Cake bites, cake truffles, or cake pops...whatever you call them, they are a cute way to serve up cake and frosting together in a small but flavorful package. These banana cake pops have a chocolate shell that gives way to a ganache-like interior - smooth, creamy, and a little velvety. The cake is sweetened just enough with banana and maple syrup, and the base of the frosting is tangy Greek yogurt, resulting in a dessert you can feel good about eating and serving at a party (even to the littlest guests).
I almost decorated my healthy dessert exclusively with little balls of artificially-colored processed sugar again and decided I'd better stick with the theme and choose some more wholesome toppings. I used cacao nibs and walnuts, and I'm so glad I did because I actually preferred those to the cake bites with sprinkles. I think the walnuts paired best with the banana cake (and made me think of banana bread) and the cacao nibs added a satisfying crunch. Next time, I'd like to try shredded coconut too.
The cake and frosting recipes are from the DIY healthy smash cake, so if you're making the smash cake for your little one, it would be easy to double the recipe and make these treats for your party guests. The toppings can be festive and you can add color by serving them in patterned and vibrant mini cupcake liners. You could also put them on lollipop sticks to make cake pops.
...Or just keep them in the fridge to snack on whenever your sweet tooth hits. That's what we did!
Healthy Banana Cake Bites
adapted from DIY Healthy Smash Cake
1 1/2 c whole spelt flour (or whole wheat flour, or all-purpose flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 ripe bananas
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/4 c maple syrup
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 c Greek yogurt
2 1/2 tbsp thick honey (sometimes labeled "raw" or "unfiltered") (or creamed honey, or maple cream)
18 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp coconut oil or butter
Toppings: sprinkles, finely chopped nuts, cacao nibs, shredded coconut, etc.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch cake pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a separate medium bowl, mash the bananas well. Stir in the melted butter until smooth. Add the maple syrup, egg, and vanilla and stir to combine. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Turn cake out onto a cooling rack until cooled completely room temperature.
4. In a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt and honey until smooth. In a large bowl, break the cake into small pieces, then stir in the Greek yogurt mixture. Use a spoon or your fingers to mix until the Greek yogurt frosting is roughly evenly distributed throughout the cake. The mixture should be doughy and hold together easily.
5. Line a baking sheet or large plate (you may need more than one) with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Scoop out level tablespoons of the cake mixture and roll into balls between your palms. Place the cake bites on the baking sheet or plate and move to the freezer for at least an hour.
6. When the cake bites are fully frozen, melt the chocolate and coconut oil or butter in a small sauce pan over low heat until almost all of the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and give a few stirs to melt the last bits of chocolate. Pour the melted chocolate into a medium, shallow bowl.
7. Working quickly and with your toppings handy, coat the cake bites in the chocolate one by one using two forks. Once a bites is fully covered, use one of the forks to move it back to the baking sheet or place and sprinkle with topping of choice. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Makes about 40 cake bites