Mini Banana Cakes with Banana Cream Pudding and Nutella Drizzle

Mini Banana Cakes

THIS cake. I’m ALL about it.

Just look at it. Wouldn’t you be all about it?

I’m pretty sure you would be.

It’s so mini,
andd so cute,
anddd so darn delicious.

And, GAHHH.

You’ll have to excuse me here. I just can’t help the gushing. This is my favoritest—let’s pretend that’s a real word—recipe I have ever, EVER, posted on the blog. I’m so ridiculously proud of it, guys!

You’ll cut me a little slack on the excessive gushing, right?

Perfect. I knew you would.

Now back to cake talk.

Mini Banana Cakes

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the cake section on the blog is seriously lacking. As in, I have five cake recipes. FIVE. Can you say embarrassing? Don’t worry I’m saying it for you.

It’s not like I hate cakes either. It’s just, well…they aren’t my favorite thing to make. And, by that I mean I kind of hate making them.

Does that make me weird? Maybe, but I do have a reason. A realllly good reason.

The only time I make cakes are for birthdays. Everyone needs something to stick their candles in, and I sort of made it my job to give people the best birthday cake EVER. Already, I’m sure, you can see the pressure I’m putting on myself. I start off by taking flavor requests—chocolate, coconut, caramel, fruit-filled—and then I plan out my recipe. In theory, it should all work out.

But, in my reality, it never does.

Never.

Partly because I’m a perfectionist.

Partly because I usually get rushed by people that want cake.

And, partly because I have bad luck with cakes—if you ask my brother, however, he’ll tell you I just can’t make ’em.

Mini Banana Cakes

I’ve made cakes where the flavor is spot on, but the presentation is off. I’ve made dry cakes, burnt cakes, I’m-about-to-cry-because-this-looks-so-bad cakes, and I could go on, but I’m pretty sure you get the picture. Don’t get me wrong, I do make my fair share of successful birthday cakes, but it’s the bad ones that haunt me. Bad cake dreams, anyone? And, I always feel like if the cake is off, or doesn’t quite meet my perfectionist standards, I’ve ruined the person’s birthday. I know, how dramatic.

Oh, and all those successful cakes never seem to get photographed, hence the lack of cake recipes on the blog.

EXCEPT for this cake.

This beautifully delicious mini banana cake filled with banana cream pudding and drizzled with nutella.

That title, right? So, so much perfection. I can’t even. I may be shedding tears of joy right now.

Mini Banana Cakes

Are you wondering whose birthday inspired these little beauts? My friend Kp. He requested—more like I had to drag out of him because he’s too sweet to request a birthday cake—a plain vanilla cake with banana filling. Guys, remember when I said I like to give people the kind of cake they want? Well, sometimes, I like to have creative freedom.

Plain vanilla was just too…plain.

He deserved better. It was his birthday! I couldn’t just give him something so boring (sorry, vanilla lovers of the world!). So, the vanilla cake went out the window.

And, I’m so glad it did.

Mini Banana Cakes

Banana is the name of the game here.

Super, super, moist banana cake layered between a banana cream pudding that I had to stop myself from face planting in. Seriously, this pudding has the perfect amount of banana flavoring and is oh so ridiculously creamy. Did I mention the banana slices? The middle of each mini cake has banana slices on top of the banana cream pudding. I don’t think I could have packed more banana flavor in here if I had tried.

And, then there’s the nutella drizzle. Why? Because no (banana filled) birthday is complete with out it.

I want to keep gushing, but I don’t want to overwhelm you.

So, I’ll stop.

Mini Banana Cakes

But, I will say, you absolutely NEED to make these.

Like now.

RIGHT NOW.

Even, if you don’t have a birthday to celebrate.
Just do it.

Mini Banana Cakes with Banana Cream Pudding and Nutella Drizzle

Ingredients:
Banana Cakes
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups (about 3 large bananas) mashed bananas
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

Banana Cream Pudding*
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg, room temperature
1 egg yolk, room temperature
2 cups whole milk
3/8 teaspoons Lorann Banana Cream Flavor Oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Assembly & Nutella Drizzle
4 to 6 bananas (depending on size), sliced
1/4 cup nutella
1 to 2 teaspoons of water, optional

Directions:
Banana Cakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour each well of the mini cake pan (or, baking dish of choice). Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in sour cream and eggs, scraping the sides of the bowl when needed. Add mashed bananas and vanilla. Mix until combined. Stir in flour, salt, and baking soda until batter comes together.
Pour batter into prepared pan—about 3/4 of the way up—and bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool, in the pan, for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Using a small spatula gently pull away the sides of the cake from the pan to make sure they aren’t sticking. Invert the pan using a wire cooling rack and gently lift the cake pan up. Allow cakes to cool on the rack completely. Once cooled, cut cakes in half using a sharp knife (or, cake cutting tool).

