This cake is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. I could go on, but this cake is more important than Gwen Stefani. This cake is so important you can’t see how I made it; I forgot to take pictures. What you’re looking at are from a phone. It just happened, I’m sorry. I was making it thinking, “Maybe I should be taking photos of this….I’ll post this over the weekend…” Then I made it. Once we took the first bite that was it. There was nothing left.
Thankfully I made each cake layer into its own cake, (which means I get to eat it again!) so there are photos; but thats only because someone asked me if I posted it, jogging my terrible chocolate-soaked memory.
This cake is so humble and so delicious, you’ll wonder why on earth you’ve never made it before. Chococlate,banana cake and peanut butter-why not? How many times have you made a birthday cake, only to be let down that it’s too dry, too sweet, or just meh? How many times have you made banana bread and it’s been gone within a few hours? Logically speaking, it’s a very sensible cake to make. Don’t be fooled though, this is not a healthy alternative to chocolate cake. There’s lots of butter. And cream. And nuts.
Aside from name of the cake relating to the ingredient and a terribly catchy old song, it really is bananas in the truest sense of the word. The flavours work SO well. The textures of moist, banana-ey cake, creamy sweet, salty peanut butter, crunchy, roasted salty peanuts and smooth, thick, rich, chocolate ganache; before your in your blissful cake-coma you’ll be dancing around signing that song that will be stuck in your head all week. Your welcome.
From Baked Elements
Serves ALOT (I’d say at least 12+)
- 3 cups cake flour (or all purpose plus 3 tablespoons cornstarch)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 oz (1 stick, 1/2 cup) butter
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening (if you don’t have any, replace with butter)
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 very large ripe bananas (about 1 cup) mashed
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter milk (or equal parts milk plus splash of lemon juice or white vinegar)
- Preheat oven to 325˚. Butter 3* 8″ round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment, dust with sugar; tapping off excess.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Set aside
- Cream butter and shortening (if using) until fluffy in stand-up mixer or with hand-held mixer for 5 minutes. Add sugar and beat 5 more minutes. Add eggs.
- On low, add vanilla and bananas until incorporated. If the mixture seems curdled, keep beating slowly until the mixture looks like it’s coming back together. Scrape sides.
- Add flour in 3 parts, alternating with milk. Begin and end with flour; making sure not to over mix, only until just combined.
- Divide batter between pans. Bake 35-40 minutes.
- Test doneness with toothpick, it should come out clean. Cool completely out of pans. Remove parchment
*I managed to fit the batter into 2 pans, they cakes were pretty hefty, but most people only have 2 pans versus 3.
Milk Chocolate Frosting
- 8 oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate (by weight)
- 8 oz milk chocolate (by weight)
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 12 oz (3 sticks, 1 1/2 cups) butter
- pinch of salt
- Place both chocolate in bowl. In a pan bring cream and corn syrup to a boil, pour over chocolate and let stand 2-3 minutes. Whisk to combine and let cool to room temperature.
- In a stand-up mixer or with a hand mixer, beat butter in by tablespoon on medium speed until fully incorporated. It should be smooth and silky looking.
Peanut Butter Filling
- 2 oz (1/4 stick, 1/2 cup) butter
- 1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup icing sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Blend everything together. Set aside. Can be made up to a week a head of time and kept in a sealed container in the fridge.
- 1 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts (I found a variety that was sweet and salty)
I cut my 2 layers in half, giving you 4 halves in total. This worked well as 2 separate cakes, yielded more filling and was a tad more manageable in size. You can do so then put those layers on top of each other into a tower 4 layer cake, or keep it traditional and stack the 2 or 3 on top of each other.
- If you’ve made the components ahead of time, make sure everything is at room temperature, you want the filling and frosting to be completely spreadable. Zap them in the microwave for 5 second increments if they’re too hard and you’re pressed for time.
- Trim top of cakes to ensure even-ness (and much needed snack age). You can cut these layers in half at this point too if you want.
- Spread about 1/4 of the peanut butter filling onto each half. Top with about 1/4″ of icing – I know this isn’t really exact, but use your judgement, I found I was left with an obscene amount of icing, so be generous, but don’t let it ooze over the sides.
- Sprinkle an even layer of chopped nuts onto one half, sandwiching the two layers together.
- Repeat with remaining layers. Place in fridge if icing starts to get warm and cake begins to wobble.
- Stack layers on top of each other.
- Spread a thin layer of frosting over entire cake, this is a crumb coat. Refrigerate 15 minutes to firm up.
- Spread remaining icing and sprinkle with remaining nuts.
- Get some milk, cancel your appointments and reward yourself for all your hard work – if you’re not too full from licking the icing and eating the cake scraps.