I meant to post this Friday afternoon but got caught up at work. We purchased a few e-readers for the office (yay!) and I had to register and set them up. Let me just say that these are addictive devices and if you you are as much of a bookworm as I am then approach with cautious glee.
On our last trip to Springfield, my friend Rachel was showing off her Christmas present, a gorgeous cookbook called The Golden Book of Baking: Over 300 Great Recipes. Every recipe has a picture and it is beautifully bound and trimmed with gold. It seriously looks like a bible and after searching high and low I finally got my copy two weeks ago just in time for my friend Aurora’s birthday.
As she loves bananas and chocolate, I quickly found a chocolate banana cake that looked to DIE FOR. The problem is that like me, Aurora is trying to eat healthy and this was definitely an indulgent cake. So I took that lovely recipe, and I revised it to make it both vegan and lower in fat where I could. I’ve never really done that on the fly, but the result was a complete success, and here’s how I did it.
- 2 cups pastry flour (you can substitute whole wheat)
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup applesauce (substituted for canola oil)
- 1 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup mashed banana
- 3 ounces softened cream cheese (I used fat-free cream cheese)
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix dry ingredients and set aside.
3. Mash 2 bananas and add enough water to create one cup of mixture.
4. To dry ingredients, add applesauce, hot water, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Add banana mixture.
5. Bake 45-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean
For the Frosting…
The frosting is completely optional. The cake is delightfully vegan without and while I’m sure you can find a frosting/icing recipe without milk, butter or cream cheese, I have a killer frosting recipe that I just can’t not use. To make:
1. Beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy.
2. With mixer at low speed, beat in the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa until smooth.
3. Spread the frosting on the cake.
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It was AMAZING! My only suggestion is if you LOVE bananas is to add more. I figure it won’t hurt, right, Jess?
I will absolutely make the cake myself at some point. There wasn’t a single person who tried it who didn’t like it! Yum-o!
The only thing you have to remember is is that adding more moisture then has to be balanced with dry ingredients or your cake requires longer baking and/or doesn’t bake thoroughly. That happened with the banana bread in the previous recipe. I had one leftover soggy banana so I thought “eh why not” and threw it in there and it took FOREVER to bake through.
It was yummy. I might try a banana frosting experiment next go-round.
I am confused as to how this is a vegan cake when it contains cream cheese and butter? Am I missing something? Other than that…looks beautiful.
The cake itself is vegan. The frosting is optional, the cake is perfectly tasty without it, but since I was cooking for non-vegans, that is the frosting I chose because it tastes amazing.
That looks delicious.
I knew after showing you this book you would love it. I think Luke did a very good job with this present 🙂
Oh my goodness. I’m going to be dreaming of chocolate tonight! 🙂 Divine!!
It looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe!
I am making this now for a birthday tomorrow. To my dismay there are no directions concerning the baking vehicle. What size pan? Should it be greased? Lightly greased, heavily greased? I’m a beginner baker and don’t know what to assume.
I love the pictures and the easy directions and would just like this last bit added.
For now, since the mix is already made, I’m going for an 8″ square pan lightly greased. Hope I’m right.
Fawn. I used a 9″ silicone baking dish, so an 8″ will be perfect!
For a vegan frosting, you can substitute regular butter with earth balance – a vegan butter flavour spread – and leave out the cream cheese. It should work out just as nice. Or, just top the cake with confectioner’s sugar.
Do you think this would work well in a Bundt cake pan? I’ve had mixed successes making banana cake in the past. I’m one of the “too much banana” brigade. :o/
Oh and your frosting is VERY easy to make vegan (even here in Australia). Tofutti make a vegan cream cheese and softened raw coconut oil (don’t worry, it doesn’t make it taste coconutty) or vegan margarine both work as butter substitutes.
Thanks for this recipe. 🙂
I’ve never myself tried it, but I think it would do okay. I’ve tried it as a quick bread and had excellent results.