Moist banana cake is stacked high with chocolate ganache and finished off with a strawberry swiss buttercream. This cake tastes just like a trip to a sundae shop.
I always buy bananas when I do the weekly grocery shopping each weekend, it seems like a good idea at the time. They are an easy grab and go snack, and are great for throwing into a smoothie or protein shake. But reality hits and bananas aren’t as enticing as the snacks in the pantry, and by Friday I usually have a brown bunch of bananas sitting on the counter! Instead of wasting them, I like to peel the bananas and freeze them for later.
I came up with this banana split cake recipe out of the need to clean out some brown bananas from the freezer. Brown bananas are perfect for baking, because they really develop extra flavor and sweetness as they over ripen, and that makes the banana flavor shine in desserts. Normally I would use the bananas for banana bread, but now I will add this cake to my recipe book.
This cake is so good! If you like banana splits, or even if you don’t, this is the cake for you! The cake is dense, but the bananas help to keep it so moist, and it pairs wonderfully with the chocolate ganache filling between each layer of cake. Honestly you would probably be quite happy just eating the cake and ganache, but then we make it even better with a generous coat of strawberry frosting!
Let me tell you about this wonderful strawberry frosting. It may be my favorite frosting EVER! It is fluffy and light, and tastes just like fresh strawberries because there is no artificial flavorings happening here. I use freeze dried strawberries to give the frosting lots of fresh strawberry flavor, without having to worry about the added moisture from using fresh fruit.
This is a swiss meringue buttercream, which may look a little more complicated than the traditional american buttercream most of us are used to, but trust me it is worth the extra step! Swiss meringue is so much lighter and creamier than the overly sweet buttercream that comes on most store bough cakes. This frosting uses a mixture of egg whites and sugar, that are heated and then whipped to stiff peaks, much less sugar is needed and the butter and strawberries can really be the star of the show.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 3 ripe bananas
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- 5 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup freeze dried strawberries
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and coat three 6 inch cake pans with nonstick spray, or butter.
- In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Then, add in the mashed bananas, eggs and vanilla and continue mixing until smooth.
- In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk to combine. Add dry ingredients to the banana mixture, and stir to combine.
- Pour batter into greased cake pans, and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the cakes. I tinted one cake layer pink for a fun look once it was cut.
- While the cake is baking heat the heavy cream in a microwave safe dish for about 1 minute, it needs to be hot enough to melt the chocolate. Once the cream is hot add the chocolate chips and stir until they are completely melted, and the ganache is smooth. Set aside for filling the cake once it is cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the egg whites and sugar, being careful to have no yolks in the mixture. Place the mixer bowl over a sauce pan with simmering water, forming a double boiler. Heat the egg whites and sugar, whisking constantly, until hot and frothy.
- Then using the mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until stiff peaks form and the bowl is no longer warm to the touch. It will take between 15 - 20 minutes for the egg whites to cool down enough.
- Gradually add the butter with the mixer running so that it emulsifies with the meringue. It may become quite loose, but keep beating on high and the frosting should thicken up, as long as the egg whites were cool enough once the butter was added.
- Pulse the freeze dried strawberries in a food processor until a powder is formed. Then, add the strawberry powder and vanilla to the frosting.
- Start with one layer of the banana cake, then a layer half of ganache. Keep layering until you finish with the last layer of cake, then frost with the strawberry frosting. I added some rainbow sprinkles and sliced bananas to finish mine off.
Next time you find yourself with bananas that are too ripe for snacking, I hope you decide to turn them into cake!