If you’ve never used canned pumpkin as a lower fat/calorie baking swap, I’m about to rock your world. Applesauce, mashed bananas, and other fruit purees get all the love when it comes to healthier baking substitutions, but I find canned pumpkin to be the top swap for brownies, carrot cake, and spice cake.
Here’s how to use canned pumpkin as a baking substitute:
-Swap it for a box mix that calls for eggs and oil.
-For brownie mixes, Ghirardelli reigns supreme – they have the best box mixes I’ve ever tried. Note: you don’t taste the pumpkin at all in the brownie after it’s baked.
-Also notable is spice cake mix, for a more pumpkin-like experience.
-Disregard the ingredient instructions on the box and add an entire can (15 oz) of 100% pure canned pumpkin (e.g. Libby’s) to the mix.
-Do not, I repeat, do not add anything else!
-Stir until blended. The mixture will be thick.
-Bake according to the instructions on the box.
-The baking time should be the same, unless you use mini cupcake containers, which cuts the time in half.
-For an extra layer of decadence, cream cheese frosting is a delicious topping.
SavvyBostonian Note: I first published this blog entry back in March 2010 and it’s become the most popular post on my site. Lately, I’ve seen more traffic than ever from this post (probably b/c it’s October and we’ve got pumpkin on the brain!), so couldn’t resist the opportunity to re-post for new readers.