Banana Cake with Banana Nutella Swirl Buttercream

This banana cake with banana Nutella swirl buttercream also has a surprise layer of chocolate-covered almonds on the inside.

i got rear-ended last summer. i was leaving my internship early because i clocked in earlier than usual, and was excited to get home before 5:30pm. alas, it was not to be. luckily no one was hurt, my car was functional albeit with an exhaust pipe ready to combust detach at any moment, there was plenty of shoulder to pull over onto, and i had my insurance and phone.

the insurance and phone were crucial. you might think the phone was for taking pictures of damage and storing the other person’s license plate number, and it was. it was also for calling my dad and asking him what to do in a semi-calm, oh my god i got rear-ended but at least i’m not crying (yet) voice. i do not recommend actually crying post-call though, since stinging, blurry eyes may make you feel like you will end up rear-ending another unlucky person.

anyways, i was in need of some comforting after that. and i need cake now as much as i did then, maybe even more so. there’s supposed to be a new mooselamb ban soon, which (among many, many other things) is crazy. the friend i talk to most at school, the one who i see for 13+ hours/week, is muslim, and the only danger she presents is ruining the curve in my impossible finance class. i could continue to rant, and i probably will in person to others who share these sentiments, but i’ll let you finally get to the banana cake with banana nutella swirl buttercream. bc cake (and self-care) are necessary.

This banana cake with banana Nutella swirl buttercream also has a surprise layer of chocolate-covered almonds on the inside.

this banana cake with banana nutella swirl buttercream features a banana cake from the queen (tbh there’s many queens: elizabeth, tori kelly, bey girl, shakira, cleopatra, etc but in this case i’m talking about ina garten), as well as swiss meringue buttercream flavored with freeze-dried bananas and a swirl of nutella. and there’s a surprise inside to represent all of life’s mysteries. hah no, i just thought that this cake needed some textural difference, and my family had been pounding the chocolate-covered almonds. i made my own chocolate-covered almonds because they were all gone when i thought to use them, but go ahead and buy some (we like the dark chocolate ones from trader joe’s that have a red label). or you could make chocolate-covered hazelnuts, even if i personally still feel like skinning hazelnuts is a chore.

there’s something for everyone in this banana cake with banana nutella swirl buttercream: moist banana cake, the surprise crispy crunchy chocolate-covered almonds in the middle, creamy banana buttercream and a bit of nutella. this splatter / drizzle on the outside of the cake happened because life is messy (read: i didn’t know how else to decorate it).

1 year ago: Pecan Chocolate Espresso Coffee Cake, Hong Kong Style Dan Tats (Egg Tarts)
2 years ago: Procrastination Thursday, French Onion Dip with Caramelized Onions and Greek Yogurt
3 years ago: Banana Granola, Sakamoto Namul (Marinated Bean Sprouts)

This banana cake with banana Nutella swirl buttercream also has a surprise layer of chocolate-covered almonds on the inside.

Banana Cake with Banana Nutella Swirl Buttercream
cake adapted slightly from Ina Garten, buttercream adapted from Martha Stewart

Shortcut mode: Omit the freeze-dried bananas in the buttercream, use storebought chocolate almonds (chopped up finely), and use a quicker cake decorating method.

3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/8 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup Greek yogurt, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt

  1. Mix the bananas and sugars until combined. Add the oil, eggs, yogurt and vanilla; mix until smooth.
  2. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Pour into two greased and parchment-lined 6” round cake pans (or one 9” round cake pan) and bake at 350F until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. This is about 35-40 minutes for 6” pans, and 45-50 minutes for a 9” pan. Cool completely.

Banana Buttercream
2 egg whites
1/2 cup + 2 T granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 T ground freeze-dried bananas (optional)

  1. In a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine the egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch.
  2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks, and the bowl is no longer warm to the touch. This will get very loud, so retreat to another room.
  3. Switch to the paddle attachment. Add the butter 1 T at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and banana until smooth.

Chocolate-Covered Almonds
1/2 cup sliced almonds (or chopped hazelnuts)
1.3 oz dark chocolate (aka 3 squares of TJ’s Pound Plus), chopped

  1. Toast the almonds on a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet at 350F for 5-10 minutes, or until fragrant and golden brown.
  2. Turn off the oven. Add the chocolate over the almonds, and let melt in the still hot oven. Mix until all of the almonds are coated, then spread them out in a thin layer on the Silpat/parchment. Cool completely, then chop into small bits.

