Usually when a client has dietary restrictions you can get around it by using soy products or egg replacers, that kind of thing. But not being able to use any fat is a little difficult. That eliminates butter, sour cream, oil, and also egg yolks. Also any soy products that have a fat content.
After talking about exactly what she needed to avoid and what was okay, we decided that I'd do a variation on a pumpkin cake recipe that I'd been messing around with. The moisture in the pumpkin itself would offset some of the softness that was going to be lost when you pull the fat out of the formula.
I did the top tier in the pumpkin, and the other tiers were all "normal" recipes. I used apricot preserves on the cake, then used a fat-free fondant to cover it.
Taking into account how long it lasted in my house when I did the test batch, I'd just make it in muffin form for family. If making it for a client, bake a day earlier than usual to let it sit.
Fat-Free Pumpkin Cake
3 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/8 cups applesauce
4 egg whites
1 15-oz can pure pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
Prep two 8" round pans, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside.
Combine the applesauce and the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat for a couple of minutes until the sugar is well-blended. Add the egg whites and beat until incorporated.
Add the pumpkin and the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until they're just incorporated. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake about 25-30 minutes, or until they're done!
Let the cakes cool completely in the pans. Or eat it when it's still warm, I won't judge you.
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA