You might want to pick up some bananas now so they can begin ripening because you’re really going to want to make this exceptionally moist banana chocolate chip bundt cake.
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Lots of bananas with dark or milk chocolate chips and some walnuts tossed in for extra measure provides the foundation for all the goodness in this cake.
Spread the top with a rich chocolate frosting and sprinkle on a few more nuts for a lovely dessert perfect for a birthday celebration or to serve at the end of Sunday dinner.
Bundt cakes travel well if you plan to take dessert to a friend and even pans with a simple design look pretty. Frosted banana chocolate chip Bundt cake is dense, very moist with a delightful banana flavor throughout. Serve with the rich chocolate frosting, with a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar or enjoy this classic cake just as it comes from from the pan.
Preparing the Cake Batter
In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.
Working with a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy.
Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy.
Beat in the vanilla.
Then add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each egg goes in.
Mashing the banana
Using a fork, mash the bananas. You should have 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups. Be sure to use banana that are very ripe. They are easier to mash and incorporate into the batter and they are also sweeter.
How to Ripen bananas
Most recipes suggest using very ripe banana when baking. This is because the starches in the banana turn to sweet sugar as they ripen and that is good news when baking. You see, some fruits, including bananas, produce an invisible gas called ethylene as they ripen promoting further ripening. Ethylene helps convert starch into sugar, giving the fruit its characteristic sweet taste, and in the case of bananas, softening the flesh and turning the peel yellow.
But what if you need ripe bananas now?
You are probably familiar with the green bananas available in the grocery store. If you have a few days before baking, you can place the bananas in a warm location, like the top of the refrigerator or near a sunny window to hasten ripening. You can place the bananas in a paper bag and loosely fold down the top allowing ethylene gas to circulate around the green bananas. They should ripen in a day or two using this method depending how green they were when beginning.
If you haven’t planned ahead or decided to bake last-minute, here are a few suggestions so you can proceed with your baking.
Put unpeeled bananas on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake them at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the banana skins turn completely black all over. Let them cool, then scoop the banana pulp from the peel and mash it for your recipe.
Using the microwave does not ripen bananas satisfactorily as this method does not improve the flavor or increase the sweetness of the unripe bananas.
A great way to keep a stash of bananas always ready for baking, especially when your purchased bananas did not get eaten as planned is to freeze them. Place the overripe fruit in a zipper-top, freezer-safe bag and pop into the freezer. Don’t even peel them first. Frozen bananas turn dark brown or black; that’s perfectly OK. When you’re ready to bake, take out the bananas you need and let them thaw at room temperature. Or thaw them in the microwave (skin and all); for about 3 minutes to thaw four medium bananas.
Adding the mashed bananas to the cake batter
Add the bananas to the bowl.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix to blend in the bananas.
Add half of the flour to the mixture.
Mix just until incorporated.
Add all of the sour cream to the bowl and continue mixing.
Don’t be concerned when the batter curdles.
Then add the rest of the flour mixture and mix.
Folding in the chocolate chips and nuts
With a spatula, or wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
Stir and fold until completely incorporated, making sure you reach the bottom of the bowl.
Spoon the batter into the Bundt pan. Tap the pan on the counter to debubble the batter and smooth the top. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes. When the cake if done, transfer it to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove can from pan to a cooling rack.
In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder.
Pour in the milk, vanilla and salt.
Stir with a spoon until blended. Spread the frosting over the cooled banana cake and sprinkle on the nuts. Let set, 15 to 20 minutes.
Frosted Banana Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
slightly adapted from Dorie Greenspan cookbook
Bundt Cake serves 14
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
- About 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (you should have 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups)
- 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
- 1 cup dark or semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9- to 10-inch (12 cup) Bundt pan. Don’t place the pan on a baking sheet because you want the oven’s heat to circulate through the Bundt’s inner tube.
Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy.
Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each egg goes in.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas.
Finally, mix in half the dry ingredients (don’t be concerned when the batter curdles), all the sour cream and then the rest of the flour mixture.
With a spatula, or wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
Scrape the batter into the pan, rap the pan on the counter to de-bubble the batter and smooth the top.
Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Check the cake after about 30 minutes – if it is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent.
Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before un-molding onto the rack to cool to room temperature.
If you’ve got the time, wrap the cooled cake in plastic and allow it to sit on the counter overnight before serving – it’s better the next day.
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons milk or more to desired consistency
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
Combine the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, milk, vanilla and salt in a bowl and stir until blended. Spread over the cooled banana cake and let set, 15 to 20 minutes.
NOTE: If you prefer, skip the chocolate frosting and serve plain or with a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar.
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