Assembly
heaping 1/4 cup Nutella

  1. Level the tops of the cakes with a long, serrated knife. Place a dab of buttercream in the center of a cake stand/serving plate, then place one cake layer over the buttercream and press it down to help the cake stick to the buttercream and the plate.
  2. Microwave the Nutella for 5-10 seconds, or just until slightly more liquidy and easier to work with. Spread most of the Nutella on top of the cake, then a thin layer of the buttercream (I like to keep this layer thin so that I ensure I have plenty to ice the outside of the cake) on top of that. Sprinkle the chocolate-covered almonds on top, making sure that none jut out over the edge of the cake. Press them into to adhere to the frosting.
  3. Add the other cake, bottom up, so that you have a flat top. Crumb coat the cake with the buttercream, and refrigerate the cake for 10-15 minutes so that the buttercream can set up.
  4. Add the rest of the buttercream and use it to frost the cake more thickly. Use a fork to drizzle/fling the remaining Nutella all over the cake. This can take a while, so you could always pour it over the top and let it drip down the sides instead, or smear dollops of Nutella along the sides of the cake and blend it into the banana buttercream (you will need more Nutella than stated in the quantities).

This banana cake with banana Nutella swirl buttercream also has a surprise layer of chocolate-covered almonds on the inside.

This banana cake with banana Nutella swirl buttercream also has a surprise layer of chocolate-covered almonds on the inside.

44 Comment

  1. This looks and sounds divine! Love your blog and stories!

  2. What a beautiful cake! I am a fan of Ina Garten as well and have made her banana cake numerous times! I love the addition of the banana nutella buttercream! This sounds absolutely delicious!

    1. she’s great 😍 have you made her/beatty’s chocolate cake? one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes ever, hands down (i also really like the chocolate cake from elisa strauss’ the confetti cakes cookbook).

  3. Self care is so important – and I’m glad that crash was minor! Though even minor stuff is super scary.

    I admit my bananas are usually just eaten as-is – or with peanut butter. I need to get more fancy with them!

    1. i actually don’t like bananas plain much, though i’m very willing to add a nice blob of pb 😉 smoothies (they just don’t seem sweet enough without a banana) and banana bread/cake are my fave ways to use bananas!

  4. aw man, getting into a car accident is no joke! That sounds super scary (especially the first time), but I’m glad you had parental support on hand. On the flip side, this banana cake looks like a really great comfort. Sounds SO perfect right now!

    1. thank goodness my dad picked up (otherwise things could have gotten really bad). cake is comforting anytime, but the banana and chocolate in this one seem especially so 😊

  5. OH. MY. GOD!!!!! That looks amazing!!! I want to make this!!! – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

    1. thanks, gigi! i hope you do (and if you do, i wanna hear all about it!).

  6. If I made this for my husband, I think he would be my slave for a year – haha!

    1. you only need a cake to make him a slave?! then get to it! think of all the massages and chores and everything that you could get out of it… kidding. sort of.

  7. hilarious. I love that you refer to ina as queen….. she totally is.

    1. she’s so much of a queen that i used to schedule my cardio time at the gym to coincide with her tv show slots in the afternoon. that’s normal, right?

  8. I’ve had banana nut bread, banana muffins but I’ve never had banana cake. I know I will love because, well because I love me some bananas. I’m sorry to hear about your rear-ending misfortune. It happens but it’s also terrifying. I heard about this new mooselamb, and I’m speechless it’s soooooooooo wrong! It infuriates me. Now I need cake.

    1. i’m betting you would like banana cake then 😉 it’s a little bit lighter in texture than banana bread, but no less banana-y in flavor~ luckily it wasn’t too scary, and i was mostly stuck at annoyed and stressed. i have trouble following any of the politics without falling into a rabbit hole (emotionally and twitter-wise), so i’m trying to work on balance between informed/angry and self-care.

  9. I am so so sorry about your accident. To think that you went into work early and got to leave early should have just been a great day and that was it. But to have an accident (small or not) is no good. Glad to hear you’re ok. Even more, I’m glad to hear that cake was part of your comfort. That’s the fat girl in me who said that by the way. I’m not the biggest fan of banana but in this cake it sounds like it’s not too overwhelming. And the fact that you made your own chocolate covered almonds sounds amazing. This would definitely make me feel better after an accident and I’m gonna keep my fingers crossed that no more incidents come your way. Only food =]

    1. thanks 💖💕 i’m lucky it was so minor and ended up being an inconvenience rather than something major. and this cake is definitely not too banana-y! the chocolate-covered almonds make it in my opinion (and are delicious even if you don’t make the cake to go with them).

