Sunday, February 5, 2012

Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting


You probably already know that I'm slightly obsessed with the giant warehouse store, Costco.  Hubby and I find ourselves there most weekends snacking on the tasty samples they hand out while stocking up on fresh meats, fruits, veggies, wine, pantry items, household items, books, beauty products, vitamins and even gas. The list goes on and on.  You think it would be overkill for our 2 person household to visit Costco weekly, but somehow it seems we are always running out of something that is a Costco staple. 

One of my Costco staples is the ever so addicting chocolate hazelnut spread, Nutella.  They sell it in a pack of two 26.5 ounce jars for around $8.99 (bargain!).  Nutella is a go to spread for my English muffin (purchased at Costco) breakfast.  I toast up the muffin extra crispy and spread half with peanut butter (also purchased at Costco) and the other half with Nutella.  Along with a cup of hot tea or a glass of cold milk, it's a salty, sweet and satisfying breakfast.  This preparation is where 90% of my coveted Nutella ends up.  Occasionally I spread it on graham crackers for a snack, but for some reason I have never crossed over into the Nutella baking world.

When I learned that Sunday, February 5th was World Nutella Day, I knew it was just the push I needed to go a different route with Nutella.  Technically I didn't "bake" with it.  But all cakes need frosting, right?  Baby steps.

Nutella and bananas are two ingredients destined to be together.  I first experienced this flavor combination when Hubby and I had a crepe with fresh bananas and Nutella from a street food vendor in France nearly 10 years ago.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  If you are a fan of bananas and chocolate, I insist strongly urge you to give this duo a try.  What I like about Nutella is it's creamy and chocolaty with warm hazelnut tones in the background.  Even if you don't like nuts (I don't generally care for them in my sweets), don't let that deter you.  The flavors in Nutella are subtle and the chocolate is the star.
When I went in search of a Nutella recipe a few days ago, I quickly came across this Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting on the Toasty Biscuit.  With three ripe bananas sitting on the counter and my love of the banana/Nutella combo, this recipe was calling my name. 

The cake is moist and rich with banana flavor.  It's cake meets banana bread in terms of the density and texture.  The cake is great all on it's own.  It would be nice with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, a dollop of fresh whipped cream or this Nutella frosting.  The only change I made to the cake was the size of the pan used.  The original recipe calls for a 10 inch square pan, which I don't find to be standard in most American households.  I used a 9 x 13 pan instead and adjusted the baking time and it worked perfectly.

I have to be honest, I struggled a bit with the frosting recipe.  The recipe took a little tweaking with a little extra butter and Nutella.  Following the original recipe, I found the Nutella flavor got lost in the sweetness of the powdered sugar.  To adjust, I added an additional 1/4 cup of the hazelnut spread to make it more prominent.  I also found the frosting to have a slightly dull finish so I ran my offset spatula under hot water, shaking off the excess, and spread it across the frosting to smooth it out.  I incorporated all my changes into the instructions below.

Guess what I'm eating for breakfast for the next couple of days?  Hint, it's not an English muffin!

I'm looking forward to seeing other food blogger's Nutella recipes.  I have a feeling more Nutella baking is my future.  What are your favorite Nutella recipes?


Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting
Adapted from Toasty Biscuit (originally adapted from All Cakes Considered)

For the cake:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 large bananas)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 9 x 13 cake pan with parchment paper.  Or alternatively you can butter and flour the pan, knocking off excess flour. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.  Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time and beat on low until just combined.  Add in vanilla and mashed bananas and mix until just combined.  With mixer on low add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until just combined.  Add half the buttermilk.  Alternate flour and buttermilk, starting and ending with buttermilk.  Do not over mix.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake on center rack for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn cake out onto a cooling rack and remove parchment.  Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup Nutella
3 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, sifted
2-4 tablespoons heavy cream (or condensed milk)

In a stand mixer beat butter and Nutella on medium, about 1 minute until fully combined.  Add in confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time.  Mixture will appear crumbly.  Add in 2 tablespoons of cream and continue beating on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes.  Add additional tablespoons of cream until the frosting reaches a soft, spreadable consistency.  I used 4 tablespoons in total.  Generously spread frosting over cooled cake.  For a smooth finish, run your knife or offset spatula under hot water and gently smooth the surface, rinsing off it off after each swipe. 

28 comments:

  1. It's crazy because so many people tell me that Costco isn't worth for 2 people but I'm going back there every other week!

    I haven't bought their Nutella yet because I really don't use it as much as I'd like to but it looks like I'll have to buy it now so I can make this! This looks fabulous. And I'm always looking for ripe banana recipes. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I love Nutella! It looks wonderful paired with your beautiful cake :-)

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  3. nutella frosting? I can have that every morning with some banana on toast! crepe sounds so divine as well, ah decisions.

