Cake 27: Banana Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

My Grandma Cochran asked if I had a recipe for a cake using bananas and chocolate, and all I had was my recipe for chocolate chip banana bread, so it inspired me to make this two-layer banana cake with chocolate buttercream frosting! (Which is also an excuse to practice cake decorating skills from the cake decorating class I took.) I put about 20% of the batter into a jar to make a jar cake to send my husband in Afghanistan.

Banana Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Banana Cake Recipe Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Prepare two 9″ round baking pans. In one bowl, mash the ripe bananas and lemon juice together. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. In your kitchen mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture was light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla. Alternate adding the dry ingredients mixture and the buttermilk a bit at a time, starting and finishing with dry ingredients. Add the mashed banana goop and beat just until mixed in. Pour the banana cake batter into the prepared cake pans, and bake four about 45 minutes, or until your cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. ┬áCool the cakes completely. I’ve heard about popping this cake in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate buttercream frosting. I tried it out and thought it really helped the icing process.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe Ingredients

  • 8 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe Directions

In a stainless bowl over a saucepan with simmering water (creating a double boiler) melt the chocolate, stirring constantly so it doesn’t scald or burn, until it’s smooth. Remove from heat and cool for about 15 minutes. In your kitchen mixer, beat the softened butter until creamy. Alternate adding the powdered sugar and milk in small parts, starting and finishing with the powdered sugar. Fold in the melted chocolate and vanilla extract, and mix until smooth. I recommend working with the chocolate buttercream pretty quickly so it doesn’t cool on the cake and get difficult to work with. Garnish with whatever seems tasty – banana chips, chocolate chips or chocolate curls, I used some walnuts since I had them handy.

How to Ripen Bananas Quickly

Ripe Bananas
Ripe Bananas

If you need to ripen a bunch of bananas quickly for baking banana bread, banana cake or any other recipe, here are a few pointers on speeding up the ripening process:

  1. Do not separate the bananas. They tend to ripen faster when connected.
  2. Put the bananas in a paper bag and seal. Add an apple or tomato to the bag to speed it up even more from the ethylene gas from those fruits.
  3. Put the bagged bananas in a warm place, such as near a heating vent or in the sun on your counter.
  4. This doesn’t count as ripening, but it will at least give you the desired texture – preheat your oven to 300 degrees, and warm your bananas in the oven until the skin turns black.

Here are a few recipes using bananas:

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This is not part of the 52 Cakes Challenge, but I happened to have some bananas aging and getting dark that I needed to use. Typically I freeze the ripe bananas if they fully ripen before I get the chance to eat them fresh, and collect them until I have enough to make my chocolate chip banana bread recipe. My chocolate chip banana bread is always a big hit at the office! Here are photos and the recipe to learn how to make chocolate chip banana bread. It’s too easy not to bake it yourself. ­čÖé

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 black, ripe bananas
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 0.75 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 0.5 bag of your favorite chocolate chips

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash the melted butter and ripened bananas together in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, the beaten egg and vanilla. Mix in the baking soda and salt. Add the flour about 1/2 cup at a time stirring it in completely. At the end, toss in about a half a bag of your favorite chocolate chips. I personally prefer dark chocolate chips, but I happened to have semi-sweet on-hand for the loaf of chocolate chip banana bread you see pictured above. Pour the batter into a 4×8 bread pan. Either non-stick spray it or butter it (I recommend doing this even if it’s a non-stick pan). Bake at 350 degrees for about one hour. Cool the chocolate chip banana bread completely before trying to remove from the pan and serve!

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