Banana Cream Pudding
In a medium sauce pan, combine sugar, cornstarch, egg, egg yolk, banana cream oil, milk, and salt over medium heat. Whisk together until combined, then continue whisking for about 9-11 minutes or until pudding begins to thicken and bubble (you’ll know it’s done when the bubbles start making ‘plopping’ noises). Remove from the heat and whisk in butter until melted—at this point taste your pudding, if you think you want a little more banana flavor add another 1/8 of a teaspoon, but keep in mind as the pudding sits the banana flavor will intensify immensely. Pour pudding into a bowl and allow to sit in the fridge for 30 minutes or until set and cool to the touch.

Cake Assembly
Once pudding has cooled, transfer it to a piping bag with a large tip. Pipe a decent amount of pudding on to the bottom layer of the cake. Top with sliced bananas. Place the top half of the cake on the banana slices and gently press down. Drizzle the tops of each cake with nutella—I wanted a thinner nutella glaze, so I whisked in some water to make it easier to drizzle, but if you don’t want a thin glaze, just drizzle the nutella as is on the cakes.

NOTES:
*I made the pudding a day in advance and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
Cake recipe from Cooking Classy
Pudding recipe slightly adapted from The Crepes of Wrath

Mini Banana Cakes

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Blueberry Coconut Scones

Blueberry Coconut Scones

Where do I even begin? Should I start with how much I missed you? Or, where I’ve been the past two months? Or, should we just dive into these scones? Cause, I really can’t decide.

Maybe we’ll just go in order.

I’ve missed you a lot. Like, A LOT, A LOT. Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine you Loved (with a capital L) chocolate chip cookies. They were you’re absolute favorite thing to eat. And then, for two months you just couldn’t eat them. YOU JUST COULDN’T. How much would you miss them?

A lot, right? Like, A LOT, A LOT.

That’s how much I’ve missed you. You’re kind of a big deal to me. Just saying.

Blueberry Coconut Scones

So, why did I leave you hanging for two months?

Summer school, that’s why. You know, it wasn’t totally bad, but it was kind of bad. I took two classes and a lab, and was working, and I could go on and tell you every little detail, but instead I’m just going to say: stress + lack of sleep  + more coffee than you can imagine + work + studying = no time for baking. Absolutely NO TIME.

Pretty sad, huh?

Now, let’s talk about the goods.

Blueberry Coconut Scones

You know, I never even liked blueberries—I would eat around them in a fruit salad or pick them out of parfaits. But then, they opened up a juice bar near my work with acai bowls, which I absolutely love. Please tell me you eat those, cause they are pretty darn delicious. It’s like eating a bowl filled with a really thick, almost ice cream like, fruit smoothie topped with fruits, oats or granola, honey drizzle, and shredded coconuts. Sounds amazing, huh?

But, it has blueberries. Lots of blueberries. Mixed in the bowl. On top of the bowl. And, there’s no way to pick all of them out. Believe me, I tried the first few times. It was just too much.

So, I ate them. All of them. And you know what, it wasn’t half bad. It turns out I actually like blueberries, especially when eaten with a spoonful of shredded coconut. That combo is pure heaven.

You know what else is heaven? These Blueberry Coconut Scones.

Blueberry Coconut Scones

The scones are jam-packed with blueberries. Completely jam-packed. As in, every single bite has a blueberry, or four. Aren’t you proud of how far I’ve come?

Lets not forget the coconut shreds. Each scone is filled with them.

Oh and the scones, so soft and moist on the inside and biscuit-like on the outside. This recipe is cream-based, which means no butter, no eggs, and no buttermilk. Best scone recipe ever? I think yes.

Blueberry Coconut Scones
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 to 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, plus more for brushing the tops
1 ½ cups blueberries
1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
sugar for topping

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
In a liquid measuring cup, mix together 1 1/3 cups of heavy whipping cream and vanilla. Pour liquid into the dry mixture, tossing and stirring as you pour. Add the blueberries and coconut shreds. Toss together. Add up to 2 more tablespoons of heavy cream, if needed, to create a moist, but not sticky, cohesive dough.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead the dough into a round disk with a ¾-inch thickness. Using a biscuit cutter (or a cup) cut circles from the dough disk. Brush each disk with a little heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
Bake for 13-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown and cooked all the way through.
Remove from the oven and serve warm.

