Mini Banana Bundt Cakes with Coffee Salted Caramel


 
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel

I am an absolute shocker at buying bananas and then not eating them, which results in more banana baked goods than bananas being eaten in this household. I always have good intentions to make smoothies, or have them as a snack with some nut butter (which I love, I just always forget), so they inevitably end up weird and spotty, and I bake with them. It’s not the worst problem to have, seeing as I am married to someone with a banana bread addiction, so we always have some on hand in the freezer, pre-sliced, so rich can just pop it in the toaster when the need arises.

I’ve been wanting to work on a banana bundt cake for a while now, and a week or so ago we had an intense backlog of brown bananas, so I started testing. The testing process was actually quite quick, as my go-to banana cake recipe, which I use for a regular layer cake (super old photos, please excuse) and also a sheet cake, bundted like a champ, and I hardly had to make any tweaks. It’s always a little hit and miss when you try baking a recipe you know in a bundt pan - it either is a spectacular fail (like the first test of this cake), or it works first time and all is right with the world (this devil’s food bundt did exactly that and it was just the best day ever).

I topped these mini banana bundt cakes with a coffee caramel - infusing caramel is super easy as it is cream based, so to inject flavour all you have to do is infuse the cream. This time I steeped it with some coffee, and it came out great. Always remember that the flavour will be diluted once it is made into a caramel - I always get a bit worried for a second when the cream is super strong! The caramel was so lovely against the banana, and the coffee flavour complimented it perfectly. You definitely don’t need a caramel topping, but it looks amazing and is a little something extra!

I originally tested this in a regular sized bundt pan (I used this one), and it worked great, so if you don’t have these mini babies, then you can double the recipe - I have popped some instructions in the notes.

A few wee tips:

  • I made a single batch of this recipe twice so that I had 12 little cakes. I found flour settled in the grooves, so I just used some baking spray to help prevent sticking. I used this pan!

  • If you would like, you can double it and put it in a 10 cup bundt pan (I tested it in this), and bake for 55-60 minutes. Leave to stand for 10 min before turning out. Make sure the pan is well greased with baking spray and flour.

  • I like to give the caramel an overnight rest, which means it will likely have to be microwaved to get to the right texture once you are ready to use it, but if you like you can also make it before you make the cakes and leave it to cool while you bake them - if you put it in a shallow container to cool (rather than a jar) it will cool quicker because it has more surface area! I usually just pop it in a jar and leave in the fridge overnight because #lazy.

  • You want your bananas to be waaay on the ripe side for this if possible. Like, if you look at them and are like “ooooh that’s almost rotten” - that’s great. Regular spotty bananas work too!

  • This recipe has a slightly weird step in it - it gets you to dissolve baking soda in milk. This is how I’ve always done it, because this cake is adapted from the banana cake I grew up on. I think it may be to reduce the risk of baking soda bombs in the cake (when you bite into a lump), I guess NZ bakers are bad at sifting their baking soda, or it is to help it disperse? Anyway, it’s there because that’s how I’ve always done it, would love to know if you know the reason! If you don’t want to do this step you can probably just add the baking soda to the dry ingredients, and add the milk along with the vanilla and banana.

 

 

Mini Banana Bundt Cakes with Coffee Salted Caramel

- Makes 6 cakes -

Note: I made this recipe twice in order to give me 12 cakes - I baked them, then let the pan cool while I mixed up the next batch.

Cake adapted from "Edmonds Cookbook"

Coffee Salted Caramel
230g heavy cream
30g coarsely ground coffee
200g sugar
90g butter, at room temperature
2 tsp kosher salt

Banana Mini Bundt Cakes
125g butter, at room temperature
150g sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
225g very ripe bananas (about two bananas), mashed
40g whole milk
1 tsp baking soda
250g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
 

- PROCESS -

COFFEE SALTED CARAMEL

Place the cream in a small saucepan. Heat over gentle heat, until you start to see movement around the edges. Remove from the heat and add the ground coffee, stirring to combine. Cover, and steep for 20 minutes. Strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down to get as much infused cream out as possible. Clean the saucepan. Weigh the cream, and top up to 120g if needed. Place over a low heat while you prepare the caramel.

Place the sugar in a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring constantly. The sugar will start to form clumps, then begin to melt. Cook until is it amber in colour, then remove from the heat and immediately add all of the butter. Be careful as the caramel will bubble rapidly. Once the butter is incorporated, add the infused cream and stir well. Stir in the salt, and pour into a glass jar. Allow to cool completely - either in the fridge overnight, or for a few hours.

