Tag Archives: banana

Banana Coconut Cream Cakes

We went off on a brief romantic tangent to celebrate my anniversary with Mike (thanks for all your congratulations!), but now we need to get back to some serious business. SERIOUS business. I told you after making my Coconut Cream Tart that I had some of that heavenly coconut pastry cream leftover. The dessert I came up with to use that leftover pastry cream is now (drumroll, please . . . are you drumrolling?) MY FAVORITE DESSERT OF ALL TIME.

Wow. I eat a lot of desserts, so you know this must be big.

Well, actually it’s small and cute. But BIG in taste!

These sweet little cakes are Banana Mini-Bundt Cakes filled with Coconut Cream and topped with a sweet pineapple glaze. My sister describes the coconut pastry cream as “tylenol PM that tastes good” because it’s so soporifically sweet and creamy. Imagine that deliciousness stuffed into the center of a bright, dense, moist banana cake. Now add the slight tang of pineapple. NOW MAKE THAT AMAZING DESSERT SO SMALL AS TO ALMOST BE BITE-SIZED. That, my friends, is a winner.

Some of you are getting all whiny right about now. Hey, there’s no shame in that; I get whiny sometimes, too. You’re thinking, “Oh well, I don’t like bananas,” or “Ew, coconut,” and it’s even POSSIBLE that there’s someone out there thinking, “Gross, pineapple.” Weirdo.

Kidding, kidding — I don’t think any less of you pineapple haters! BUT before you write off this dessert for any of the reasons above, let me give you a run-down of why you should try it anyway.

1. I dislike bananas. They’re odd. Nevertheless, I still love these cakes more than I can really explain.

2. My roommate hates coconut with a passion. She would barely consent to try one of these. Nevertheless, she loves these cakes more than almost anything I’ve ever made.

3. Mike loves both banana and coconut, and also adored every bite of these cakes. (Just so you know there’s not some strange phenomenon goin’ on with the flavors!)

4. You will love these cakes. YOU WILL.

Some of you, instead of whining, are mourning right now: “I don’t have a mini-bundt cake pan!” I didn’t either until my roommate bought me one (thanks, Barb!), so one option is to be really sweet to the folks you live with and keep your fingers crossed. The other (more realistic) option is to simply make these as cupcakes. I think they’d work out just fine — maybe not quite as adorable, but still just as tasty.

To reiterate how amazing these cakes are, let me tell you about my little mixup while making them. I was hoping to get 12 mini-bundt cakes out of this recipe but, because I failed to check the size of the pan in the original recipe, I ended up with 32. At first I was annoyed — who on earth was going to eat the extra 20 CAKES?!

Yeah, that did not turn out to be a problem. They were DEVOURED. In fact, as Mike and I polished off the last few cakes, we wept a little. Okay, maybe we didn’t actually cry, but we were crying on the inside. I can’t wait to make these again. Please, if you make one thing from this willowy, birdbrain blog of mine, make these! I’m anxious to hear what you think.

Banana Coconut Cream Cakes

Recipe by: Compiled by Willow Bird Baking from Piggly-Wiggly (banana cake), ZoĆ« Bakes (coconut pastry cream), and The Neely’s (pineapple glaze)
Yields: About 32 mini-bundt cakes using the pan size pictured below

Mini-Bundt Cake Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter at room temp
2 cups sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, preferably at room temp
~4 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1.5-1.75 cups)
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

Coconut Pastry Cream Ingredients: *
1 can (14 fluid ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
pinch kosher salt
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup whipping cream

Pineapple Glaze Ingredients:
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons pineapple juice

Preheat the oven to 350. Generously butter a mini-bundt cake pan or cupcake pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together. In a separate, large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas.

Mix in half the dry ingredients (the mixture may look curdled — just keep mixing), followed by all the sour cream and finally, the rest of the flour mixture. Fill each well of your prepared pan about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full and rap the pan on the counter to remove bubbles from the batter and smooth the top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted deep into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding on the rack. Let cool to room temperature before adding cream filling and glaze.

While cakes are baking and cooling, make coconut pastry cream. Heat the coconut milk, sugar, salt and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and corn starch. Once the cream is hot, remove the vanilla bean, scraping out any remaining seeds and returning them to the cream. Add 1/2 cup of the hot cream slowly to the yolks, whisking as you add. Then pour the yolk mixture into the pot of hot cream and whisk. Continue to whisk with heat on medium-high for 3 more minutes. The mixture will turn thick and bubble. You need to continue to whisk for the full 3 minutes or the pastry cream will separate once it is cool. After the 3 minutes, whisk in the butter. Add the coconut flakes. Pour into a shallow dish to cool.

Cover with plastic wrap pressed right against the pastry cream. This will prevent a thick skin from forming on the surface. Refrigerate for at least an hour or freeze for 30 minutes. Once it is cold, stir the pastry cream to loosen. Whip the 1/2 cup cream to medium peaks. Stir in 1/3 to the pastry cream to lighten. Fold in the remaining cream until the pastry cream is nice and light.

When cakes are cool, hollow out the center of each mini-bundt cake (or, for cupcakes, you can use the cone method). Pipe in as much of the coconut pastry cream as will fit.

