I brought this cake to work for a meeting, a breakfast meeting, and it was gone in moments.  To me peanut butter and banana have a wonderful affinity for each other.  If you want to really pump it up, toss in some chocolate chips to the cake batter…whatever you choose to do, be sure to save room for dessert, even if it’s 9:30 am…

Banana Bundt Cake with Peanut Butter Buttercream Glaze

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature.

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

4 very ripe bananas, mashed, about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups

1 cup sour cream

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray or generously butter a 12-cup Bundt pan (After a disastrous cake inversion, I now use this)
  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  • Beat butter until creamy; add sugar and vanilla, beating until fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after you plop in each egg
  • Unless you want to be splattered with batter, reduce the speed to low and add the bananas.
  • Then, add in half of the dry ingredients, the entire cup of sour cream, and then the rest of the dry ingredients.
  • Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and smooth the top.
  • Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. During the baking time, check after about 30 minutes, and if it is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with foil.
  • Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before inverting to cool completely.
  • Pour on Peanut Butter Buttercream Glaze or just dust with powdered sugar.

Peanut Butter Buttercream Glaze
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk, or more
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt

  • In a microwave safe bowl, heat butter and milk until butter melts.  Add peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until mixture is smooth.
  • Add 1 cup powdered sugar, mix well.  Add more powdered sugar or milk to achieve desired consistency.

Cake recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Save Room for Dessert…Cajun Cake

AKA, dump cake, which is a rather unattractive moniker for such a delicious, yet easy, cake.  Growing up in largely Cajun town of LaPlace, La, I ate this cake often, and I’ve never tired of it.  Nor will you, I dare say.

My version is an adaptation from an old cookbook of my mother’s, Cajun Cooking.  I pumped up the flavor using brown sugar for some of the granulated, as well as adding both vanilla and a pinch of salt, which rounds out the flavor.  Also, because we’re all about the icing, I doubled the icing recipe.  The unattractive moniker of “dump cake” originates from the instructions – dump all recipes in a bowl and mix.  Whatever name you prefer to use, be sure to save room for dessert when this delicious cake is on the table…

Cajun Cake
2 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
16-oz crushed pineapple with juice
2 large eggs
Coconut-Pecan Icing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter or spray an 11×7 baking dish and set aside.
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
While cake bakes, prepare Coconut Pecan Icing.

Coconut-Pecan Icing
12-oz can evaporated milk
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups packed shredded, sweetened coconut
1 cups toasted and chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

Bring evaporated milk, butter and sugar to a boil, reduce heat and cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, and add coconut, pecans, vanilla, and salt.
Pour hot icing over warm cake; allow cake to cool to room temperature before serving.

Magic Brownie Bars

Hello Dollies, Seven Layer Bars, Magic Bars, these delights have many names and all of them delicious.  This is my take on this old favorite, and it’s super quick and easy to put together as it starts with a brownie mix of your choice.  Actually, all of the ingredients used to build these bars can be individualized.  I used three types of chips, but you could use just one, two, or even use more than three!  Have fun and make them taste like magic!

Magic Brownie Bars
1 family size brownie mix
1+1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
1 cup coarsely chopped & toasted pecans
2/3 cup each semi-sweet morsels, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups coconut nut
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 13×9 pan with parchment or foil, so that edges extend on sides of pan.
Toast pecans in 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes, toss with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle on 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside.
Mix brownie mix, melted butter, and egg together to make a stiff dough; press into bottom of prepared baking pan.
Layer the following ingredients onto brownie bottom: graham cracker crumbs, pecans, semi-sweet morsels, butterscotch chips, and white chocolate chips, and coconut.
Pour entire can of sweetened condensed milk over top.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes, remove from pan, and cut into squares.

Save Room for Dessert…Christmas Cake
I love fruitcake, in fact, I’ve always loved fruitcake, even as a kid.  Weird kid, I know.  Anyway, I’m not naive enough to believe that everyone loves fruitcake; I suppose it’s likely that more people dislike fruitcake than not.  However, this cake, which I’ve cleverly renamed as Christmas Cake, could possibly turn a fruitcake hater into, well, maybe not a fruitcake lover, but perhaps someone who likes fruitcake.  It’s chockful of big red raisins, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.  Everyone who takes a bite always says the same thing, “this tastes like Christmas!”  And, it does, it’s a wonderful cake.  The recipe is actually an adaptation of many war cake recipes that I found a few years ago when I was doing some research for a library program.  During war, items such as butter, milk, and eggs are rationed, so cakes from war times were made sans expensive ingredients.  All of the recipes I found contained shortening, some used brown sugar, others used granulated sugar, none of them had eggs or milk, but they all had nuts and raisins.  I’ve made many versions of the cake, and this is my favorite version thus far.  I use butter rather than shortening and granulated sugar instead of brown.  Dried cranberries have been added along with the raisins, and while walnuts were very common in the original recipes, I used pecans.  I also add an entire ground orange, which appeared in a few of the recipes, but not all.  I love the hint of citrus flavor.  For an impressive look, not to mention, truly over the top deliciousness, drizzle on a brown sugar glaze…drool-worthy.

Christmas Cake
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 navel orange, ground in food processor
2 cups raisins
2 cups dried cranberries
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
Brown sugar glaze, optional

  • In a large pot, combine water, sugar, butter, raisins, dried cranberries, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.  Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer; continue to cook for 10 minutes.  Turn off heat, and allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
  • When mixture is cool, preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Butter & flour a Bundt pan and set aside.
  • Whisk flour and baking soda together.  Add to cooled mixture, mixing well.  Stir in pecans.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees for 75-90 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 15 minutes in pan before inverting onto a dish.  Cool completely before drizzling with glaze or slicing.
Save Room for Dessert…Eggnog Coffee Cake

I was browsing through my recipe binder, you know, the kind filled with yellowed newspaper clippings, handwritten recipes jotted onto scraps of paper, and occasionally, a nicely done recipe card.  Today’s post is a recipe written in my own handwriting on a piece of paper from a yellow legal pad.  No idea of its origins.  Maybe from my brief foray into law school?  Who knows, what I do know is that it’s super yummy, moist, perfect for dessert with a cup of coffee, and luckily, everytime I come across the recipe, it’s the holiday season, and eggnog is readily available.  It goes together super quickly, and needs no other adornment in addition to the yummy streusel.

Eggnog Coffee Cake
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 oz unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, divided
1 cup eggnog
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter and line a 9″ cake with parchment paper, or butter and flour the pan; set aside.
Using a pastry cutter, combine flour, sugar, salt, and butter together until crumbly.
Measure out 1 cup of the mixture and add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg; set streusel aside.
Add baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg to the remaining crumb mixture; beat in the eggnog, egg, bourbon, and vanilla until well mixed.
Pour batter into prepared pan and top with streusel mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Serve warm.