Chocolate Banana Cake Two Ways

I seem to have a problem with bananas.  It’s kind of a love hate relationship.  I like bananas but only when they are on the green side.  Once they start to get ripe (to the point where most people like them) they are too ripe for me.  If they have spots on them, they are definitely too ripe.  If they have spots, in the freezer they go… which is where I run into problems.  You would think that I would stop buying bananas every week since I end up with so many in the freezer but I never do.   And if you could see how many bananas are currently in my freezer you would certainly agree that I have a problem.  My guess is that there are at least ten bananas in the freezer, possibly even more.  But there are less than there were a week ago!  I’ve made this chocolate banana cake twice in the last week, which used up six bananas.  Honey has commented on how many bananas there are… far too many by his standards… & you know it is really bad when the bananas start jumping out of the freezer & attacking you!

Usually I make banana bread with the frozen bananas.  I’ve had my banana bread recipe for a few years now & it’s good… recently I’ve taken to making a double batch, making half of it into banana bread & the other half into muffins, adding a few chocolate chips just to mix it up a little.  Last week was number two nephew’s birthday & I decided to try to incorporate bananas into my cake to try to use a few more of them up.  I googled chocolate banana cake & found this recipe (www.joyofbaking.com).  It’s easy, nice & moist & you almost can’t even taste the bananas.  Last week I made the cake version with chocolate ganache frosting… this week I made cupcakes with butter cream frosting.  Both were equally delicious & easy!  Try this recipe out before your freezer bananas get out of control!

Day 14 - Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Butter Cream Frosting

Chocolate Banana Cake

2 cups granulated white sugar

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp 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 canola oil

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F & place rack in the center of the oven.  Butter or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 13 inch pan (when I made this in the cake form I used a bundt pan & muffin tin when I made cupcakes).  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda & salt. Set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk together eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil & vanilla extract.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients & stir or whisk, until combined.  You will notice that the batter is quite thin (I didn’t find it to be too thin).  Pour the batter into the prepared pan & bake for about 35 to 40 minutes (the bundt pan took about 50 minutes as it’s deeper than the 9×13, cupcakes take about 20 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from oven & let cool on a wire rack.  When completely cool, frost.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tbsp unsalted butter

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium-sized stainless steel or heatproof bowl.  Set aside.  Heat the cream & butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.  Bring just to a boil.  Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate & allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Stir until smooth.  When ganache has completely cooled, beat until soft & fluffy.  Then spread the frosting on top of the cake/cupcakes.

Chocolate Banana Cake with Ganache Frosting

Butter Cream Frosting

2/3 cup butter

1/4 cup cocoa powder

2 cups icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp milk/cream

In medium-sized bowl, cream together butter, cocoa powder & vanilla.  Add icing sugar a cup at a time beating until smooth.  If icing becomes too thick, add milk as needed.

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes