You can never have too much dessert. At least that’s what I tell my husband when he comes home to yet *another* of my creations that the picky man won’t eat. 😉 We have a vacation coming up (yaaaaaay!!!), and my anticipation of our trip had me thinking of tropical flavors. In this case, a Banana Coconut Cake!
My initial idea was just the cake itself. As usual, as I considered the other potential recipe components, my imagination got the better of me. I typically have to edit my ideas so that the resulting desserts aren’t…well…crazy.
This time, though, I didn’t do much editing. I couldn’t decide between pairing the cake with chocolate, rum, cream cheese, honey…they all sounded so good! This time I was going to find a way to make all my crazy ideas work, and I think I may just have pulled it off!
This banana coconut cake has a whipped chocolate and rum ganache filling, and is frosted with a honey vanilla cream cheese frosting. The resulting cake is gorgeous, and all the flavors complement each other better than I even imagined. I felt that I was going too far as I was putting it together, but it turned out that I was going just far enough.
A few notes on ingredients:
I used dark rum with the dark chocolate, but you can use whatever kind of chocolate and rum you prefer. Keep an eye on the ganache as it whips up. Overwhipped ganache will end up grainy rather than creamy, which isn’t what you want!
I used raw honey in the frosting because of it’s creamy consistency (not to mention that it is yuuuuummy). I had a jar of raw honey from American Spoon stashed in our pantry from our trip to Michigan last summer. If you use a conventional honey instead of raw, you might want to add a little less than the recipe calls for, since it’s runnier consistency could lead to runnier frosting.
I also used vanilla bean paste in the frosting, of course! There is hardly ever a recipe that I don’t find a way to use it in. I love the flavor of the vanilla bean paste and the beautiful black flecks that it leaves in the frosting! If you’re looking for vanilla bean paste, you can find it [here]. If you prefer to substitute, you can use one whole vanilla bean, or a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
I used two 6″ cake pans (like these [here]) for this recipe because I wanted a taller, 4-layer cake. If you’d like, you can use 8″ pans to make a two-layer cake. The bake time on the 8″ cakes would be shorter than that specified in the recipe.
I hope you make this cake and love the flavors as much as I do! While sometimes my natural inclination with food is to be over-the-top, sometimes over-the-top can be a VERY good thing! 😀
Other posts you may like:
Banana Coconut Cake
Banana Coconut Cake:
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large bananas, mashed
- ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
Whipped Chocolate Rum Ganache:
- 8 oz dark chocolate, chopped finely (I used 60% cacao)
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 Tbsp rum (see note)
Honey Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup raw honey (see note)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (see note)
- ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- Preheat oven to 335° F. Grease two 6" cake pans (see note) and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg). Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Add the mashed bananas and coconut and use a spatula to incorporate.
- Add the dry ingredients to the banana/coconut mixture, folding the dry ingredients in until just incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
- Bake cakes for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool for about 10 minutes in the pans before turning the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For Whipped Ganache:
- In a medium heatproof bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and cream. Microwave on 30-second bursts, stirring after each burst, until the mixture is smooth. Add the rum and mix to combine.
- Cool ganache in the refrigerator until firm but not hard, about one hour.
- Once the ganache is cooled, scrape it into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the ganache until it is light and fluffy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add honey (see note) and vanilla bean paste (see note). Mix to combine.
- Add sifted powdered sugar and beat until incorporated and smooth.
- For Assembly:
- Split the cakes so that you have four layers (skip this step if you made 8" cakes). Alternate cake layers with the whipped ganache and the cream cheese frosting (see photos to see how I alternated). If desired, reserve some of the whipped ganache to pipe on top of the cake. Once the cakes are stacked, coat with a thin coating of the cream cheese frosting, then chill the cake until fairly firm.
- Once the cake has firmed in the refrigerator, complete frosting the cake with the cream cheese frosting, reserving some of the frosting to pipe on top of the cake, if desired.
- Decorate the top of the cake as desired. I piped cream cheese frosting rosettes, added some tiny ganache drop flowers, and tucked in some toasted coconut chips. It's entirely up to you!Enjoy!