Gluten-free and Egg-free / Eggless Banana Pecan Cake with Mocha Frosting

banaaaLast week we celebrated my brother’s birthday, I asked him what type of cake he would like and was greeted by a vague “grumble grumble I don’t know”.

You would think turning 24 the mumbling banter would begin to fade away. Wrong. Very wrong. After more investigating/forcing my brother to form an audible sentence he revealed he wanted a cake that had frosting in between two layers..oh..and chocolate. I can’t say I’m surprised at either of these answers!

After a bit of googling I found a recipe that I think he would like – a variation of David Lebovitz’s Banana Cake with Mocha Frosting. I’ve updated it to make it wheat, gluten, corn and egg free. The original recipe included salted candied peanuts but I have cut this out due to allergies and decided to decorate with plain pecan nuts and I think I would find the candied peanuts a bit OTT in addition to the cake. But if you have a sweet tooth, go ahead and add the candied peanuts if you wish. The original recipe can be found here 🙂

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The inside: Double icing – the key to my brothers cake desires! 🙂

This recipe made a lot of pieces! We ended up getting about 15 slices from it! You would get more or less depending on your serving sizes. I served this the day I made it, but I actually think I liked it better the next day. So if you have an event coming up feel free to make this the day before (would cut down the stress time too on the day!)

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Mocha icing – mmm yes please!

Okay, enough photos I think – here’s the recipe! The cake will keep for up to 3 days, at room temperature. Because of its height, the cake is best stored under a cake dome.

Gluten-free and Egg-free / Eggless Banana Pecan Cake with Mocha Frosting Recipe

Makes one 9-inch (23-cm) cake; 12 to 16 servings

Ingredients

Cake
21/2 cups (350 g) my all-purpose gluten/corn free flour (recipe here)
11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces/230 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
11/2 cups (300 g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso or coffee powder, dissolved
2 tablespoons of ground flax seed
6 tablespoons (90 ml) buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream (regular or low-fat), at room temperature (I used organic low fat yoghurt)
2 cups (500 ml) banana puree (3 to 4 very ripe bananas)
11/4 cups (125 g) pecans or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Frosting
10 ounces (280 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (125 ml) strong brewed coffee or espresso
10 tablespoons (5 ounces/140 g) unsalted or salted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter the bottom and sides of two 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper.
Mix the 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed with 6 tablespoons of water. Whisk with a fork. Set aside and allow the mixture to thicken.

To make the cake, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, 11/2 teaspoons cinnamon, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl by hand), beat together the 1 cup (8 ounces/230 g) butter and 11/2 cups (300 g) sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and instant espresso or coffee powder, then beat in half of the ground flax seed mixture, mixing until completely incorporated. Mix in the other half of the ground flax seed mixture until also fully incorporated. Mix in half of the flour mixture, followed by the yoghurt ( or buttermilk/sour cream depending on choice) and banana puree. Stir in the remaining flour mixture, then stir in the pecans or walnuts just until combined. Don’t overmix.

Divide the batter evenly among the 2 prepared pans. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the chocolate and coffee in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the 10 tablespoons (5 ounces/140 g) butter until combined.

(I’m a little bit impatient so I put mine in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes to fasten the process, and whisked every now and then).
To assemble the cake, run a knife around the sides of the cakes to help them loosen from the pans. Invert one cake onto a serving plate and peel off the parchment. Spread about 3/4 cup (180 ml) of the mocha frosting over the surface of the cake. Invert the second cake layer out of its pan, peel off the parchment, and place it over the frosted cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake.
Decorate with candles, pecans, banana slices or other chopped nuts, serve and enjoy!

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