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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Baked Banana Donuts Dipped in Peanut Butter Ganache & Drizzled with Chocolate

Banana Donuts
Let me tell you about yesterday morning.

5am wake up time. Yes, it’s the worst. And no, that’s normally not when I wake up. Typically I’m up at 5:29am, that is, if I work morning shift at the hospital. I prefer setting my alarm to odd-numbered times. Psshh, don’t you?

My brother brought the puppies (remember Archer & Meeka?) over to stay the night. On a good day they’ll sleep in until a little after 6 before scratching the door to be let out to go to the bathroom. Yesterday, the scratching and adorable howling (even at 5 in the morning I think they’re cute) started at 5:15am. There was no going back to sleep for me.

I was ready to leave the house by 5:50. Played with the puppies for 5 more minutes, put my sweater on, grabbed my keys, and headed outside to start the car. Wait, I forgot something important. I was carrying a green sparkly—if we are being specific here—rectangular Tupperware container filled with these mini Baked Banana Donuts Dipped in Peanut Butter Ganache and Drizzled with Chocolate. I wanted to share them with my coworkers, who, by the way, are pretty awesome.

Can we just talk about that title for a second though? Could I have made it any longer? Probably. What can I say, I’m complicated like that.

Banana Donuts And, so, with the donut filled container buckled into the front seat and Taylor Swift blasting on the radio, I left for work. At this point, you may be asking yourself, when is she going to drink her morning coffee? Or, more likely, why is she telling us this story? Don’t worry, I’m getting there. You’ll have all the answers very soon.

I stop at a Starbucks near my work. Normally, I make my coffee at home and take it with me, but Starbucks FINALLY has Pumpkin Spice Lattes again. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about that. And, I think I may hold off on telling you just so that I can write an entire post on my love for PSL’s. Seriously, please go to Starbucks and try it. And, if you already have and LOVE it like I do, this is me, standing next to you, as we both do a little happy dance. Back in the car, sipping on my PSL, singing to ‘22’ by T-Swift I think, “best idea ever to stop at Starbucks”.

I’ll regret this thought in a few minutes.

Banana DonutsI find a parking spot right in front of the hospital and get out of the car. Standing outside, I lean over to get my purse from the front seat, secure it on my shoulder, and then lean over to get the Tupperware container. I throw my keys into my purse. Mistake one. Always keep them out until you lock the car. I grab my PSL from the cup holder, keep it in hand, and realize my phone is still on the driver’s seat. I place the PSL on the top of the car and balance the container under my left arm, using my side for support and my left hand to hold the bottom of it, as I reach for the phone with my right. I grab my coffee cup again. Mistake Two. Should have left it on the top of the car.

I now have my coffee and phone in my one hand and am still balancing the container with my other. I go to lock the car. Mistake Three. Not using the lock on the door to lock the car. I manage to fish out my keys pretty easily with my left hand while using my arm and side to keep the container from falling. But, of course, my keys are all jumbled up, so I have to untangle them. Stupid. Fussy. Key Chain. I decide to balance my coffee on top of the container, while I use my right hand to untangle the keys and hold my phone. My fourth, and final, mistake. Should have put something down.

Banana DonutsJust as I’m about to hit the lock bottom, my coffee spills all over the container and down my shirt. Keep in mind, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are orangey in color, and I’m wearing a light pink blouse. Needless to say, some ugly words were yelled as I placed the cup on the ground and tried to clean myself off.

Bright side. I managed to still clock in on time. I was able to remove most of the stain on my shirt—I even got complimented on how cute it was. And, most importantly, the donuts weren’t ruined. In fact, my coworkers couldn’t stop telling my how good they were.
Banana DonutsCause, guys, these mini donuts are pretty bomb. It’s banana, peanut butter, and chocolate. The ultimate trifecta if you ask me. The donut itself is super moist (thanks to the sour cream) and has the perfect amount of banana flavoring. It’s then topped off with a creamy peanut butter ganache and a light drizzle of chocolate to complete the perfect bite-size morning (really, any time of day) treat. Honestly, there wasn’t a single negative review about these donuts. Trust me. Make these. They can turn even the worst of mornings, cough cough, much better.

