Good Morning America Recipes

Weight Watchers' Classic Red Velvet Cake

You'll Love This Healthy Version

Liz Josefsberg prepares various recipes from the "Weight Watchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook."
Servings:Over 8
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

The original incarnation of this cake was most likely a devil's food cake that obtained a subtle reddish hue from the combination of cocoa powder and buttermilk. When food dyes became popular with home bakers in the 1930s and '40s, however, the cake got a scarlet boost from the addition of red food coloring. Today red velvet is enjoying a resurgence and is wildly popular.


  • For the cake:
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup low-fat buttermilk
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring
  • For the frosting:
  • 1 (8-ounce) package fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1¼ cups confectioners' sugar
  • ½ cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • Cooking Directions

    For the cake:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. 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


    Scrape the batter into the pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35–40 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.

    For the 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.

    5 Cake assembly: Split the cake layer in half with a long serrated knife. Place the bottom layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Spread 1/2 cup of the frosting over the layer, leaving a 1/2-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 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

    per serving (1/16 of cake): 197 Cal, 5 g Total Fat, 1 g Sat Fat, 15 mg Chol, 274 mg Sod, 34 g Carb, 0 g Fib, 5 g Prot, 95 mg Calc.

    PointsPlus value: 5

    This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.

    Excerpt from WEIGHT WATCHERS 50TH ANNIVERSARY COOKBOOK. Copyright © 2013 by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of St. Martin's Press.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: cake flour, cocoa powder, oil, cream cheese, sugar

    Course: Dessert

    Other Recipes That You Might Like
    Red Velvet Chocolate Squares
    Healthy Twist on a Signature Dessert
    Emeril's Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
    Cakes Filled With Marshmallow Creme
    Elmo's Red Velvet Cupcakes
    Kid-Friendly Dessert from Sesame Street's Kitchen
    Red Velvet Coconut Cake
    A Combination of Two Popular Cake Originals
    Halibut Braised in Red Wine
    From 'Chef's Table'
    'Hungry Girl' Red Velvet Insanity Cupcakes
    From the Book 'Hungry Girl Chew the Right Thing'
    Spike's Red Velvet Brownies
    Too Delicious To Have Just One!
    White Chocolate Frosting
    The Tasty Topping to Red Velvet Brownies
    White Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting
    Special Cupcakes with A Hint of Mint
    Marcus Samuelsson's Red Velvet Cake
    Rich Cream Cheese Frosting, Perfect for a Party
    Red Velvet Coconut Cake
    A Combination of Two Popular Cake Originals
    Ayesha Curry's red velvet mug cake with cream cheese frosting
    A sweet dessert you can make in the microwave
    Red Velvet Chocolate Squares
    Healthy Twist on a Signature Dessert
    'Hungry Girl' Red Velvet Insanity Cupcakes
    From the Book 'Hungry Girl Chew the Right Thing'
    Watermelon Cake With Raspberry Sauce
    A Dessert for Happy, Healthy Kids
    Latest Recipes on 'GMA'
    VIDEO: The Ramen Burger
    VIDEO: Rays & Stark Bar in LA employs an expert to help you choose from 20 brands of water.
    VIDEO: Haylee Nelson reveals all the delicious flavors that make up the new "Sunrise Sundae."
    VIDEO: Ladies and Gentlemen... The Crookie
    VIDEO: World, meet The Cronut
    Food Tips: How To...
    Karen's Kitchen
    Check out "GMA's" chef/food stylist's blog here.
    Karen's Cordon Bleu
    Check out "GMA's" chef/food stylist's delicious and celebratory chicken dish.
    PHOTO: Karen Pickus cherry galette is shown here.
    Karen's Cherry Galette Check out "GMA's" chef/food stylist's recipe for a tasty dessert.
    Connect with GMA
    Social Tools Facebook Twitter Twitter Connect with GMA YouTube RSS