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: Chocolate Beet Cake

Aarrggh! I gave the secret ingredient away in the title already. You may wish to be less forthcoming than I have been- beets have a bad rap for being so red, so earthy-flavored, so…beet-ish. However, when they’re mixed with chocolate for some reason it just works. (I’d like to know more about the person who came up with that idea.)

I don’t often foray into baking with vegetables (except this time) that but that lonely can of beets in my cupboard (plus my friends’ insistence that it could not be done) inspired me to make a Chocolate Beet Cake and honestly? It’s kind of marvelous. Don’t trust me? Try it yourself! It’s been loosely adapted on this recipe I found here.

Chocolate Beet Cake (makes 2 9-inch round cakes)

3/4 c. butter

2 c. white sugar

3 eggs

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 c. milk

1 14-oz. can of beets, drained and rinsed, with 1/2 c. of beet juice for reserve

1/2 c. reserved beet juice

First, you gotta puree those beets. Use your blender, slap-chop, whatever- just get ‘er done. Me, I went the old-fashioned way, simmering the beets in a saucepan on the stove until super moist before going at them with my hand-blender. Set aside beets aside.

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar before adding eggs. Beat until thick and frothy. Slowly start adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a bit at a time, alternating with the milk until fully combined.

Remember those beets? Stir them in last, then the beet juice you’ve saved from the can. Grease and flour two 9-inch round or square baking pans and pour batter into pans. Cook for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick or a knife comes out clean when inserted.

B’s Tip: You know what they say about buying good-quality cocoa powder? Yeah, I laughed too, but I wasn’t laughing after a friend gave me some of hers to use in this cake. It honestly makes a world of difference so if you can afford it (or if it’s a special occasion) I highly recommend using the best you can find for this recipe.

Happy baking!

B

Baking with B appears (usually) 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.