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  4. Sounds and looks amazing! I just adore banana bread, so will try this soon... have still got half of a giant Nutella jar left after making my Nutella Day recipe! If you can face more of a good thing, take a look at it here:
    http://wordsandherbs.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/world-nutella-day/

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  5. What a gorgeous photo! This cake looks so good! I had to smile about your Costco purchases, we don't have a Costco near us but we buy just about everything you mentioned at our Sam's Club, Nutella included, what a great deal it is. And I also love it on English muffins with peanut butter and a little sliced banana, perfect quick breakfast. Also on the crepes, so good, and one of my kid's favorites :)

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  6. Yummy. This cake looks scrumptious. And who doesn't love nutella frosting?

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  7. Brilliant! I don't need to be convinced that Nutella and bananas are a match made in heaven, I can so taste it in my head right now (lol). Wowzers, I love this. I'm so out of the loop, I had no idea it was national Nutella day. Is it Feb 5 every year? I might have to mark it in calendar! lol

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  8. Thank you! This recipe is AMAZING! This is my new favorite frosting.

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  9. The combination sounds amazing! It's too bad the frosting gave you some problem, but it sounds like you found a way to work through it. I definitely need to give this a try :) I rarely eat my Nutella as is, I tend to always use it in baking.

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  10. I made this for dessert tonight. It was amazing. A few thoughts
    1. It really is true that you can freeze browning bananas and then use them in breads. I had never tried this until last month when I didn't get around to eating the bananas. I threw them in a ziplock and then used them for this cake. Couldn't tell a difference at all.
    2. For some reason the nutella frosting wasn't very moist. I don't know what I did wrong (i ended up adding about 6 tbs of whipping cream). Regardless, it was delicious.
    3. I baked it in two 9" rounds and it turned out great.

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    1. Hi Gail, the frosting wasn't as easy as I hoped it would be. I think you could even cut back on the amount of confectioners sugar to make it more moist or throw in a few extra tablespoons of butter. I have heard about freezing bananas but haven't tried it myself. I will have to do that next time instead of letting them go to waste. So glad you made this and enjoyed it!

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    2. I freeze banans all the time. When I get about 6-8 I make a double batch of banana cake in little loaf pans and share them with anyone and everyone.

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  11. I wasn't aware of the "The World Nutella Day". Going to check.

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  12. I have a giant pack of nutella and some overripe bananas waiting to pair up, and they might end up like this! Hopefully equally gorgeous-looking ;)

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  13. Thats where I get my Nutella from!!! We go thru it so fast and now I'm definitely going to try the cake recipe cause i have ripe bananas on my counter too!

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  14. Made this for Easter dessert, amazing! One of the best banana cakes I've ever made! I reduced the sugar in the cake to 1 cup, and in the frosting to 1 cup, and it was plenty sweet. Might even reduce it further if I make this again.

    Great recipe - thanks for sharing!

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    1. So glad to hear this was a hit! I really enjoyed the cake too. Great idea to cut down the sugar. The bananas and nutella are already so sweet, I'm sure the sugar wasn't missed. I will have to try that next time. ;)

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  15. I was looking for some dessert for bake to celebrate the return of my boyfriend who was away for a week... I think we have a winner ;)

    If you love nutella & banana, try some french toasts sandwiches with them : I put nutella and banana slices between two slices of thick bread and them put each exterior side of the sandwiches in a batter of milk, eggs and nutmeg before cooking them in a pan. When you pour some maple syrop on top of that, your mouth go nuts. It became our favorite sunday-morning breakfast :)

    Manon

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    1. Oh good! French toast sandwiches sound pretty awesome. Banana and Nutella is one of my favorite flavor combos.

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  16. Oh my goodness, just made this cake for dessert, it's AMAZING!!! I can't wait to eat what little is left of it for breakfast with my coffee! :) thanks so much for the awesome recipe! Cheers!

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    1. Glad it was a hit. I wish I had little some for breakfast tomorrow too! ;)

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  17. Thanks for this great recipe. Made it tonight to take to a party tomorrow. Made it in two loaf tins and tried an end piece to check the flavour!! Yummo!!
    Girlfriends and I went out in Sydney a few months back and we found a pizza place that made dessert pizzas. We absolutely devoured the nutella and banana one. Not sure if they added anything to the nutella but it was nice and thick spread over the base and then sliced banana on top!!! Keep thinking I should try making it at home.

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  18. Have this in the oven. I don't have a stand up mixer so I hope it still turns out good.

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  19. this is the best frosting EVER! i'm telling you, this is DELICIOUS, congrats! i love this!

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  20. could you make this with donuts instead of the cake?

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  21. Oh my god, this cake looks delicious! I especially love the added touch of Nutella frosting. That's such a brilliant idea; I must try this!

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  22. This cake looks so yummy and I am not even a fan of bananas! The nutella frosting did it for me:)

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