Chocolate Banana Cake with Pecans

DSC_0547It would seem that the internet hardly needs another recipe for banana bread.  Or banana cake.  And it isn’t as though bananas and chocolate are a novel combination, for goodness’ sake.  But I feel like it is my duty to share this banana cake recipe, even if my message of chocolate banana goodness only reaches one person.  Dramatics aside, this cake  is worth making.  I made it on a whim after I saw something similar on A Pastry Affair, and realized I had 4 very ripe bananas in my fridge.

Funny thing about ripe bananas: when you have ‘em, it seems like you have a lot of ‘em.  I don’t usually have one or two… it’s more like three or four.  And while many breads and muffins claim the title of “banana”, they really only contain one or two bananas.  I usually double up on a recipe and have something to stick in the freezer, but this just perpetuates the cycle of too much boring banana bread.  Don’t get me wrong, I really like plain old banana bread.  But this, my friends, is NOT plain old banana bread.

This really is banana cake.  Not because it’s very sweet (it’s not) or because it’s got frosting (it doesn’t).  It’s only fair to call this a cake because it’s got something going on.  It’s dense and fudgey almost like a brownie, with serious banana flavor.  That’s right- not just chocolate.  The chocolate and banana flavors are so well-balanced that one doesn’t overshadow the other.  The pecans and the halved banana on top might seem like a cutesy type of thing, but they play a big role in why I loved this cake.  The banana caramelizes a bit and the pecans toast and get crunchy.  So each slice has a big hunk of caramelized banana and a hefty pecan or two.  And I ask you, who needs frosting when you can have caramelized banana? Not I.

Of course, if you want to call this banana bread instead of cake, I won’t stop you.  It does hold the advantage of making this acceptable to eat for breakfast.  All the better.  You sneaky cake-eater, you.Chocolate banana bread

Chocolate Banana Cake with Pecans

Chocolate Banana Cake with Pecans

inspired by a pastry affair

  • 4 medium to large ripe bananas, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (45 grams) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, plus a few more whole pecans for the top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, mash 3 of the bananas until relatively smooth. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions. Beat in the vanilla extract and mashed bananas until fully incorporated. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the milk and pecans.

Transfer batter to the prepared loaf pan. Take the remaining banana and evenly split it in half lengthwise, pressing it into the top of the batter. Sprinkle additional pecans on top, if desired. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing and transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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  1. says

    I like the idea of calling this bread in the morning, cake for lunch and cake for after dinner. So… do you think i’ll get fat if I consume it like this? It’s funny, the only trouble i’m having right now is figuring out how I can have enough ripe bananas on hand to continue making this over and over. As for getting fat, I’ll just deal with it considering how awesome this cake looks, so worth it :)
    thanks for sharing, don’t happen to run a fitness blog do you?

    • but i'm hungry says

      LOL. I’m afraid no one would want to read any kind of fitness blog I would write, unfortunately. ;) My fitness routine consists of three steps: 1)Have a two year old. 2)Chase him around for roughly 16 hours a day. 3) Repeat every day for the next several years. Follow that and you can eat as much banana cake as you want!

  2. says

    I collect banana bread (and cake! ) recipes like a crazy recipe hoarder because my boyfriend loooves it and I hate making the same one over and over. I will definitely give this one a try. So beautiful with those bananas on top!

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