Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vday Part 3: PB Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting

Ah, the trials and tribulations of Valentine’s Day dinner: what to make for dessert, arguably the most important part of the meal (at least in my eyes…or perhaps my tummy).  I thought long and hard and came up with the perfect way to end the meal, with all of our favorite things.  Peanut Butter.  Bananas.  Nutella.  Honestly, if I had just chopped up a banana and threw in a generous scoop of PB and Nutella, my husband would have been more than content.  But obviously, I couldn’t leave it at that.  I decided I would make, brace yourselves, a PB Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting.

I browsed online and found recipes for banana cake and Nutella frosting.  I love cream cheese frosting, so I was sold when I found this recipe.  I’m not a big fan of the buttercream frosting varieties.  There’s something about seeing that giant stick of butter when you make the frosting that is a bit of a turnoff.  A giant block of cream cheese, on the other hand, I’m all for that.  I’ll have you know that I at least used 1/3 fat cream cheese.  Also, the banana cake recipe calls for buttermilk, instead I used lowfat vanilla yogurt.  It’s the perfect substitute for buttermilk and keeps the cake nice and moist.

For the peanut butter portion of the cake, I melted the peanut butter and dropped spoonfuls into the batter and swirled with a knife.  If you want the peanut butter flavor evenly distributed, you could always completely mix it into the batter.  I liked having a little peanut butter “surprise” throughout the cake. 

As you can tell from the photos, I got a bit overeager with the decoration of the cake.  I had chocolate hazelnut pirouettes, so I felt it necessary to jab the outer edge of the cake with them.  Looks aren’t everything…they were delicious.

I’m not even sure how to describe this cake – it is SO ridiculously good.  So good, that my husband and I managed to polish off the entire cake (not all at once of course).  The banana cake was extremely moist and would have stood up perfectly well on its own, but I couldn’t resist adding on the Nutella frosting.  After all, what’s a cake without frosting?

Banana cake batter

Peanut butter swirl

Giant cake sandwich?

The completed massive cake

This piece is for me

The plated masterpiece

Peanut Butter Banana Cake with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipes from allrecipes and Kitchen Notes

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Serves: 12


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2/3 cup buttermilk (you can use lowfat yogurt as a substitute)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I didn't use these)
1/2  cup peanut butter

Nutella Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup Nutella
8 ounces powdered sugar, by weight


Nutella Frosting

1. Cream together the cream cheese and nutella until blended.

2. Add the powdered sugar gradually until ingredients are combined.

3. Mix on a high speed until frosting is smooth and creamy.

Banana Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 2 - 8 inch round pans. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter, white sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in the bananas. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the creamed mixture. Stir in chopped walnuts. Pour batter into the prepared pans.

3. Melt the peanut butter and drop spoonfuls into the batter and swirl with a knife. 

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and place on a damp tea towel to cool.

5. Frost the top of the first layer of cake, then stack the second layer on top and frost the sides and top of the entire cake.


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