Cake 36: Banana Cake with Mocha Filling

I thought about doing a mocha cream frosting to complement the mocha cream cheese swirl in the cake, but the cream cheese I bought for the frosting tasted terrible and the cake stands on its own just fine, so I skipped it. I’ll make a mocha cream frosting on something else later for you guys. (“Why is the condiment bottle picture so blurry?” you ask? Because I dropped my camera in the filling. Yeah. I’m awesome.)

Banana Cake Recipe with Mocha Filling Recipe Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 mashed ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cups vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mocha Filling Recipe Ingredients

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground espresso roast coffee beans
  • 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, melted

Banana Cake Recipe with Mocha Filling Recipe Directions

Prepare an 8″ round or square baking pan. (I used square.) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In one large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. In your kitchen mixer or a separate bowl, blend the mashed bananas, vanilla yogurt, shortening and vanilla and add the flour mixture in parts. Add the eggs one at a time and beat just until combined.  For the mocha filling, melt the chocolate over low heat in a double bowler and then remove from heat to rest for a few minutes. In a separate bowl or your kitchen mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, one egg and ground coffee until well-mixed, then stir in the melted chocolate. I used a condiment bottle to apply the mocha filling but you could just as easily use a piping bag or just pour the stuff. I just wanted a “swirl” more than a “layer” of mocha filling. Pour about 1/3 of the cake batter into the pan, then put about half of the mocha filling, and continue layering the rest until you run out of both – finishing with cake batter. Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes if all in one pan (less if you divided the batter between two pans – always start low and add time as you need it). The cake should be a beautiful brown color, and spring back when gently pressed, and if you insert a toothpick or skewer into the center it should come out clean. Cool for about 15 minutes then turn out of the pan.

I had several of frosting and garnishing ideas I didn’t do with this one but wish I had. You could frost with a banana frosting or mocha frosting, and dust with cocoa powder if you like! Garnish with chocolate covered banana chips, chocolate covered espresso beans, plain banana chips, or miniature chocolate chips and you’ll have a very happy audience.

Mardi Gras Bananas Foster Muffins Recipe

Apparently St. Louis has the second largest Mardi Gras celebration in the country, behind beautiful and festive New Orleans. Apparently this is especially so in the Soulard neighborhood, which I’m not especially familiar with yet. Apparently the drinking starts early and stays hard all day. So some smart individuals I know (Hi, Maggie!) decided to have a Mardi Gras breakfast to start the day off right – with full tummies. So for this St. Louis Mardi Gras breakfast, I decided to make a true New Orleans original treat – bananas foster, but in the form of a muffin. (Thanks for the idea, Lori!) Bananas foster is traditionally served with vanilla ice cream, but since it’s being served for breakfast alongside a host of other yum foods, I just topped it with a bit of cream cheese frosting and garnished with Mardi Gras colored coarse sugar and gold dragees. The recipe yields about 18 muffins.

Bananas Foster Muffin Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 large egg, room temperature

Bananas Foster Muffin Recipe Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and fill two muffin tins with paper cupcake liners. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into one bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, combined the mashed bananas, brown sugar, sugar, butter, milk rum and egg and blend completely. Add the dry ingredients a bit at a time and blend completely after each addition. Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the muffins have a rich golden color and spring back when pressed gently. FYI – I accidentally bought plantains instead of ripened bananas, which are very different, so I had to break mine down in a pan over low heat with orange juice, brown sugar and butter. This recipe works with plantains if you do that, but bananas are definitely the way to go.

Rum Glaze Recipe Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Rum Glaze Recipe Directions

While the muffins are baking prepare the rum glaze. Mix the three rum glaze ingredients until the sugar is dissolve. Brush over the bananas foster muffins while they’re still warm from the oven.  I garnished mine with a dollop of cream cheese frosting and coarse purple sugar and coarse green sugar, as well as gold dragees. You really don’t need to make that entire cream cheese frosting recipe, unless you plan to fully frost the muffins. I barely needed any to dollop the muffins.

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:

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