The Perfect Cake to Make with your Overripe Bananas.

We’ve all been there. Neglected to eat our bananas — forgetting about them as they turn brown on our kitchen counter. Don’t feel like making a fruit smoothie? Sick of making banana bread or muffins? Well I know I was. So I was on the search for a recipe that I could make with my overripe bananas that didn’t seem boring, or overdone  — like muffins. Not that I have anything against banana bread, or banana walnut muffins, etc., but I’ve been there before. I wanted new. I took home a few overripe bananas from work, without having a plan on what to make. All I knew was that it had to be good. I’ve done banana and chocolate chips together, but how about banana and chocolate? A chocolate banana cake — bingo! Found a recipe that looked simple enough, and I already had everything I needed, which never happens. The recipe I found paired this cake with a chocolate  ganache frosting, which, don’t get me wrong, looked really great, but meh, I didn’t want that. I wanted something more fun, something that goes well with bananas and chocolate, something like, say…coconut? Yep. I had it. I would make a toasted coconut cream cheese frosting. This cake would be PERFECT! I was right. It was. It was delicious in every way. The bananas didn’t overpower the chocolate,  it was more of a slight banana taste. The cake was perfectly moist, not too moist, not too dry. And cream cheese frosting goes well with um, everything? And all of you coconut haters, go away! This cake ain’t for you! Okay, well it can be if you omit the coconut, but I know it wouldn’t be the same. To me, toasted coconut looks so lovely. It’s definitely a cake I see myself making again in the future.

Chocolate Banana Cake
from Joy of Baking

2 cups granulated white sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium sized bananas)

1 cup warm water

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup safflower or canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) pan. Set aside.

1. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla extract.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, or whisk, until combined.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
5. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. When completely cooled, frost.
6. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top of the cake and on the sides if you prefer.

Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
recipe by Me.

1/2 Cup butter (1 Stick)
8 oz cream cheese
2-3 C confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp almond extract (can substitute Vanilla)
1-2 Cups flaked sweetened or unsweetened coconut.

1. With an electric or stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the vanilla extract while still mixing.
3. Add the powdered sugar slowly, until you reach your desired texture and sweetness. You may or may not use 3 cups of sugar, or you may use more! Use your judgement.
4. To toast the coconut, I did it over the stovetop, on a nonstick pan, on low heat, until slightly browned. Careful and make sure to watch it, as to not burn.

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