Banana Bread Cake

It’s Stephen’s birthday today! Happy Birthday, Tater Tot!

This is not his birthday cake.

He didn’t want me to make his birthday cake until his actual birthday so I’ll be making a Chocolate Guinness Bundt Cake inspired by Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body’s recipe. I’ll post that cake later!

Anyway, we bought a few organic bananas from Wegman’s and I really really wanted to make banana bread. But in the spirit of birthdays I decided to make a cake! (I swear it had nothing to do with the fact that Stephen’s college apartment is not equipped with a loaf pan… but somehow manages to have two 8×8 pyrex pans.) And since I was making a cake I figured I had to add icing! I thought about banana icing and I was like yeck, too much banana. I thought about vanilla icing and I was like meh, boring. I also thought about chocolate icing but I was like hmmm, overpowering. Then I thought about recipes I’ve seen in the past that used peanut butter icing and I thought I’d give it a whirl.

I am going to be totally honest here – I think the banana bread cake would have been BETTER without the icing. I mean, the icing is good icing. It’s just overpowering.. like I thought the chocolate would be. Banana bread itself is moist and delicious and needs NOTHING to make it better. And this recipe is no exception. It’s going to be my new banana bread (cake) recipe. Sure, you could toast it, add a little butter but that’s not really changing the flavor profile. I ate one piece of this cake… Stephen ate the rest. I think he may disagree about the icing.

Oh, and I also removed it from the pan like it had to cool or something… like I’d never made a sheet cake in my life or something THEN I tried to flip it over with a long spatula because I thought… well this is a rather small cake… it’ll work. And it landed on it’s side on the table and started to smush and I panicked and oh lord. And then Stephen told me he had just cleaned the table and I thought he was yelling at me but he was really saying “at least I’ve just cleaned the table,” as in, the cake is still perfectly good and not compromised by dirty table. But then I ate a piece of the broken cake without icing… pre-icing… and I was like DAMN THIS SHIT IS GOOOOD.

Banana Bread Cake

  • 3/4 Cup Banana Mash (About 1.5 bananas)
  • 1/4 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Ener-G Egg (or flax egg, or real egg)
  • 1/2 Cup Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Oat Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Almond Milk (I actually added this at the end because I thought the batter seemed a bit thick… and I had run out of oat milk)
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Shortening
  • 1/3 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Almond Milk

Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8 glass pan.

Notes: *Stephen’s oven is small (it’s portable). I’d say at least a half foot smaller than most ovens in height & width. I don’t know how this affects temperature/cooking time. So keep an eye on your cake! *The cooking will also be affected if you use a metal pan instead. I find, in a glass pan, cake takes longer to cook. *I used the granulated sugar in the frosting recipe to make homemade powdered sugar, which I then incorporated into the icing. If you already have powdered sugar and want to skip this step the measurements may be slightly different.

To make the cake, in a large bowl, mash 1.5 avg sized bananas. It should make about 2/3 cup of banana mash. Mash it real good 😉

Add the sugar, egg, oil, milk & vanilla. Combine with whisk or fork until everything is fully incorporated.

Add flour, salt, baking powder & baking soda. I always just use my fork and kind of mix the dry ingredients together while they float on the wet before mixing it all together. Why dirty another bowl? Stir it all together until thoroughly combined.

Pour the batter into the already greased baking pan. Cook in oven for 30 – 35 minutes or until top of cake springs back or knife inserted in center comes out clean.

While the cake is cooking, begin making the frosting.

Add sugar to blender and whirl on high speed until sugar is broken down into powdered sugar.

Thoroughly combine shortening & peanut butter in a large bowl (I actually quick rinsed out the first and re-used it).

Add powdered sugar & combine until fully incorporated. Add milk one tablespoon at a time until the frosting is the consistency you prefer.

Wait until the cake has, at least, mostly cooled before icing!

Homemade Rye Bread

I received some wonderful cookbooks for Christmas, one of which is called Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg & Zoe Francois. And it has amazing recipes for AWESOME bread. The first one I made was the Rye Bread. Oh hell yes. It turned out so well I was stunned. And it looks perrty tooo. I also made the European Peasant Bread and changed the flour proportions slightly and it was incredible too. Seriously. Make this bread. It’s also really fun making your own bread (and extremely inexpensive). And relatively easy.

I split the recipe in half. The original recipe is supposed to make four 1lb loaves. I made one loaf with half of the recipe so I guess it was 2lbs. It wasn’t particularly large by any means and it was completely eaten in less than 24 hours. Yeah, it was really freaking good. The caraway seeds give the bread it’s flavor so don’t even thinking about leaving them out. You can also replace the flour top for a cornstarch wash with extra caraway seeds sprinkled on top but I love the look of the floured crust. I can’t even convey how good this bread is.

Deli Style Rye

Recipe adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg & Zoe Francois.

Makes four 1lb loaves or two 2lb loaves.

  • 3 Cups Warm Water
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Caraway Seeds
  • 1 1/2 Cup Rye Flour
  • 5 Cups AP Flour (plus extra for crust)
  • Coarse Cornmeal
  • 1 Cup Hot Water

Combine warm water, sugar, yeast, salt & caraway seeds in a very large bowl. I usually let it sit to let the yeast soften but Hertzberg & Francois insist it isn’t necessary. Add all of the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. All the flour should be absorbed but the dough shouldn’t be sticky or too wet. It should hold it’s shape. Cover the dough and allow to rise for approximately 2 hours or until about double in size or until the dough has a completely flat & level top. Just give it two hours in a relatively warm spot in your house and you’re good to go.

When the dough has finished rising, preheat your oven to 450F degrees. Place a pizza stone in the oven on a center rack and allow it to reach oven’s temperature. Cover a pizza peel with cornmeal. If you don’t have a pizza peel, like me, a large wooden cutting board will do the trick. Divide the dough into the desired number of loaves and shape into oval by pulling the top of the dough towards the bottom of the loaf while turning it and elongated the loaf when you’ve accomplished a smooth top. Don’t worry about the bottom not being smooth, it will cook into a nice flat, crunchy crust. Let the loaves sit on the prepared pizza peel/cutting board for about 40 minutes before baking. Cover each loaf with about 1tbsp of flour and spread with your hand. Make 5 slashes across the top with a serrated knife.

Just before baking the loaves, fill a boiler pan with 1 cup of water and add to oven. I used a baking dish because I don’t have a boiler pan and merely put it on a lower rack in the oven. The steam from the water is what gives the bread it’s crunchy crust.

Shimmy the loaf of bread (or loaves, I’ve done two at a time) onto the pizza stone, making sure they are spaced far enough apart to have plenty of room to double in size. Bake for 30 minutes until the crust is a deep amber brown then remove from oven and let cool. I don’t have that kind of patience so naturally my bread was still pretty hot when I cut into it but I recommend letting it cool because the dough will still be cooking a bit with all that trapped heat.

The bread is even better after it has had time to rest. I recommend it toasted and dunked into winter soups. SO DELICIOUS.