Banana Donuts

Baked Banana Donuts Dipped in Peanut Butter Ganache & Drizzled with Chocolate
Yields: 36 mini donuts

Ingredients:
Baked Banana Donuts
¾ cup (12 tablespoons) of unsalted butter, melted, browned, and cooled
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup sour cream
1 ½ cup mashed banana (about 3 large bananas)

Peanut Butter Ganache
½ cup peanut butter chips
6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Chocolate Drizzle
½ cup light cocoa candy melts, melted

Directions:
Baked Banana Donuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease mini donut pan. Set aside.
Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. As it melts, the butter will foam and crackle. Stir (or swirl the pan) as the butter cooks. When the butter begins to brown (mine was a very light brown color) and you smell a nutty aroma, take the saucepan off the heat. Pour the butter in bowl, whisk for about 30 seconds, and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Whisk until lumps are gone.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla, and sour cream until well combined. Mix in the mashed bananas.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and using a spatula, mix thoroughly until just combined.
Transfer batter to a piping bag with a large round tip or a Ziploc baggie with the tip cut off. Pipe into prepared donut pan, about 1/2 way full.
Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the top of the donut springs back when touched. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 5 minutes.

Peanut Butter Ganache & Chocolate Drizzle
Once the donuts are cooled, begin making the ganache. In a small saucepan combine peanut butter chips and heavy cream over medium heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Once the mixture is of drizzling consistency, remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature (about 10 minutes).
Dip the top of each donut in the peanut butter ganache–make sure to hold it upside down for a bit to allow extra ganache to drip off. Let ganache set before drizzling the tops with chocolate.

 

Banana Donuts

Banana Bread with Coconut and Rum

Banana Bread with Coconut and RumUgly mornings.

That’s what I’ve been waking up to. Gray cloudy skies, a cool breeze, and an instant desire for fuzzy socks, a warm blanket, and a large cup (or three) of gingerbread coffee.

Do you see the problem? It’s way too early in the year for me to be feeling this way. It should be sunny, slightly warm (but, not overly hot…I know, I’m picky), and I should have the desire to jump in the pool, drink iced coffee, and make my breakfast, lunch, and dinner, ice cream (or some other cold treat like popsicles). In the weather’s defense, it does start to heat up around noon, but still, I spend my mornings thinking fall is a lot closer than it actually is.

It doesn’t help that the Hallmark Channel (yes, I watch Hallmark movies, but only after checking to see what’s playing on Lifetime), has been having Christmas movie marathons. And, I of course, sat through about three Christmas movies before turning off the TV. I was getting way too excited about tree decorating, cookie baking, and wearing scarves and boots.

Hello, it’s July. Still Summer. Not fall or December. And definitely not time for Christmas or ugly mornings. What’s a girl to do with all these mixed signals? I’ll give you a hint, it involves baking.

Yup, you guessed right. It is baking this Banana Bread with Coconut and Rum.

Banana Bread with Coconut and Rum

Banana bread, or really any baked bread, makes me think of fall. I think it has something to do with the smell of bread baking in the oven or the need to have a chunky slice with a steaming cup of coffee. Coconut, on the other hand, makes me think of tanning, palm trees, and summer. Can you see how this bread solves my problem? Did I mention that there is rum in the bread? Well, there is, and it pairs quite perfectly with the coconut if you were wondering.

This bread takes banana bread to a whole new (and extremely delicious) level. The bread itself is super moist (thanks to the coconut yogurt) and each bite is filled with a subtle banana flavor, a crunch from the roasted coconut, and an undertone of the cinnamon and rum. I also made the bread with wheat flour (feel free to use all-purpose if you want), which gives the bread a milder taste and combines nicely with the other ingredients. If you’re feeling like fall is invading your summer, or even down the road if summer needs to invade your fall, I’d make this bread. Or, even if you’re just feeling like banana bread, I’d give this recipe a try. It’s worth it. Believe me.

Banana Bread with Coconut and Rum
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
Yields: One 9×5-inch loaf

Ingredients:
¾ cup (12 tablespoons) of salted butter, melted, browned, and cooled
2 cups wheat flour
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons rum, and about 1 tablespoon for topping
¼ cup coconut yogurt (I used Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt from Trader Joe’s)
1 ¼ cup mashed banana (about 3 medium bananas)
½ cup roasted coconut, plus ¼ cup for topping (I used Trader Joe’s Roasted Coconut Chips—recipe will use the whole bag).

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. As it melts, the butter will foam and crackle. Stir (or swirl the pan) as the butter cooks. When the butter begins to brown (mine was a very light brown color) and you smell a nutty aroma, take the saucepan off the heat. Pour the butter in bowl, whisk for about 30 seconds, and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Whisk until lumps are gone.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla, rum, and coconut yogurt until well combined. Mix in the mashed bananas.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Fold in roasted coconut. Stir until just combined.
Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle roasted coconut on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes. If the coconut on top starts to get too brown, cover loaf pan with foil.
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes in the loaf pan. Brush top of bread with rum as it cools. Transfer bread to a cooling rack to cool completely.

 

Banana Bread with Coconut and Rum