Baking with B: Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cake

Back in college when my ex-boyfriend’s mom was visiting we knew it could only mean one thing- she was going to be bringing this famous cake that I dubbed “Mama B Cake”. It earned its fame mainly because it was the only thing that “Mama B” could (or would) bake. When she made it for you, you knew it was something kind of special. The cake was its own kind of love so I imagine that’s why it always tasted so good. Try as I might, my version will never be delicious as hers. (I’ve searched around for the original recipe for ages, but this one I found here was the closest I could get.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cake

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 c. overripe bananas, mashed (about 3)

1/4 c. vegetable oil

1/2 c. smooth peanut butter

3/4 c. brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter, banana, oil, sugar, egg and vanilla until thick and yellow. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, one spoonful at a time, until well combined. Pour half of the batter into prepared pan. Add cocoa to the remaining batter, stirring until combined. Dollop the chocolate batter onto the peanut butter batter, then swirl to combine using a wooden skewer.

B’s Tip: If you don’t have skewers lying around, use a chopstick, a cake tester, a knife, the handle of your mixing spoon- anything that’s long and thin!

Bake for approximately 50 minutes until knife comes out clean in the middle. Cool for approximately 10 minutes in pan before turning out onto wire rack. Let cool completely before serving.

Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Chocolate Guinness Cake

Chocolate? Beer? Lime? I know what you’re thinking- how could these ingredients possibly go together?

Here’s the answer: I don’t know. But believe me, it works. The beer gives the chocolate a rich, deep flavour and the lime zest brightens things up so the cake doesn’t feel as heavy Even if you’re not a fan of Guinness (or beer in general), this is still a great cake for any chocolate lover and is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day (And no, that’s not some leprechaun trick!)

Chocolate Guinness Cake (serves 12)

1 c. Guinness beer

1 c. unsalted butter

¾ c. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 c. white sugar

2/3 c. regular sour cream

2 large eggs

1 tbsp vanilla

2 c. all-purpose flour

2 ½ tsp baking soda

icing sugar for garnish (optional)

lime zest for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter 9-inch pan and line bottom with parchment paper. Pour Guinness into large saucepan over medium heat. Add butter and heat until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder and sugar. Set aside. In a bowl, combine sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add sour cream mixture to Guinness mixture, and whisk to combine. Whisk in flour and baking soda, then pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50-60 minutes, at 350F, until tester comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool and serve with a sprinkle of icing sugar and lime shavings on top.

B’s Tip: Yeah, yeah I know it sounds weird, but go with the lime shavings! It’s honestly one of the best things about the cake.

Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Amy’s Classic Lemon Squares

As we get older falling out of touch with old friends is a fact of life. Let’s face it: stuff happens. When we’re burdened with responsibilities we tend to pare life down to its essentials and sometimes it means losing contact with someone who was dear to us. Add in some misunderstandings and well, like I said…s#%! happens.

In my life, Amy is one of those people and once upon a time she asked me to make lemon squares for my blog because they’re her favorite. Luckily, a mutual friend of ours had a recipe that was tried, tested and true. We made some for her over the holidays and they were so good I thought I would share them with you as well. They’re super lemony without being too tart, and the buttery crust is surprisingly easy to make.

So cheers to you, Ameballs. We hope you liked your squares.

Amy’s Classic Lemon Squares (makes 36)

For the crust:

2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. powdered sugar

2 tbsp cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c., plus 2 tbsp butter, chilled and cubed

For Filling:

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 c. granulated sugar

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tsp lemon zest

3/4 c. lemon juice

1/4 c. cream

powdered sugar (for dusting)

To make the crust, preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl combine flour, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Press mixture into the bottom of a greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Bake 18-20 minutes until the edges are golden.

While the crust is baking, prepare the filling: combine eggs, granulated sugar, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice and cream in a bowl. Remove crust from oven and pour filling over the top. Return to the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes more or until the center is set.

B’s Tip: Test if your lemon curd is set by giving it a little bit of a wiggle, wiggle. If it’s wobbly like Jello, it’s not quite ready.

Cool completely in pan on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Cover and store in the refrigerator (or make them ahead of time and put them in the freezer!)

Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

This is one of those recipes that I would call a “classic”- one of those down-home, feel-good dishes that everyone should learn how to make! Find more timeless recipes like this click here.