Sunday, January 1, 2012

ABC - Nut-Crusted Chocolate-Banana Swirl Cake

To all my readers, I wish you a very happy New Year with lots of love, happiness, and good health! And lots of baking pleasure, of course :o)

The ABC bakers are starting 2012 with the first recipe from the new book we're baking from: The Weekend Baker by Abby Dodge. When I emailed Abby about that, she was very excited. I also asked her to pick our first recipe for us and she happily did: Nut-Crusted Chocolate-Banana Swirl Cake. What a great recipe selection that was.

Chocolate-Banana Swirl Cake with Chocolate Glaze

To find out more information on how to join the ABC bakers, please click here.

With any recipe that calls for bananas, make sure your bananas are very ripe.

The cake batter is butter-based and calls for room temperature butter. I like to soften cold butter in the microwave on 20% power for about 2-3 minutes.

Melted bittersweet chocolate is stirred into half of the banana batter. I had to forgo the sugar-nut crust because I was taking it to work (nut allergies).

Then you take turns scooping banana batter and then chocolate batter into the Bundt pan. As you've seen me do before, I took some batter and put it in a little cake tin for "quality control" purposes :o)

Apparently, I hadn't properly prepared my cake pan because the cake stuck to the pan a bit (which hasn't happened to me in quite some time especially since I've switched over to using Baker's Joy which is a cooking spray with built-in flour). Hmmm... what to do to hide the imperfections?

Ah, more chocolate. I used a little bit of chocolate glaze to drizzle on top of the cake, and voila. You can hardly see the imperfections anymore.

The cake smelled amazing while it was baking. Luckily, the small cake I made for "quality control" purposes, cooled off pretty quickly so I could taste it. The cake was moist, and very tender, with aromas from both the bananas and the chocolate. It was a tad too sweet for my taste so next time I'll reduce the sugar amount a bit.

Bon appetit!

Final thoughts/tips:
  • This cake was a big hit at work. I saved a slice for my husband and he really liked how moist this cake was. He gave it a 9 out of 10.
  • I've learned a few things when making this recipe:
  • Cream sugar and butter together first, and then add the bananas and vanilla (otherwise the butter floats on top without mixing in right). I learned that the hard way, but then grabbed my whisk attachment and incorporated the butter into the batter with brute force (aka high speed) and that worked :o)
  • Spray/butter and flour your pan REALLY well (the cake stuck in the pan a little bit which hasn't happened to me in a long while). Otherwise, there's always the chocolate glaze drizzle :o)
  • My changes to the recipe:
  • Increased the amount of salt fro 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp. I find that it brings out the flavors more especially the chocolate flavor.
  • Used a combination of two chocolates: 72% Ghirardelli and Hershey Extra Dark to simulate "bittersweet chocolate".
  • Due to nut allergies, I skipped the sugar/nut mixture for the outside of the cake.
  • A big Thank You to Abby for selecting such a wonderful cake recipe to start the year with!!
  • The recipe for this cake can be found in the The Weekend Baker, or online on the Fine Cooking magazine website.


  1. Your cake looks wonderful with the chocolate drizzle, great idea! This is one delicious cake, moist and tender. Thanks Abby, for a great recipe! Looking forward to the next bake!

  2. Oh my... what a wonderful cake. I'm pinning it!!

  3. I confess I have a hard time starting on a cake after the holidays...
    Will try to set myself to it though. Yours looks great, although the sticking worries me. Butter and flour that pan I will remember!

  4. I didn't know you're hosting Baking events. Lovely!
    Happy New Year!

  5. Looks delicious, Hanaa! I love the addition of the chocolate drizzle and your marbling came out really nice.

  6. Your cake looks great! I did mine without nuts also because I have a nut allergy! I will be posting mine tonight...

  7. Looks really beautiful! Love your chocolate drizzle.

  8. Wow, that's gorgeous! I never would have known you had sticking. I'm going to take your advice and cut back a bit on the sugar since I'm not a fan of very sweet cakes. My bananas will take a few days to reach optimal brown-ness so I'll be late posting. :-)

  9. What a spectacular looking cake! It's phenomenal!

  10. Looks wonderful with the chocolate glaze dripping down the sides....indeed a clever and yummy way to hide imperfections! Will try it with the glaze next time I make it :)

  11. Your cake looks beautiful with the chocolate drizzle. I actually managed to bake this. Can I still rejoin (even though I didn't manage to bake with the group last year)?

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  13. I had that too with the floating butter in the pool of banana/vanilla. Did the same thing, beat it like a maniac, still little blobs were there, but it didn't change its endresult.
    Love the chocolate drizzle!

  14. Love banana and chocolate! This cake looks delicious. What amount of sugar would you use next time?


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