Whisk confectioners’ sugar and pineapple juice together to form glaze. Drizzle over filled mini-bundt or cupcakes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

NOTE: These things are aaaaamazing served cold straight from the refrigerator! They’re dense, creamy, cool hunks o’ bright flavor.

*NOTE 2: This recipe actually makes twice as much coconut pastry cream as you need to fill the cakes. I split my pastry cream and made these with half, and a Coconut Cream Tart with the other half. If you’re not keen on a tart, you can also just double the number of banana cakes you make to fill, or find some other creative use for the excess cream. I suppose you could also try halving the coconut pastry cream recipe, but I didn’t want to fiddle with halving three yolks and a can o’ coconut milk.


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Banana Nut Bread Waffles

I have a ton of different nicknames for my little poodle, Byrd, and I can’t really explain any of them. Who knows why we call her Byrdle-bee (or Byrdle-bee Tuna, Willow Byrd, Sweetie Wheatie, Little One, Wittle Byrd, Willa Byrd, Bog, or Mike’s favorite, Dyrb)? One day we’ll just be staring at her sweet little face and our tongues will get all twisty and coo-y and she’ll end up with another moniker. And I know I’m not alone in this: my parents’ toy poodle, Abbey, was at one point called Abbey-Jo Louisiana Lewinsky Lorax. Unfortunately, I’m not kidding.

At any rate, regardless of what you call her, Byrd has gotten into the spring spirit with a fresh new haircut. Isn’t she sweet?

Look at her big puppy grin after getting a new toy for being such a good girl at the groomer! Note to Charlotteans: her pretty ‘do is from The Dog Salon, which I love.

My turtle (who has not made any appearance changes for the spring weather besides shedding a few scutes) also has some fun nicknames. He’s Squirt, Squirtle-bee, Mommy’s Little Sandwich, Little Bear, and Squirtle the Myrtle Turtle. Mike tried for awhile to make Bowser stick, but it just never caught on. I don’t see him as the demon turtle type.

I could go on (and on) about how adorable my creatures have been lately, but I know y’all are here for some WAFFLES, and neither animal was allowed to partake. I promise they had their own entertaining breakfast (kibble and meat pellets sound good too, right?) Byrd did look on adoringly as we took every waffly bite, trying her best to make me feel like a bad mother for not indulging her. Somehow I managed to enjoy my breakfast regardless.

Okay, so with golden waffles staring you in the face, you could probably enjoy breakfast while someone repeatedly threw darts at your noggin.

I know you guys are just as excited about fun waffles as I am, since my post on Carrot Cake Waffles was my most popular yet! I promised in that post that another waffle creation was coming up, so here you go (drumroll): Banana Nut Bread Waffles. And if you can believe it, we liked these even better than their carrot cake cousins! They were amazing!

The basic premise was the same. I took two dishes I loved, banana nut bread and waffles, and smushed the recipes together (well, sort of). To a rich buttermilk waffle base, I added the goodies typically found in hearty banana nut bread: mashed ripe bananas, cinnamon, and chopped walnuts. These waffles were the perfect warm, comforting breakfast when served with . . . you guessed it . . .

MAPLE NUT CREAM CHEESE SPREAD! I can’t repeat it enough — this spread is so tasty! It was a perfect complement to the flavors of the Banana Nut Bread Waffles what with the slight tang of the cream cheese and the sweetness of the maple.

Banana Nut Bread flavor with a clean loaf pan should excite you. Hearing that this is a quick and simple waffle recipe should excite you even more! Sometimes you want a fancy breakfast for company — sometimes you just want to hurry up and EAT. These Banana Nut Bread Waffles are perfect for both situations. Frilly enough for a guest, fuss-free enough for a relaxing morning.

Oh, and of course I have to ask: what are your pet nicknames? Don’t just share the kosher ones, either! We want the embarrassingly ridiculous ones! We’ll only laugh a little bit.

Banana Bread Waffles

Recipe by: Adapted using the following recipes:

-Rich Buttermilk Waffles: Smitten Kitchen’s adaptation of Mark Bittman.
-Maple Cream Cheese Spread by Carolyn R. Shaw.
Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Waffle Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 3/4 cups buttermilk* or 1 1/2 cups sour cream or plain yogurt thinned with 1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter, melted and cooled)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
Cooking spray for waffle iron

Maple Nut Cream Cheese Spread Ingredients:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
1/8 cup chopped walnuts

Combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix together the buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute) and the egg yolks. Stir in the butter, mashed banana, and vanilla.

Spray the waffle iron lightly with oil and preheat it. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with a whisk or electric mixer (make sure bowl and mixer are spotlessly clean) until they hold soft peaks. Stir them gently into the batter. Stir gently to combine.

Spread a ladleful or so of batter onto the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is done, usually 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your iron. Mix ingredients for Maple Nut Cream Cheese Spread together. Serve waffles immediately with a schmear of Maple Nut Cream Cheese, or keep warm for a few minutes in a low oven.

* The buttermilk can be substituted with 1 1/4 cups of milk at room temperature, mixed with two tablespoons white vinegar, left to clabber for 10 minutes.

Happy breakfasting!

P.S. Say happy happy birthday to Mike! Yesterday was a big birthday for him. More on that and his fancy schmancy birthday dinner soon!

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