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

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

Hey hey, we’re making sweet rolls today.

Of the almond kind.

Of the CHOCOLATE almond kind.

That’s right, your morning cereal just got a new competitor. I’m no psychic, but, I’m pretty sure I know whose gonna win the competition.

It’s definitely the cereal.

NOT. Please don’t say you thought I was serious there.

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

What’s the deal with sweet rolls? Well, picture a cinnamon roll with all that soft, fluffy, yeasty, buttery dough, but without the cinnamon filling. Instead it’s jam-packed with an almond filling that has just a hint of chocolate flavor.  So, it’s a cinnamon roll without the cinnamon. A sweet roll, if you will.

I’m not gonna be picky here. Call it what you want.

Cinnamon roll. Sweet roll. Get in my belly roll.

Just know, it’s chocolate + almond + yeasty dough.

And, you’re going to want to eat all of it. Well, if you like almond that is. These guys have a whole tube of almond paste inside them. Wait, whattt? Yup, you read that right. A whole 7 oz tube. These rolls are for the almond lovers of the world.

You are so welcome.

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

Here’s where I tell you my favorite part about these rolls.

When I got up in the morning all I had to do was take the prepped rolls out of the fridge, heat the oven, and bake them. How easy does that sound? I did all of that before having a single drop of coffee.That’s an epic win. No one wants to wake up early and wait for the dough to rise before being able to face plant into a fresh sweet roll.

No one. And, if you are that someone, well, you deserve some sort of award then.

But, if you like your sleep and your sweet rolls too, prepare these the night before and let them sit in the fridge.

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

Your rested brain will thank you.

Your stomach will thank you.

Heck, the next door neighbor will thank you for that bakery smell that’s floating in the air. They’ll also want a sweet roll.

Maybe it’s best to keep the door closed then. You don’t reallly want to have to share. Right?

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

I kind of lied to you. There’s one more step you have to do in the morning: the chocolate glaze.

THE. CHOCOLATE. GLAZE.

Okay, okay, hang on. It’s super easy and quick to make. Andddd, can we really count anything made with chocolate as work?

No, no, we can’t.

Or, we can.

But, it’s a small price to pay. A tiny miniscule price.

I mean, naked sweet rolls are good too. Just look at them. All golden brown and puffed up.

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

But, now, look at this chocolate glazed one.

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

That’s right my wonderful friends.

Making chocolate glaze will ALWAYS be worth it.

AMIRIGHT?

Yeah, I’m so right.

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls
Recipe adapted from Crazy for Crust
Yields: 9 large rolls

Ingredients:
Dough
2 1/4 teaspoons (or 1 package) active dry yeast
3/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
1/3 cup & 1/2 teaspoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Almond Filling
1 (7 oz.) tube of almond paste
1/3 cup sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 egg

Chocolate Glaze
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
slivered almonds, optional

Directions:
Dough
Heat up milk for 35-45 in a microwave safe cup, until it’s about 120 degrees (think hot bathwater when feeling it if you don’t have a thermometer). Stir in yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Let sit for a few minutes to proof–if bubbles form on the top of the mixture that means your yeast is active!
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix 1/3 cup sugar, butter, salt, and egg until butter is evenly distributed–the mixture may be chunky. Stir in yeast/milk mixture until incorporated. Add flour and stir with the paddle attachment just until mixture sticks to the paddle. Switch the paddle out with the dough hook and continue mixing on low until dough forms into a ball in the center of the bowl. The dough should be slightly sticky and in one piece. If the dough is really wet and sticking all over your fingers, add up to 1/2 cup more flour (adding 1/4 cup at a time) until dough is easy to work with.
Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place dough ball in it, making sure to coat the top of the dough lightly with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 1-2 hours until it doubles in size (I like to preheat the oven, turn it off, and then place the bowl inside the oven to rise).

