Chocolate-Walnut Banana Cake

For me, banana bread and banana cake just do not get old. For starters, banana bread batter is, hands-down, the best batter to eat straight from a bowl. It’s just sweet and fragrant and usually tastes strongly of butter, even though there’s rarely much butter in it. The bananas give it a thick, sticky, smooth mouth feel that cannot be beat and ensure that the final product is always moist. Second, it’s just so easy! You can keep over-ripe bananas in your freezer and bust them out any time that you just feel like baking. Plus, fruit means it’s good for you, amIright?

Is there anything prettier than a bundt cake? I find them sort of old-school, but I think that’s definitely part of their charm. Put on your cute-as-a-button Anthropologie apron, whip up a bundt cake and try to tell me you don’t feel at least a little like a 1950′s housewife? In the best possible way, of course. I’ll admit that bundt cakes do make me a tad nervous. Under-grease that pan and you will have nothing but a sad pile of ruptured cake to show for it. But if you’re ovezealous with the Pam and generous with the flour, then you end up with the prettiest little thing. Mumma’s so proud.


The original recipe that I used for this made a three-layer cake with cream cheese frosting. I wanted to fancy  it up a bit, so I turned it into a bundt and added some accoutrements. Just a few walnuts and large hunks of good dark chocolate. No big thang.  Why you ask? Why would you muck with a perfectly simple, delicious cake? Well, since walnuts+bananas=Yes and walnuts+chocolate=Yes and bananas+chocolate=Yes, it’s nearly impossible that walnuts+chocolate+bananas could possibly equal anything other than Oh Yes Please. And I like my food to be as agreeable as possible.


Let’s just gild the lily, shall we? This was a birthday cake after all; there’s no such thing as “too much” when it comes to a birthday cake. I topped this guy with a quick coffee-spiked ganache. A little bit of coffee enhances chocolate without making it’s presence known. In my mind, a coffee-spiked ganache is always the right decision. Always. As is a walnut-chocolate banana cake.

Chocolate-Walnut Banana Cake

Adapted from Bon Appetit.

As mentioned above, the original recipe make 3, 8″ round cakes. A round cake pan hold about 4 cups of batter, so that’s about 12 cups total. A 10″ bundt pan holds about 12 cups of batter. Voila! No scaling needed; this recipe fits perfectly into a bundt pan.

2 1/4 c cake flour
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t plus pinch of salt
3 large bananas, mashed
1/4 c buttermilk
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 c sugar
2 lg eggs
3/4 c. walnuts, roughly chopped
6 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped into large chunks

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10″ bundt pan
  • In a medium bowl, whisk cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl
  • In another medium bowl, stir together the bananas, buttermilk and vanilla
  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy
  • Add the eggs, 1 at a time, thoroughly mixing after each egg
  • Add the dry ingredients alternately with banana mixture in 3 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients and beating just until blended after each addition
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir in the walnuts and chocolate
  • Pour into the prepared pan and bake ~45-50 min or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean
  • Let cool on rack ~10 minutes, then invert onto rack and let cool completely
  • Glaze with ganache (recipe below) and serve

Ganache

6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
6 T heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon instant coffee granules

  • Melt the chocolate chips, cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over low heat until melty (Keep water out; water is the enemy and will make your chocolate seize)
  • Drizzle over cake immediately
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4 thoughts on “Chocolate-Walnut Banana Cake

  1. Coffee spiked ganache?! Seriously?! This cake is such a triple hitting bundt of yumminess. I really want some with coffee for my coffee break which should be any minute. This technology thing has just not come far enough as far as I’m concerned because if it had, I’d be able to reach in a grab a slice or at the very least finger swipe some of that ganache. I do agree that bundt=old shool in a good way.

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