Bobby’s Lighter Caramel Cake

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Bobby’s Lighter Caramel Cake

By Bobby Deen

482 Fewer Calories
23g Less Fat

1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup fat-free caramel sauce
2 tablespoons chopped pecans

1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup reduced-fat (1%) milk

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup reduced-fat (1%) milk
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt


To make the frosting, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and caramel sauce until blended. Stir in the nuts. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray.
Line the bottom with wax paper; lightly spray with nonstick spray. 

To make the cake, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the brown sugar, oil, and granulated sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating just until blended.

Pour the batter into the pan. Level batter by holding pan 3 or 4-inches above counter dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure a more level cake.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 – 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely on the rack.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, combine the brown sugar and flour in a small saucepan. Whisk in the milk; bring to a boil. Boil until the mixture just begins to thicken, 1 – 2 minutes whisking constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in the nuts, butter, vanilla, and salt. Let cool completely.

Split the cake layer in half with a long serrated knife. Place the bottom layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Spread the filling evenly over the layer, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Place the remaining layer on top, rounded side up. Spoon the frosting over the top, allowing it to drizzle down the side of the cake. Refrigerate until set.

Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Difficulty: easy
Yield:  12 servings

Per Serving: 318 Cal (41% from Fat, 6% from Protein, 53% from Carb); 4 g Protein; 14 g Tot Fat; 4 g Sat Fat; 6 g Mono Fat; 40 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 29 g Sugar; 88 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 255 mg Sodium; 53 mg Cholesterol
Original recipe courtesy Paula Deen:  Bobby’s Caramel Cake
Lightened Up recipe courtesy of Bobby Deen and the Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Bobby Deen is the younger son of celebrity chef Paula Deen. Like older brother Jamie, the Savannah resident has helped shape the Deen media empire with a series of highly successful commercial collaborations, ranging from three best selling cookbooks to the series Road Tasted on the Food Network and the award winning Lady and Sons Restaurant in Savannah. On a personal side, he was also named one of People Magazine's Most Eligible Bachelors in 2007.

Read More From Deen Bros.

Read More From Deen Bros Take it Lighter.

Read More From Bobby Lightens It Up.

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Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:


I recently made this cake and we loved it! It was delicious. Some things to think comparing the two recipes I noticed that Paula's makes three 9" pans and this lighter version only makes one. I made two cake recipes and two filling recipes to make a double layer cake. The icing was more than enough. Making less cake is one way to lighten up this recipe. I would definitely make it again. It was moist with great flavor.

By Brenda Whitehead on January 13, 2012


I recently made this cake and it was delicious. You should compare this lighter version to the original recipe. Paula's makes three 9" pans and this one only makes one 9" inch pan. I made two recipes of cake and two recipes of filling. There was way more icing than was needed for a two layer cake. Making less cake equals fewer calories as well as using the lower calorie ingredients.

By Brenda Whitehead on January 13, 2012

Hello, I would like to know if Bobby will come up with a lightened it up homemade french onion dip and homemade potato chips ? I am already copying down some recipes ! also do you have a recipe for a turkey buger? I love Paula’s cooking also but I have some weight I need to loose! thank you so much Paula for allowing your son Bobby to help those out that need to lose weight!

By pwarrior57 on September 05, 2010

LOVED this cake - it was a hit at my dad and brother’s birthday celebration last night!  I did notice that there was more frosting than necessary - you could easily cut the amount of frosting in half (or make more cake layers/more filling).

By Emma on August 26, 2010

In this recipe do you only use 1 cake pan?

By Jane Feaster on July 02, 2010

THANKS FOR DOING THIS. ILOVE YOUR MITHER’s recipe but nice you lighten them since I am a diebetic.

By RAYFAY on May 04, 2010

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the lighter recipes!!!  Any chance we can get some good ‘ole Southern casseroles on the lighter side?  grin

By Kathy Johnson on April 29, 2010


By PRENTICE SPANN on April 29, 2010

Although I have not made this yet, it is on my agenda for tomorrow!  Keep those lightened up recipes coming!  They truly are a godsend.  Thank You!

By Glynis Maruk on April 29, 2010

Sounds a little bit healthier but still looks so good!  I will have to try the recipe:)  Hope you had a wonderful birthday with family n friends!

By Heather on April 29, 2010


By BETTY LEDFORD on April 29, 2010

It would be nice if the recipe was also printed in ‘print’ format, so that when we print the recipe, it is easy to put in our recipe folder, etc.
Thank you so much, I always enjoy reading your recipes, Paula, and I loved eating at Lady and Sons when I was in Savannah a couple of years ago.

By Judy Cochran on April 29, 2010

I’m Loving these LiGhT recipes!

By Bernice Poole on April 29, 2010

I love these recipes and can’t wait to try them!  Has Bobby ever thought about making a whole cookbook of his momma’s recipes lightened up?  I lost 87 lbs. on Weight Watchers and continue to be conscious about what I eat, but I love good southern food.  Please make a cookbook for us health conscious fans.

By Angie Sanders on April 29, 2010

Thanks for the lighter version!!  I am like you, have to eat healthy and still enjoy!!! Thanks

By Susan Kuehner on April 29, 2010

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