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: The Deconstructed Peanut Butter Cookie

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Oh man. My mom used to make these all the time when I was little. I hadn’t had them in forever, and then there was all this peanut butter in the house- needless to say, revisiting this recipe was long overdue.

Lately, I’ve been reading so many recipes that are junked-up versions of old favorites which is why I call this the “deconstructed” version of a peanut butter cookie. It’s just that- three ingredients, plain and simple, not too sweet and super peanut-y good.

The Deconstructed Peanut Butter Cookie (makes 24)

1 c. unsweetened, smooth peanut butter

1/2 c. brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 325F. In a medium bowl, cream sugar and peanut butter until well blended. Mix in egg until batter starts forming a smooth, sticky ball. Scooping out portions by the spoonful, roll batter into balls and place approximately 2 inches apart on tray. Flatten with criss-cross patterns using the tines of a fork.

B’s Tip: To make sure you have a clean criss-cross pattern, have a glass of cold water handy so that when your fork gets too sticky you can dip it in and clean away some of the excess.

Bake for 15 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies will look soft and puffy when they first come out of the oven, but will harden once you leave to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks and let cool completely before serving.

Now just because I call this the “deconstructed” peanut butter cookie doesn’t mean you can’t make of the recipe what you will. You may want to experiment with different flavors of nuts, or adding chocolate or butterscotch chips for a hint of sweetness. Or why not try something daring, like mixing in dried fruit, shredded coconut, or broken pretzel pieces? These cookies are super crumbly and buttery and would also taste great by themselves sprinkled over ice cream, or even on top of a cake.

Who says you can’t play with your food?

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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.