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Cake bites are perfect for parties and socials

By Alicia Ross

Desperation Dinners

Published: Tuesday, May 29 2012 7:25 p.m. MDT

Hummingbird Cake bites have a moist, dense texture, and they taste deliciously divine.

Alicia Ross for Kitchen Scoop

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Southern Living says its Hummingbird Cake recipe is the most requested one it has ever printed. If you have tasted this classic Southern cake, you know why at first bite. But what you might not know is that a traditional Hummingbird Cake can have more than 700 calories in each of its 12 slices.

In these days of portion control, healthful eating and calorie awareness, where does a Hummingbird Cake fit in?

Cake bites!

That's right: Sized for two delicious bites, these little cakes are perfect for parties and socials. Not only are they precious, they also taste deliciously divine. Most mini cupcakes are dry little bombs that hardly satisfy the sweet tooth. But a Hummingbird Cake, with its moist, dense texture, is perfect to reduce and go "mini."

I divided my Great-Aunt Thelma's Hummingbird Cake recipe by half and then baked the batter in mini-muffin tins lined with paper cups.

I also used one-fourth the amount of frosting required to frost the entire traditional three-layer cake. I'm thrilled with the result and am confident you will be as well! Enjoy!

HUMMINGBIRD CAKE BITES

Start to finish: 1 hour

Cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup crushed pineapple with juice

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1 cup mashed ripe banana

Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini muffin tins with 48 paper liners; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir in egg, oil and vanilla just until dry ingredients are moistened; do not beat. Fold in the pineapple (and juice), pecans and banana.

Gently spoon batter into the cups, filling about 2/3 full. Do not overfill. You will have just enough batter for all 48 cups. Bake 20 minutes, rotating the top and lower pans at the 10-minute mark for even baking. (If you have a convection oven, this is not necessary.) Cake bites are done when they are dark golden brown and gently crowned on top. Remove from oven and cool at least 20 minutes before frosting.

Prepare frosting by stirring together ingredients with a small wire whisk until smooth. Place in a zipper-top plastic bag with one corner snipped (or cake decorating bag). Swirl a small amount of icing over each cake bite in a decorative fashion. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve. (Wooden picks can be inserted in a few of the bites to keep plastic wrap from smearing the tops.)

Yield: 48 cake bites

Approximate values per serving: 91 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated), 12 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 30 mg sodium.

Alicia Ross is the co-author of "Desperation Dinners!" (Workman, 1997), "Desperation Entertaining!" (Workman, 2002) and "Cheap. Fast. Good!" (Workman, 2006). Contact her at Kitchen Scoop, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to tellus kitchenscoop.com. Or visit the Kitchen Scoop website at www.kitchenscoop.com.

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