Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Banana Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

The proverbial leftover bananas were staring at me to create something today and since I've done just about every combination in banana bread, I decided on cake. 
 Paired with chocolate is always a good idea, so I chose a chocolate buttercream and made this looked just like one of the old-fashioned cakes my mom would have baked for us...
...nothing fancy, just a lot of homemade goodness.

I was also thinking how our daughter, Erin loved when I made frozen bananas, then dipped them in chocolate; my teeth hurt thinking how my girls could bite into this frozen treat:-D

Banana Cake with Chocolate Buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 to 3 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 T vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Spray two 9-inch round baking pans with a baking spray.  I also wrapped Baking Strips around the pans so the top of the cake would stay flat and not "round up."

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together.  Add the large eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed, using a spatula.  Add the vanilla and mashed bananas and mix again.  Don't worry if it looks a little curdled.

Add the dry ingredients, alternatively with the buttermilk until combined, then, mix 1 minute more at medium speed.  Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the cake pulls away from the sides and a wooden skewer comes out cleanly from testing in the center of the cake.

Allow to cool about 5 minutes, then invert on a waxed paper lined rack and a serving plate.

While the cake is baking, make the Chocolate Buttercream.

Chocolate Buttercream
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips ( about 1 3/4 cups + 1 T)
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Light Karo Syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
10 oz. unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla

Using a food processor with the knife blade, place the bittersweet chocolate chips in the bowl.  In a small sauce pan, combine the heavy cream, Karo syrup and salt and bring just to a boil, stirring constantly.
 Pour the cream mixture over the bittersweet chocolate bits and allow to sit about 5 minutes.  Place the top on the bowl and pulse several times, then turn the machine to ON to completely combine.  Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and pulse again to combine.  Finally, while the machine is ON, drop the softened butter through the feed tube until all of it has been used.

Transfer this mixture to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate 1 to 1 1/2 hours while the cake layers are cooling.
The mixture resembles a ganache at this point
 Just before it's time to frost the cake, use a hand mixer to "fluff" the frosting.
 Spread about one-third of the buttercream on top of the bottom layer and smooth out to the edges.  Place the top layer on.  Spoon the remaining buttercream on top and frost the top and down the sides, using an off-set spatula.
 I did a swirl pattern, just like my mom would have done.  Just a plain cake, but oh so elegant.

I'm celebrating a gift I received yesterday from Sandy at Stitches and etc. of this beautiful bookmark wrapped in a knitted cotton cloth that I won on her blog--yes, I've been winning a lot lately!  
It absolutely is perfect for the book I'm reading and brought back a beautiful memory of making an owl costume with my daughter Kelly for her Ari's first Halloween.  I really am blessed with all the dear friends I've met blogging through Kelly's insistence that I share my stories, XOXO
Just in case you're not a chocolate buttercream fan, this cake would be lovely frosted in a cream cheese icing as well...but with the week I have ahead, CHOCOLATE is my "drug" of choice. Enjoy!   


  1. Can I come over? :) Good luck this week! Lv, me

    1. Oh, you absolutely can! Thanks, I'll need it:-D

  2. Susan your cake reminds me so much of the cake my mother made also. You are so right it is simple, but oh so elegant. I love the picture of your Kelly and Ari. His costume is adorable. Chocolate is always my drug of choice. xoxo ♥
    Martha Ellen

  3. Oh you had me at chocolate buttercream!

    Sweet bookmark and glad it brought back good memories!

    hugs, Linda

    1. Linda, it's the best chocolate buttercream and worth the effort! XOXO

  4. I could live in a banana cake and be happy...

    1. I have to admit, this might be my new "go to" recipe for leftover bananas! Now, if I only had some of your lemon ice cream on the side I'd be in heaven:-D

  5. Though I'm sure everything you make is delicious, I sure wish I lived closer so I could verify that for myself. (And for a lot of other reasons, too!) This looks delicious, I may need to hide a few bananas as they never seem to last long enough around here to get to the "baking" stage. I'm glad we found the ladybug connection..... love you, my friend! xoxox

    1. I wish that also. I would love to be close so I could quilt with you then, we'd have tea and cake. We'd talk and laugh until our stomachs hurt:-D Love you too, XOXO

  6. Kelly was a very wise woman.
    Jane xxx

    1. ...and a little stubborn when she wanted you to do something--that was good for you!

