
As the day went on, I kept thinking about this cake. What’s special about it? The cake part itself doesn’t appeal to me at all. It’s a boxed cake mix. Sure, it’s saturated with a pineapple reduction. I’ve had a cake doused in a coconut reduction before that left me weak at the knees. No, for me, this cake is all about the cream cheese frosting.
My mouth is watering right now thinking about it… creamy, buttery, gooey, so saturated with sugar that it melts on your tongue. Yes, I’ve thought a lot about this cake today at work. When I stepped off the elliptical machine after working out, I noticed that I had burned almost one slice of Elvis Presley Cake.
As a quick aside, know that the calorie counts from gym equipment are estimates of how many calories a typical person might consume while operating the machine. These figures should never be used to justify eating, in my case, 629 calories.
After finishing at the gym, I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few items. What was in that cake again? I went down the baking aisle to pick up some Splenda, and I stopped at the extracts. “You know, I could probably make something that tastes like that frosting out of Greek Yogurt.”
A container of plain Greek Yogurt, 1/2 tsp. of Butter Extract, 1/4 tsp. of Vanilla Extract, and enough Splenda Granulated to make it taste like frosting, and I was living the dream. Part of dealing with cravings, for me anyhow, is deconstructing the craving. I thought I wanted this cake. What I really wanted was this frosting. Using healthy substitutes, I satisfied the craving. I’ve done this before when I was craving a danish.
I love experimenting with recipe substitutions. If I get some free time this weekend, I may play with a cake recipe based on a healthy spice muffin recipe and frost it with Greek Yogurt. We can call it Elvis Has Left The Building Cake.