Sunday, October 3, 2010

SMS - Banana Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting

Coconut Pecan Frosting is traditionally seen draped over rich chocolate cake. As delicious as that combination is, I wanted to do something a little more creative for this week's Sweet Melissa Sundays. Our task for the week was to make coconut pecan frosting and pair it with another recipe. I considered brownies but knew the temptation to use a box mix would be too strong. I also spent a couple of days wondering if I could turn the frosting into truffles or swirl it in ice cream. With Sunday quickly approaching, I decided to make a banana cake and top it with the frosting hoping the lightness of the banana would balance the richness of the frosting.

The frosting is decadant and absolutely delicious! Pecans and coconut are two of my favorite ingredients and combining them in a thick, gooey, slightly caramel-y frosting is heaven. I ate an embarassing amount straight from the bowl. I went with Dorie's Lots-of-Ways Banana Cake because it included coconut milk and I thought that would highlight the coconut in the frosting. I halved both recipes and baked the cake in a square pan for a delicious little cake that totally hit the spot on this cool fall day.

Thanks to Elina of A Chica Bakes for this week's selection! You can find the frosting recipe on her beautiful blog here.

Lots-of-Ways Banana Cake
Baking From My Home to Yours - Dorie Greenspan
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons dark rum or Malibu coconut rum (optional)
About 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (you should have 1 ½ - 1 ¾ cups)
½ cup canned unsweetened coconut milk, regular (stir well before measuring) or “lite” (or whole milk, buttermilk, sour cream, or plain yogurt)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, preferably toasted (or an equal amount of moist, plump dried fruit, such as currants, raisings, chopped apricots, cranberries, blueberries, or halved cherries, or a combination of coconut and dried fruit)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9x2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Put the pans on a baking sheet.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg together.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugars and beat at medium speed for a couple of minutes, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, followed by the vanilla and rum. You’ll have a beautiful satiny batter. Now lower the speed and add the bananas-the batter will curdle, but that’s fine; it will come together as you add the remaining ingredients. Still on low speed, add the dry and liquid ingredients alternately, adding the flour mixture in three portions and the coconut milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients). Mix just until everything is incorporated. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently stir in the coconut. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cakes are a deep golden brown. They should start to pull away from the sides of the pans and a thin knife inserted into their centers will come out clean. Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and cool for 5 minutes, then unmold and invert onto another rack to cool to room temperature right side up.
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  1. I love that you went with Dorie's Lots of Banana cake! Such a great recipe. Your frosting looks delicious and we enjoyed every bite of it too.

  2. This banana cake looks amazing! I will have to give that recipe a try!

  3. I love Dories banana's so good! Im glad it tasted good with the frosting! I ate my share out of the bowl too, I ran an extra mile this morning!

  4. Coconut milk in the banana cake...that sounds so wonderfully delicious. Great combo.

    Now I'm hoping you follow that thought of incorporating this into ice cream some other time as I bet that would be delightful. Maybe banana ice cream with this as a swirl?

  5. This recipe was actualy one of the ones I had narrowed it down to when deciding what to pair the frosting with! I ended up going with a hummingbird cake =) Your cake looks absolutely delicious! I am sure the frosting would be great swirled into some plain vanilla ice cream.

  6. You're the second person to combine the frosting with a banana cake this week, and I think it was such a good idea! Plus, Dorie's banana cake can't be beat - so yummy! The frosting was perhaps a bit too rich for me, but it was definitely fun to give it a go. I think I'd have had better results if I liked pecans and could have included those too.

  7. Yum! This would be perfect paired with banana. I definitely agree that the frosting was good, and I know you're not the only one to eat it out of the bowl. I briefly considered posting it "paired" with a spoon =)


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