  7. You keep right on following Kelly's good advice!

    Oh this just looks too luscious. Yummo.

    Another new thing...cake wraps. How in the world do they prevent a cake from rounding? A'Googlin' I'll go...

    1. See how flat my top is? I've used these cake wraps for years, when making layer cakes. They insulate the cake so the edges and center bake evenly; resulting in a uniform, surface. When a cake domes, it's because the sides have baked faster. You just soak them in water first, then squeeze out the excess, and wrap around the outside of your cake pan. They come with a straight pin to secure a tight wrap. The material is "flame-proof" so you don't have to worry about them in a hot oven:-D

  8. Replies
    1. Love your blog! Thanks for stopping by, XOXO

  9. Ari is adorable in the owl costume! What a wonderful picture and I know you treasure it.
    The cake looks sooo yummy! You make me drool everytime I open your blog :)
    I cringe to think about cold ice on my teeth too ...BRR!

    1. So many photos, but the best memories are in my heart, as I'm sure yours are with your precious daughter. XOXO

  10. Perfect timing--I've been thinking about banana cake, as I, too, have overdone banana bread for a while. I've never done one with chocolate--sounds great! Also hadn't heard of cake wraps. Will have to check them out. Thanks, as always, for your great ideas and suggestions, beautiful photography and memories.

    1. This was a big hit with my hubby! As always, he says, this is one of the best cakes you've ever come up with:-D It's nice to have a fan, XOXO

  11. Yum, the banana cake sounds wonderful, and I think the chocolate buttercream would definitely be my choice to frost it with (although I do love cream cheese frosting). Well, maybe I'll just have to make two! :)

  12. Hi Susan,

    Chocolate is my drug too! - LOL! And, your cake with lots of your "drug" look irresistible.

    I have seen this magi cake strip before. They are fantastic! I need to search for them now :D

    Happy 2013!


  13. Susan, Susan, Susan, how do you do it? You keep making all my favs. I just love banana and chocolate together. Remember the banana/nutella muffins I made with the apron? Sigh...now I just have to try this recipe too, and CAKE!?! Cake is it for me. ;) I actually make my banana bread and banana muffins a bit more like cake because I love it so.
    This is yummy and I absolutely love that picture of Kelly and Ari.
    Wait, I almost forgot...you're going to Paris without me?!? AND you plan on visiting Shakespeare and Co?!? Sigh...please take lots of pics and do share, share, share.

  14. Hi Marcia, I've wanted to go to Paris for a very long time and decided that after the last few years I've had, it was time to tend to my Bucket List too. I will definitely take photos and keep a journal of my experience--I'm going in September and can hardly wait! XOXO

  15. why oh why are we not next door neighbors??! i need some of this cake. oh le sigh. (hee hee, i read you are going to paris!)

  16. Chocolate and banana...the combination is unbeatable! I love how you swirled the frosting...exactly like what you described: simple yet elegant!
    Happy Weekend!

  17. I love that picture of Kelly and Ari. <3
    That cake looks amazing. YUM!

  18. It wasn't until about 5 years ago that I first found out about banana cake. I'm from a small town and must have been quite sheltered! My father in law's favorite cake is banana cake and I decided to make one for him. I made up a batch of my favorite banana bread and put it in a cake pan, then frosted it. It tasted wonderful, but wasn't quite a banana cake. :) Who knew there really was such a thing as banana cake!? Your cake looks beautiful. I might have to give a real banana cake a try.

  19. What a wonderful picture of your daughter and her baby. Great memories!