A Southern Grace: bananarama

August 6, 2013



Banana bread is a delicious, easy, and versatile treat, you'll get no argument from me on that. However, sometimes bananas deserve a fate just a little bit more decadent.

If, like me, you're tired of making and eating banana bread, you should give this unique cake a try. It's moist, obviously--after all, isn't that the major draw of using bananas as an ingredient? The coconut and pecans are faint but detectable, and the chocolate chips are an unexpectedly pleasant surprise. The slight bitterness that they contribute just seems to fit in perfectly, making this a deliciously complex creation.

The frosting is magnificent and should be used early and often. You taste coffee in a major way, but there's also a hint of rum. As someone who a)loves a cuppa joe (and rum), and b)has grown tired of traditional cream cheese frosting, I found this version to be like a breath of fresh, coffee-scented air (not to be confused with the scent of coffee-breath air...). It'd be fabulous on a chocolate cake, of that I'm sure.

No rum? No worries. This cake has enough going on that the lack of one ingredient will have a negligible impact (you will have to change the name, though). I suppose you could replace the rum with rum extract, but be careful--that stuff is potent and, in all actuality, tastes nothing like rum.

Banana Cake with CCCRaP (Coffee, Chocolate, Coconut, Rum, and Pecans)
(You know you just laughed.)
Makes one 3-layer cake
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream, soured with 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon strong coffee or rum
  • 1 cup banana puree (about 2 bananas)
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 12 ounces butter, softened
  • 7-8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1/2-3/4 cup strong coffee
  • Toasted coconut or coarsely chopped pecans, for garnish
First, make the cakes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease up 3 9-inch round cake pans.
In a large bowl, cream butter with sugar until pasty.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat until each is incorporated.
Add the vanilla, coffee or rum, and banana puree and mix well.
Fold in the soured cream, then fold in the remaining ingredients and stir until well-blended.
Divide the batter evenly among the three prepared pans and bake them for 30-35 minutes, rotating halfway through.
Cool 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out and place them in the freezer until you're ready to apply the frosting.
To make the frosting, first beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Add the powdered sugar, rum, and 1/2 cup coffee, then mix well.
Add more coffee as needed to achieve a spreadable consistency.
To assemble the cake, place one layer on a serving platter and smear it with some frosting.
Add the second cake layer, more frosting, then the third cake layer.
Apply the frosting all over the top and sides of the cake, then press toasted coconut or chopped pecan pieces into the sides and top, if desired.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Heavenly! This cake looks fabulous.



Pam said...

Rum frosting? Yes ma'am.

Joanne said...

I didn't realize that bananas seriously needed an upgrade until seeing this...now I'm not sure i can finish off my week without it!

Shashi Charles said...

Oh my! This cake is so droolworthy! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!
Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com

kellypea said...

Well. Now I want this for breakfast, of course. Seriously! What an interesting group of flavors -- the coffee surprised me, but there is a. Smoothie I drink (minus the rum OH SNAP) which has coffee & bananas in the mix. It's truly delish. Sadly, I cannot sink my teeth into a smoothie.

jose manuel said...

Que buen pastel.


Pam said...

Drooling. It looks and sounds amazing.

Rosita Vargas said...

Bello pastel se ve muy delicioso buen frosting,saludos y abrazos.

Lynda said...

This cake looks decadent Grace; And topped with cream cheese frosting really elevated it. I think the addition of coffee and chocolate would be amazing!
So glad to be back reading your blog again. :)

Marjie said...

I made a banana cake Sunday night, but it wasn't as decadent as yours. I was planning on making banana bread tonight, and maybe I'll add some of your extra ingredients!

Caroline Taylor said...

This does sound good, I like the chocolate chips as a bit of bitterness in the cake.

Blond Duck said...

Just look at the curls in that frosting!

vanillasugarblog said...

That frosting!
You done a banana cake just right.
Love the taste and textures--must have.

Lori said...

Whoa there is a lot of crap in there! Ha! I love it. SO curious about this one. I have never seen heavy cream soured with lemon. It looks fantastic.

Beth said...

It's been years since I've made banana cake. Yours sounds wonderful!

I Wilkerson said...

This is a magnificent use of bananas! And I just found an ice cream tub full of frozen sliced bananas in my freezer...

My Kitchen Stories. said...

You sold me with the first picture. i cant wait to try it

Gloria Baker said...

Grace I love bananas and this look amazing I bookmarked I would like to make!! and is absolutely beautiful!!

Carolyn Jung said...

Ooh, a dressed-up version of banana bread. Looks perfect for partying -- well, when you want to give your guests a little something more special than a plain loaf cake. ;)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Is it wrong of me to say that I was totally attracted to the icing first? :D

~~louise~~ said...

Unequivocally sinful! You have raised the bar on banana cake goodness, Grace. This coming from a "gal" who dreams Bananas Foster!

Thank you so much for sharing...

Angie Schneider said...

I had lots of banana bread, but not the cake-like ones, this looks simply irresistible, Grace.

Lisa-Marie said...

Oh my. You take cake to a whole new, decadent level Grace!

lisa is cooking said...

First, I love banana cakes. And, second, I love, love the mix of flavors of coffee and banana. I'm going to need a big piece of this cake, please!

kumars kitchen said...

OMG!!! such an adorable treat, banana cakes with such a creamy frosting will make us swoon till we gulp that whole cake down,so comforting and darn good,awesome :-)

Jeff @ Cheeseburger said...

Don't get me wrong, I love banana bread, but after a while it just gets boring. This unique banana cake cake is very delicious and yet another way to enjoy banana.