Sunday, October 26, 2014

Banana Cake with Chocolate Ganache

I made this cake for someone wanting a luxurious dessert to celebrate her anniversary and birthday, for which she was having a dinner party at home with friends.  So I created this decadent cake, a juxtaposition of banana cream pie and chocolate, both of which she loves.

The cake is banana, soft, moist and slightly tangy with sour cream and buttermilk, rich with butter, and delicately spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg to complement the ripe bananas mashed into the cake batter.

Between each layer of cake is chocolate pudding, sweet and silky.

Then fluffy buttercream, perfumed with vanilla.

And finally, bittersweet ganache.  Ganache poured over a cake is oh-so-sexy, I think.  Those dark drips of chocolate are just so stunningly dramatic.

Lastly, a garnish of ganache truffles, rolled in toffee dust, and a sprinkling of toffee bits and coarse sea salt.

I think the dinner party that enjoyed this cake for dessert was a lucky dinner party indeed.

Banana Cake with Ganache

banana cake
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
vanilla buttercream
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla or vanilla bean paste
  • 2-4 tablespoons cream or milk
dark chocolate ganache
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 5 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • toffee bits
Baker's Note:  For an even more luxurious cake, fill each layer of cake with custard or pudding (cooked and chilled a day in advance), before frosting the cake with the buttercream.

Banana Custard Recipe
Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Preheat the oven to 350, and grease the bottoms of three 8-inch pans with non-stick spray.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cake mix, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add the eggs, sour cream, buttermilk, bananas, butter and vanilla, and beat for several minutes until smooth.

Divide the batter between the pans and bake until a toothpick in the centers comes out clean, about 18-22 minutes.  Cool completely on a wire rack, covered loosely with clean kitchen towels.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for several minutes until smooth.  With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar and meringue powder, mixing until combined.  Add the extract, and increase to medium high, whipping for 4-5 minutes until very light and fluffy.  Add a little cream or milk as needed to achieve the best consistency.  Frost the cake with the buttercream and chill for about a half hour before making the ganache.

Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl.  In a small saucepan, gently warm the cream over medium low heat, just until it begins to steam and bubble around the edges.  Remove from the heat, pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand for 3 minutes; stir with a spatula until smooth and shiny.

Immediately pour the ganache over the chilled cake, letting it run down the sides.  If you like, reserve and chill a little of the ganache, to roll into truffles for garnishing the cake.  Sprinkle the ganache with the toffee bits.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen


    1. You've decorated this cake so beautifully! Ganache over a cake is VERY sexy. :)


    2. How did you get the buttercream lined like that?

      1. Pam, I just used an icing spatula and dragged it from the bottom to the top, all around the sides of the cake.


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