  10. Holy cow!! Theres not much else to say. This is amazing layered with amazing! This would comfort anyone. I might go get rear ended just so I have an excuse to eat this cake.

    1. agree with the amazing layered with amazing part! all of the components in this are super tasty alone (and even better together). but maybe just have the cake and forget the getting rear-ending part 😉

  11. Accidents suck, but dad’s are awesome 🙂 Hope you came out of that unscathed? (post neck and back pains etc) 🙁 So I have a confession, I suck at baking. Anything that I bake tends to come out of the oven as hockey pucks, bricks or baseballs. Days like these I wish I had a Heather close by to steal cakes from – it sounds SO heavenly especially the chocolate nuts in the middle!

    1. luckily neither me nor the other person in the crash were hurt (at all). anyways, i feel like baking is a lot more exact, so sometimes it’s easier if you don’t know what to do! you can completely follow it if you want, or you can come up with your own thing. and tbh, you could just make (or buy) chocolate-covered almonds and be happy with only them.

  12. hahahahah I love the “because life is messy – read: I didn’t know how else to decorate it”. Both can be true, right?! Put a big smile on my face this morning. Glad you emerged from the accident unscathed – definitely requires comfort food. That shaken up, wobbly feeling after something like that happens is horrible!

    1. both can definitely be true 😉

  13. Wow this has a great flavor combination. I love bananas and adding nutella is such a great idea.

    1. banana and nutella are such a good combo; i used to look forward to sports practice just so i could have banana nutella as a snack beforehand 😋

  14. That is scary you were rear ended you are lucky you walked away unscathed. Things like that always leave you so shook up. Horrible. Cake is a good comforter though. I love the sound of banana buttercream with nutella! So much better than stock standard cream cheese frosting. Will have to try this combo next time I make a banana cake

    1. cake is a great comforter (and also thinking of the blanket comforter, but maybe i wouldn’t like crumbs and icing all over my pj’s). oooh, cream cheese frosting would delicious, too! swiss meringue buttercream and cream cheese frosting are my faves :3

  15. This looks amazing! x
    Izzy |http://www.pinchofdelight.com

    1. thanks, izzy! it’s a little on the beige side color-wise, but still delicious 😉

  16. OH EM GEE! I adore banana cake and Nutella anything! This looks incredible. I’m so glad no one was hurt in that fender bender. Cake is definitely where I would turn after something like that, too :).

    1. sameee. banana and nutella are just meant to be 😋

  17. Okay, I’m a HUGE buttercream fan and have never thought to put bananas + nutella + buttercream! Wow, oh wow. This cake sounds absolutely amazing.

    1. i feel you. swiss meringue buttercream is definitely my go to! and definitely recommend that banana nutella buttercream; it’s the kind of frsting that would be good on a bunch of different cakes 😋

  18. so many good flavors here and yess to ina being queen she has taught me that simple things can be exquisite too just like this cake 💕

    1. can ina be surrogate grandma to all of us? my goodness it’d be so fun and amazing to learn from and cook with her.

  19. You don’t even know how much I love banana cake. Well, maybe now you do because I said it like that. But seriously. This makes me want to weep with happiness.

    1. banana cake probably gets shoved aside more than it should in favor of chocolate, vanilla, even matcha. more for us! but anyways, weep away. i’ll be joining you momentarily.

  20. This cake would definitely give me comfort! Yummy!

    1. i think any cake is comforting but with chocolate it’s even more comforting (shocking, i know 😉).

  21. Looking amazing. I love banana 💕 and this banana cake is look very delicious. i will must try your recipe. Thanks alot

    1. let me know how you like the cake if you do try it! 😊

  22. Ughh getting rear-ended is the worst! I feel your pain, but I’m glad you had this delicious cheesecake to comfort you! It looks sooo good! My fiance loves nutella, so he would be all about that swirl. I’ll have to make this for him– I just hope there’ll be some left over for me! Maybe I’ll make two, one for each of us? 😉

    1. one cake for each of you?! sounds like the perfect portion size!! 😉😂

Leave a Reply