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
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.