Almond Filling
Once the dough has risen, make the filling. In a food processor, combine almond paste, cocoa powder, sugar, and egg until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

Assembling Sweet Rolls
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 10×14-inch rectangle. Spread almond filling on the dough and tightly roll it up. Using a serrated or sharp knife, cut the dough into 9 large sweet rolls–the almond filling will stick to the knife, so wipe it off as you go for a cleaner cut. Spray a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray and place the rolls gently in the pan.
Let the dough rise for 30 minutes OR cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (in the morning let rolls come to room temperature while the oven is preheating).
Bake rolls at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on the top. Let sweet rolls cool before icing.

Chocolate Glaze
While the sweet rolls are cooling, make your glaze. Place chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Set aside.
Using a small saucepan heat up heavy cream until simmering. Pour hot cream over chopped chocolate and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Add corn syrup and whisk until well combined.
Drizzle the tops of the sweet rolls with chocolate glaze and sprinkle with slivered almonds.

 

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

Mini Chocolate Fudge Donuts

Mini Chocolate Fudge Donuts

Donuts.

That’s the answer.

It’s the only possible solution to the problem.

Wait a minute. I messed that up, didn’t I?

I forgot to even ask the question. Insert monkey emoji here.

You know, the one where the monkey sees no evil so it’s covering its eyes. Yeah, that one. I would totally send you that right about now. But, we aren’t texting, so, let’s settle on saying: Ooops. Ohhh, or, even better, palm to the face. Or, palm to my face to be more exact. Sorry guys, I’m off my game day today. And, being all rambley, which apparently isn’t a word, but it should be, but… okay, I’ll stop now.

Iwilljustshutmyselfupwithadonutorseven. You didn’t catch that, right? Perfect.

Mini Chocolate Fudge Donuts

Annnnnyways, let’s try this again.

How do we survive the mid-week blues?

Come on, I know you know the answer.

Donuts you say? Why, yes, you are correct? It’s almost as if you read my mind.

I have the smartest internet friends.

Mini Chocolate Fudge Donuts

Why donuts? Better question, why not donuts?

Donuts equal happiness. It’s that simple. I mean, can you actually name a person who doesn’t like donuts?

Probably not. And, even if you can, I guarantee if they ate the right donut, the perfectttt donut, they would love it.Because, I repeat, donuts = happy. And, honestly I’m at a loss as to why they don’t teach us that formula in math. It seems like a no-brainer to me. Right?

So, Mini Chocolate Fudge Donuts.

Umm, yes please.

Mini Chocolate Fudge Donuts

I love days that start with chocolate cake, I mean, donuts for breakfast. What? Come on. You know we can’t only occasionally shouldn’t eat cake for breakfast. It’s just not a thing people do. Well, most people. And, I get it, I do, but sometimes Wednesday’s call for extra sweetness.

So, yes, these donuts taste like a chocolate cake lovers dream, but they are one hundred percent donuts. I repeat, donuts. Moist, cakey, soft chocolate donuts with milk chocolate chips dipped in hot fudge sauce and covered with an excessive amount of chocolate sprinkles. Seee, totalllly a donut. A decadent one, but still, a donut.

And, since it’s a donut, it’s totally acceptable to eat five for breakfast, which isn’t as much as you think considering they are bite size.

Mini Chocolate Fudge Donuts

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Mini Chocolate Fudge Donuts
Donut recipe slightly adapted from Buns In My Oven
Yields: about 16 mini donuts

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup hot fudge sauce*
chocolate sprinkles

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease mini donut pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and chocolate chips.
In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk the egg, vanilla, milk, vegetable oil, and sour cream until just combined. Using a spatula, stir the wet ingredients into dry ingredients until incorporated. Spoon or pipe (I found the piping method to be the easiest!) donut batter into prepared pan. Bake for 5-6 minutes or until tops spring back when touched. Let donuts cool completely.
Once donuts have cooled, warm up fudge sauce for 10 seconds or until of drizzling consistency. Dip the bottoms (dipping the bottoms gives you a nicer, rounder, donut top) of each donut in the fudge sauce and then sprinkle generously with chocolate sprinkles.

