There’s one baking lesson that I know so well, yet just can’t seem to learn. Don’t ask the hubs to chose a baking flavor. Just don’t. Even when I’m seriously at a fork…just…don’t…do…it. No matter what the circumstances I will always end up even more confused, and potentially frustrated at the end of the conversation. Second lesson: don’t bake cakes in the middle of the night.
Let me further explain. I was asked to bake a birthday cake for a co-worker of his to share at the BBQ we were attending a few weeks ago. First request was peanut butter and chocolate shake flavored cake. Ummm do they really not realize what happens when you remove the ice cream component from this? You get peanut butter and chocolate flavored cake. My explanation resulted in bank stares. Next up was banana cupcake with walnuts mixed in. So do you want me to bake, banana nut bread? Because that’s kinda what your describing here guys? Third try went like this, how about chocolate cake, stuffed with strawberries and a surprise icing. OK now that one we can work with. But my brain was totally uninspired and once again I told myself WHY do you ask. lol. Next time I’ll remember! Maybe?
Naturally I spent the entire week stressing about WHAT to make. I wanted to make something fun, and I wanted to incorporate his fav flavors. But what to make? At about midnight one night while I’m drift off it suddenly occurred to me bananas, nuts, strawberry, chocolate…hello BANANA SPLIT CAKE! Yes, that’s exactly what I would do. Mega bonus points I hat the perfect Sweets & Treats sprinkle mix! So the next day I happily toted my little list to the store and scooped up everything I needed for the cake I was going to bake as soon as I got home, it’s Thursday at this point BTW. But the baby was cranky, and the kids needed fed, and then this, and that, and a business call annnnddddd there it was midnight with no cake. But I was determined to not be the cake less baker and proceeded. Which resulted in my finishing this cake at 4:30 AM allowing for 2 hours of sleep before the baby got up for the day. Oh my gosh I’m too darn old for cake all nighters these days! Ganching while sleepless – not a pretty sight. The good news is, the cake turned out great. Even if I looked like a total zombie. Oh and that leaves me to a third new lesson. Don’t transport a cake on a cake stand on the autobahn!!
Annndddddd sadly since this was a party cake I didn’t cut a slice to photograph. But hidden inside this sweet little thing is a layer of chocolate buttercream and fresh strawberries. So good! So if your ready to bake a cake, it’s not 3am, and you don’t intend to head down the German autobahn anytime soon…let’s get started!
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 room temp eggs
2 ripe smashed bananas
1 cup milk
2 1/2 Tbsp banana extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. of salt
yellow coloring (optional)
TOPPING & FILLINGS
1 cup diced strawberries (to fill)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
sprinkles (mine are banana split sprinkles from here)
BANANA & CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM
1 cup butter
1 cup crisco (can be substituted for additional butter)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tbs banana extract
6-8 Tbsp. milk
yellow food coloring
3/4 cup melting chocolate chopped into tiny pieces
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 8in cake pans and set aside.
Step 2 : In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Combined sugar and beat well. Add eggs and bananas and beat until combined. Next, add milk and extracts beating just until combined.
Step 3: In a separate medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Step 4: Combined dry ingredients into wet ingredients until incorporated, add food coloring (optional), and then beat on medium high for one minute. Pour batter into the two baking pans and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpicks come out clean.
Now the frostings and ganache…
Step 5: Before making the frostings you will want to prepare the chocolate ganache. This is because ganache needs plenty of time to cool and thicken before use. Place chocolate pieces in a large heatproof bowl. In a small sauce pan bring creamer and butter to a boil. Once at a boil turn to low and cook for one more minute. Be sure to stir frequently not to burn the creamer. Pour hot mixture over chocolate in the heatproof bowl. Do not stir, let the hot mixture melt the chocolate for 2-4 minutes. Give the ganache a gentle stir until combined them set aside.
Step 6: In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) using the paddle attachment, cream butter and shortening at medium speed until soft and smooth. Add vanilla extract (not banana yet!) and beat until combined. Slowly add in powdered sugar and salt, beating slightly between each addition. Add milk 4 tablespoons of milk (hold off on the other few just yet) and beat for about 1 minute. Transfer 1 cup each into a two small mixing bowls and set aside. Going back to the main bowl of frosting add banana extract and yellow coloring and beat well. Add remaining milk until at desired consistency whipping well each addition. (you may not need all of the milk, I like mine at 6 tbsp.)
7: Now grab the one small bowl of white frosting you set aside and mix in the cocoa, you now have chocolate frosting for the filling. Simply cover the second bowl and leave it alone for toppings later on.
Now ALL TOGETHER NOW!!
8: Level the banana cakes so they are nice and flat. Dam with banana frosting (use a large round piping tip) fill with chocolate frosting and diced strawberries. Frosting outside of cake with banana frosting. Using a 1M Wilton piping tip pipe vanilla frosting swirls around the cake with the vanilla frosting you set aside. Fill middle portion with chocolate ganache once it has cooled down enough. Finish off with sprinkles, nuts, and cherries!
And now you have the perfect milkshake free – banana split cake!
But wait! Are you thinking man that’s a whole lot of hoopla for a cake…I’m not sure sure I can handle that all but I really need some of this cake in meh belly. Or maybe your really on a time crunch…say at 3am? No prob! Instead of making the chocolate buttercream just go all banana inside. You can skip the vanilla as well for the top just add a tiny bit more banana flavoring to the full batch of frosting! And if you’re really just wanting to cut corners, a little hot fudge will do the trick to replace the ganache!