Lisa Abraham

If I say the phrase “counting points” and you immediately think of a bagel and not the score of the Indians game, then you probably, at one time or another, have attended Weight Watchers meetings.

The diet brand is celebrating its golden anniversary this year and has released the Weight Watchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook (St. Martin’s Griffin, hardcover, $29.99) to commemorate it.

The book contains more than 280 recipes from breakfast through desserts that reflect the way we eat today.

Since every birthday needs a cake to celebrate, here is a recipe from the book for Classic Red Velvet Cake — five points per serving (Points Plus Value).


For the cake:

2 cups cake flour

3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

¾ cup low-fat buttermilk

¾ cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp. canola oil

1 large egg

2 tsp. red food coloring

For the frosting:

1 (8 oz.) package fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature

1¼ cups confectioner’s sugar

½ cup fat-free Greek yogurt

¾ tsp. vanilla extract

¼ cup chopped pecans

Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch round baking pan with nonstick spray.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the buttermilk, granulated sugar, oil, egg and food coloring in a medium bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well blended.

Scrape the batter into the pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Invert onto the rack.

Frosting: With an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, yogurt, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth, about 1 minute.

Cake assembly: Split the cake in half with a long serrated knife. Place the bottom layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Spread ½ cup of the frosting over the layer, leaving a ½-inch border. Place the remaining cake layer on top, rounded side up. Spread the remaining 1 cup frosting over the top and side of the cake. Sprinkle the pecans onto the side of the cake, pressing to adhere. Cover the cake and store in the refrigerator up to two days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes 16 servings.

Lisa Abraham can be reached at 330-996-3737 or at Find me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter @akronfoodie or visit my blog at