NOTE:
*Store-bought or homemade fudge sauce will work. I had a batch of this fudge sauce sitting in my fridge, so that’s what I used. The only change I made to the recipe was using 6 oz of semi-sweet chocolate instead of dark or bittersweet.

 

Mini Chocolate Fudge Donuts

Did you notice the fudge dipped, and chocolate sprinkle covered, milk glass? Tell me you noticed that. Best. Idea. Ever.

Raspberry Streusel Muffins

IMG_4912-3I was going to make banana bread.

Or, banana muffins.

Or, mini banana loaves.

Something so jam-packed with bananas that all your taste buds would scream in excitement. Well, at the very least, the taste buds of my coworkers. You see, I’ve been getting a ton of demands requests for banana bread, which is actually totally fine with me, because I love the stuff. And, by love, I mean I would live in a house made of banana bread and eat a slice, or seven, with each meal. That’s not even a joke either. I’m one hundred percent serious. Oh, and don’t worry, there’s a spare room waiting for you in my banana house. You’re welcome.

Raspberry Streusel Muffins

I had one little problem though: no bananas. So, I went to the market, walked right by the stand with bunches of perfectly ripe bananas, and placed two pints of raspberries in my cart.

Wait, what? Yeah, you read that right.

I left the market without a single banana.

Go figure.

Raspberry Streusel Muffins I’m not even that huge a fan of raspberries either. We have a rather neutral relationship with each other. Translation: I avoid them for the most part and they avoid me. It really works for us. And, yet, out of the nowhere I felt the need to put them into muffins.Why? Who knows. Who. Even. Knows.

It could be because I’m really into muffins right now. Like, really, really really into them. I want one with every cup of coffee I drink. And, we all know how much coffee I consume. To clarify though, I restrain myself to only eating one a day. To further clarify, the muffins I’ve been eating are blueberry muffins made with Greek yogurt and honey. Yes, they are from Starbucks. And, no, I’m not getting compensated to promote them.

But, I made raspberry muffins.

Not banana.

Not blueberry.

Raspberry.

I can’t even with myself.

Raspberry Streusel Muffins I’m all about a bigger muffin too. Why?

‘cause they’re heartier.

‘cause I can pack more raspberries in them.

‘cause I can top them with more streusel. MORE STREUSEL. Oh so sugary and crumbly streusel. If I get to live in a banana bread house, then I want to vacation in a streusel house. Am I right?

So, Jumbo Raspberry Streusel Muffins. That means a large and in charge moist and fluffy muffin packed with raspberry flavor and topped with a sweet streusel crumble.

Umm, yes please.

Raspberry Streusel Muffins Take my advice, the next time you want banana or blueberry muffins, buy raspberries.

Let it happen.

Just let it happen.

Raspberry Streusel Muffins
Yields: 6 jumbo muffins

Ingredients:
Streusel Topping
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Raspberry Muffins
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cool slightly
2 cups fresh raspberries*

Directions:
Streusel Topping
In a small bowl whisk together sugars, cinnamon, and melted butter. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the flour. The streusel topping will be very thick, like a paste, and crumbly. Set aside.

Raspberry Muffins
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a jumbo muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl combine egg, egg yolk, sugars, vanilla, and Greek yogurt. Add the butter, whisking until just incorporated. Fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just mixed, the batter will be very thick and lumpy. Using a spatula, very gently, to avoid leakage of color, fold in the raspberries–don’t worry if some of the raspberries leak or break apart, it’ll still taste good!
Divide batter evenly between the 6 cupcake liners, filling each to the very top. Sprinkle tops with streusel crumble. Bake muffins at 425 degrees for 5 minutes. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 25 more minutes or until tops are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the streusel topping looks like it’s browning too quickly, loosely cover the pan with foil. Allow muffins to cool slightly before digging in.

Notes:
*I’ve made this recipe twice now and the second time, I sprinkled my raspberries with 1/2 tablespoon of sugar before mixing them into the batter. There was more leakage of color, but I liked the added touch of sweetness it added to the muffin.

 

Raspberry Streusel Muffins