Soft layers of peanut butter banana chocolate cake sandwiching a peanut butter cream cheese frosting.
Sometimes just a photo will inspire me to create something new; conjuring up images that are similar in look but completely different in flavor, this time it was this banana layer cake.
The plan was to take this muffin recipe and turn it into a tahini chocolate banana layer cake but I wanted a different spin. PLUS, I am kind of really very much obsessed with this peanut butter cream cheese frosting (I could eat it sans cake really) and I wanted to bring it to you asap. The halva still made its way onto the cake though :p
This isn’t an overly fluffy and soft cake texture, there’s a lot of banana and some peanut butter so it’s thicker, moist and a little denser than your everyday chocolate cake. I found it is exceptionally paired well and dressed up with a creamier frosting.
Bananas: They should at least be quite spotty when you use them, the more brown the softer.
Cake Flour: While this recipe is very banana bread like in texture, I wanted to lighten it up where I could to create fluffier, lighter layers hence the cake flour which has a softer texture due to its finer mill.
Cocoa: It should be dutched cocoa `which is alkalized and gives a darker, richer taste. Natural cocoa will give a much lighter cake and can mess with the chemistry & rise.
Peanut Butter: Smooth peanut butter, a commercial brand that’s well blended (not natural). You could also swap this for cashew or sunbutter, or tahini!
Canola Oil: Alternatives include avocado oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil.
We’ll bake this as two eight inch round cakes and slice those in half horizontally to make four layers. To do this you can use a bread knife (more likely in most kitchens) or a cake slicer (gives you very even layers).
This cake didn’t dome much but if it does for you then trim off the tops or the ‘hats’ so that your layers are even and won’t wobble once stacked.
I like the very bottom and top of a layer cake to be the bottom of the cakes because they are smoother, more firm. If you haven’t sliced the hats off the top of the cakes, build it as follows. If you have, direction won’t matter as much.
So the build looks like this (from bottom to top):
Crushed peanuts, mini chocolate chips, chopped up peanut butter cups or even cacao nibs would be great here.
If you want to do a 6” cake, make ⅔ of the recipe (this will divide the bananas and eggs nicely, two of each instead of three).
Alternatively you can make cupcakes, i’ll cation that the frosting recipe is quite soft so you may want to add less cream cheese or more powdered sugar if you plan to pipe it onto the top of the cupcakes.
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