If you're wondering what kind of dessert to serve at a cocktail party (or really, any party!) let me offer this suggestion: cake bites! This is a fun little way to serve cake without fussing with plates, forks, or even cupcake wrappers, and their poppable nature makes them tailor-made for a cocktail party.
Making cake bites is super easy: just bake a sheet cake in a larger pan than usual. For my Winter Glam Cocktail Party, I baked this chocolate cake in a half-sheet pan, which worked out perfectly because it gave me 1-inch-by-1-inch squares, just the size for a toothpick. Baking in a half sheet pan or jelly roll pan also means the cake bakes much quicker. Once it's cooked, pour the frosting on (I used this ganache frosting, which is rich and delicious) and stick the cake in the freezer for 45 minutes.
Tip: When you freeze a cake while it's still warm it gets very moist, and a little denser, too!
After it's been in the freezer for 45 minutes or so, take it out and cut into little chunks. You can even use cute cookie cutters if you're feeling industrious. Spear each piece with a toothpick, serve, and watch them disappear.
If you want an extra special presentation, wrap your toothpicks in washi-tape. This was an hour-long project I did one night. I had three rolls of patterned gold washi tape — one stripe, one polka dota, and one plain — and one roll of hot pink tape. I cut a 1-inch strip of tape, wrapped it around the toothpick, then cut the end at an angle to make a flag shape. Simple! And really pretty when all lined up together on a cake stand.
I'm a fan of chocolate cake bites for a homey indulgence, but Faith has also made cake bites with this Banana Cake recipe from AllRecipes (it was with this cake that she learned the freezer-moistness trick). Give it a go yourself with one of these cake recipes:
Cake Recipes from The Kitchn
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A Winter Glam Cocktail Party
(Image credits: Kristin Teig)