 

Blueberry Coconut Scones

Pineapple Mimosa Granita with Vanilla Ice Cream

Pineapple Mimosa Granita

It’s true.

I’m in love. Complete and utter love.

GUYS, I’ve never felt this way before.

Do you know about granita? ‘Cause it just walked into my life. And, I know this may be soon, but I’m never letting it go.

Never, ever, EVER.

I know, how clingy of me.

IMG_5355-2

I don’t know how I survived this long without knowing about it. It’s so simple. It’s so genius. It’s so damn delicious.

Quick lesson for those that may not know about it. It’s a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water, and flavoring of your choice. Think snow-cones here. Except, you don’t have to leave your house to get it. All you need is a freezer. Pretty simple huh?

But wait, it doesn’t stop there.

Think boozy snow-cones. Then think boozy shaved ice on top of ice cream.

Can you imagine anything better?

Neither can I.

IMG_5396-1

I really owe Honestly Yum a huge thank you. That’s how I met granita. When I saw the recipe for Red Wine Granita with Vanilla Ice Cream, I knew I had to make it. Except not with red wine. Fun fact: I’m not a red wine fan.

But, the good thing about granita is that it’s versatile. You can match any flavors you want and it’ll still taste good.

Now that’s a recipe that caters to your tastes. See, why I’m in love?

Pineapple Mimosa Granita

I’m really into mimosas. It’s my go-to drink at brunch. What’s not to love about them? A little a lot of bubbly, a little orange juice, and ta-da you have a drink. Except, I like my mimosas with pineapple juice. Please tell me you’ve tried it. It’s absolutely life changing.

Seriously, try it.

In fact, drink one while you wait for your granita to freeze up. That’s the one thing about making granita. There is a lot of waiting time. The whole process takes about 4 to 5 hours. Don’t let that be the reason you don’t make this though. It’s honestly one of the simplest and easiest recipes I’ve ever shared on the blog. And, as of now, it’s also my favorite recipe.

Pineapple Mimosa Granita

So, Pineapple Mimosa Granita with Vanilla Ice Cream. What does that mean exactly?

It means at the bottom you have a layer of vanilla ice cream, in the middle you have a layer of pineapple granita, and on the top you have a layer of champagne granita.

Oh, lets not forget the little pineapple wedge.

It’s trying to look nice for you.

How sweet, huh?

Pineapple Mimosa Granita

Pineapple Mimosa Granita with Vanilla Ice Cream
Recipe adapted from Honestly Yum

Ingredients:
Pineapple Granita
18 oz of pineapple juice (I used 2 pineapple juice cans from Trader Joe’s)

Champagne Granita
1/2 bottle champagne (I used a brut)
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup water

For Assembly
1 pint of vanilla ice cream
pineapple, for garnish

Directions:
Pineapple Granita
Pour pineapple juice in a shallow baking dish. Place in the freezer and after one hour scrape the ice crystals forming on the side of the pan with a fork towards the center. Repeat every hour until flaky (think shaved ice consistency). Should take about 3 to 4 hours total–it’ll vary based on your freezer.

Champagne Granita
Pour 1/2 bottle of champagne in a shallow baking dish. In a small pot, heat water and sugar, stirring frequently, until sugar has dissolved. Add sugar-water mixture to the baking dish and combine with the champagne. Place in the freezer and after one hour scrape the ice crystals forming on the side of the pan with a fork towards the center. Repeat every hour until flaky (again, think shaved ice consistency). Should take about 4 to 5 hours total.

Assembling Dessert
Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a small glass and top with a heaping layer of the pineapple granita, followed by a heaping layer of champagne granita. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.

In sum, pineapple + champagne + shaved ice + ice cream =

TRUE LOVE.

Pineapple Mimosa Granita

Forgive me?

Sorry for my MIA-ness these past two weeks! Hopefully you can forgive me!

I graduated (and celebrated), moved out of the dorm (and shared some tearful goodbyes), and took my first trip out of the country (with the best friend). I just got back home and am ready to get in the kitchen. My own kitchen. No more communal sharing. No more cramped counter space. And, no more hungry boys casually suggesting I can’t make something that smells good without sharing it with them.

I’ll be posting something delicious within the next few days, so keep a look out! In the mean time, I hope your enjoying summer and browsing through the recipe index to fulfill any of your dessert cravings :)