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 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).
if you want more chocolate and banana goodness (who doesn't?) then this chocolate babka french toast with banana creme anglaise is also chef's kisses.
- 3 very ripe medium bananas mashed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/8 cup light brown sugar lightly packed
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter room temperature, cut into tablespoons
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons ground freeze-dried bananas optional
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds or chopped hazelnuts
- 1.3 ounces dark chocolate aka 3 squares of TJ’s Pound Plus, chopped
- 1/4 cup Nutella
Mix the bananas and sugars until combined. Add the oil, eggs, yogurt and vanilla; mix until smooth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Toast the almonds on a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet at 350F for 5-10 minutes, or until fragrant and golden brown.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).