Monday, May 11, 2015

Banana Walnut Cake

I wasn't going to share this recipe today. But we enjoyed it so much that I changed my mind. I feel like it's not perfect because the cake fell. Not dramatically, but enough for me to think it needs some tweaking. We have a lot of excellent bakers here, so I thought you might have some suggestions.

I went with my favorite cake trick of popping walnuts into the food processor and pulsing until they're fine. The walnuts then add flavor without crunch and act much as flour does. At first I thought I had added too much liquid, but after baking the texture was exactly right - a nice moist mixture of walnuts and bananas. Then I thought perhaps it would have benefited from just a hair more flour. But, again, the texture is just right. More flour might ruin the great moistness. That leaves me with the notion of adding one more egg. Next time I'll try that. Or maybe the flour and other dry ingredients should go in the food processor with the walnuts! What do you think?

Or - I might just bake it exactly the same way next time because we're gobbling it up!

The Chocolate Cream Frosting has to be the fastest frosting to make. It's perfect every time and absolutely delicious.

Banana Walnut Cake with Chocolate Cream Frosting

1 cup walnuts
1 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 2 1/2 large bananas)
1/4 cup milk
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter (softened)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs (room temperature)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 8-inch round pans.

In a food processor, pulse the walnuts until very small. Mix walnuts, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Mash the bananas and mix with milk.

Cream the sugar with the butter and add the vanilla. Beat in each egg. Add walnut/flour mixture and beat. Beat in bananas. Divide batter between the baking pans.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out of the middle clean.

Cool on racks. When completely cool, frost with Chocolate Cream Frosting.

Chocolate Cream Frosting

1 cup heavy cream (plus 1/2 cup for decorating if desired)
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup powdered chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat cream. When it begins to take shape, beat in the other ingredients. Beat until it holds a shape.

(If desired, beat 1/2 cup additional cream with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla. Pipe on cake.)

Grind the walnuts as fine as possible in a food processor.

Divide the batter between the two pans.

Beat extra cream for decorating if you feel like it.


  1. I love your idea of adding ground nuts--that would boost both flavor and texture. As for the other issue, I'm clueless. Too much banana? Too ripe? But it's the taste that matters!

    1. And the taste was dead on. I think the bananas properly take the forefront of the flavor but then you notice the delicate walnut taste. Maybe you're right! It's the taste that matters!

  2. Banana, walnut, and chocolate. Aren't they the main food groups?

    1. LOL! You know, they're all very healthy for us. That must mean it's a health food cake!

  3. Sounds delicious and it's the taste that counts more than anything! From your photo of the cake, I couldn't tell that it fell at all - looks yummy!

    1. Thanks, Kim. Frosting can hide a number of sins!

  4. It looks (and sounds) so delicious, it doesn't have to be perfect!

  5. Since I can't cook with nuts (any more), I'm not sure, but I would think that the nuts give a heaviness/density that might need something "light" to bolster the rising, like an extra teaspoon of baking powder? I would definitely mix the flour with the nuts so that there is an even incorporation of items. I have to do that with gluten-free things all the time. Sounds delicious. Looks marvelous.

    Daryl / Avery

    1. We're on the same wavelength, except I was thinking the extra egg might add that lightness. The flour was mixed with the walnuts, but not in the food processor. I'm thinking they might grind finer if they're combined with flour. Must experiment!

  6. Unbelievable! You definitly missed your calling. Such a beautiful cake, especially the frostiing. Looks almost (remember I said almost) too good to eat, LOL. I know it wouldn't last too long in this house. Happy belated "fur children" Mother's Day.

  7. When I saw this picture I fainted! I think it's perfect. If it has a little dip in the top, that should merely be leveled out with fabulous frosting.

    I love chocolate and walnut - you have another winner here, Krista.

  8. The cake looks delicious! (I love chocolate!)
    Thank you for the recipe.