A Trio of Tasty Cakes

The tender banana cake uses both ripe and overripe bananas. The chunky ripe one punches up the banana taste, while the pureed overripe ones add sweetness and moisture. Juicy pear and apple chunks and cranberries add texture and succulence to the fresh fruit cake. And for the chocolate cake, low-in-fat unsweetened cocoa delivers most of the flavor, with a small amount of chocolate stirred into the batter for richness.

For the final touch: replace gooey, buttery frostings with simple, pretty garnishes. Sprinkling a little granulated sugar on the batter before it goes in the oven gives a shiny finish to the top of any light-colored cake. Dust a dark cake with confectioners' sugar and cocoa after it's cooled; use a paper doily as a stencil for a fancier finish.

Each serving of any one of these cakes contains no more than 8 grams of fat (less than 12.5 percent of the recommended daily intake).

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