BANANA MINI BUNDT CAKES

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla bean paste and mashed bananas, and mix to combine.

Warm up the milk either in the microwave or in a very small pan, then add the baking soda and mix to dissolve. Add to the mixture and beat to combine.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the mixer, and mix on low until just combined.

Spray a 6-well bundt cakelet pan with baking spray (see notes on making this a full sized bundt cake), and evenly divide the batter between them. Tap firmly on the bench to help remove any air bubbles. Place on a sheet pan.

Bake the mini bundt cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.

ASSEMBLY

Place the cooled bundts on a wire rack over a baking sheet. If your caramel has cooled, warm it up in the microwave slightly until it is a pouring consistency.

Drizzle the cakes with the coffee caramel, and finish with sea salt if desired.

Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. If you aren’t planning on eating them all at once, you can store the caramel and cakes separately and assemble before eating to prevent them going too soggy.

Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel

Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache


 
Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting
Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting
Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting
Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting
Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting
Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting
Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting
Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting

There are very few things I would change about my Husband Rich. He's the consistent to my rollercoaster moods, the calm to my crazy. But he has horrific taste in frosting. Unless it's what we call "shitty chocolate icing" (I've since managed to at least get him to agree to a chocolate american buttercream), he doesn't want anything to do with it. He will scrape the buttercream off cakes, chop it off the top of cupcakes, or just flat out refuse anything involving swiss meringue buttercream. Last weekend I was taking a cake for a friends birthday and he asked if he could BRING HIS OWN FROSTING. And as much as I try to not let it bug me, I always get a little bummed out when he scrapes frosting off or eats around it. My theory is that the fancier it is, the longer it took me, or the more components it has, the higher the chances are of him not liking it. Banana bread? He will eat a whole loaf in a day. Multi component choux buns? He's gonna ask me to leave him some unfilled so he can eat them plain. Luckily I have loads of friends who aren't as basic in baking preferences as Rich, but I always have to remind myself when presenting him with something that's taken me ages or is super intricate, that he's probably not going to like it because he's a monster. Is it just me? Or does this happen to other people too?

I did however manage to sneak this banana sheet cake with whipped dark chocolate ganache past him the other day. Granted, he did request an american buttercream when I made it for him for his birthday, but at least this one didn't get scraped off (I don't know what's wrong with him, honestly, because the ganache is the best part). Banana cake is a huge favourite around our house, probably because it's just banana bread in a different form. 

The cake itself is super super easy, and all I have done is fancied it up a little with a whipped dark chocolate ganache. The ganache is dark and rich, and balances the sweet, moist cake. Feel free to add a different buttercream to this (Rich recommends a double batch of this one, but a dark chocolate swiss meringue situation would also be amazing), but I do encourage you to give the ganache a go. It's worth it. 

A few wee tips:

  • The Ganache does need some time to firm up in the fridge - you want to give it a little time on the bench first to reduce the condensation when you put on the plastic wrap. I like to let it firm up, stirring occasionally, until it is thick and fudgy, and then whip it - It usually needs about half an hour on the bench and then another 60-90 minutes in the fridge.

  • If you have another mixing bowl that would be great for this, alternatively I like to get the cake in the oven, and then wash out my mixer bowl, and make the ganache directly in it, so when it comes time to whip it, it's already in the right bowl.

  • If you let your ganache sit a little too long and it gets too firm, then as you are whipping it, take a little out, heat up in the microwave until soft and slightly warm, then add to the cold mixture. Mix it in, and repeat if needed to make the ganache the right consistency.

 

 

Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache

- Makes one 9" x 13" cake, serves about 12-18 people depending on slice size -

Banana Cake
250g (2 1/4 sticks/8.8oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
350g (1 3/4 cups) sugar
4 eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp (8grams) baking soda
60ml (1/4 cup) milk
500g (4 cups) All-purpose flour
2 tsp (8 grams) baking powder

Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache
600g good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
400g heavy cream
pinch salt

Chocolate Pearls and flaky sea salt to finish, optional

- PROCESS -

BANANA CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350f/180c. Grease a 9" x 13" pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add bananas and beat until incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, ensuring bowl is well scraped down and mixture is well combined. 

Heat milk in the microwave, or a small pan until boiling. Add baking soda to milk, and add to the mix, mixing until well combined. 

Sift flour and baking powder, and add to the mixture. Mix briefly until just combined. Scrape into the prepared pan, and bake 30-45 minutes until lightly golden, and a tester inserted in the middle of a cake comes out clean. If you don't mind the cake being a little more dense, you can also place a clean tea towel over the cake soon after it comes out of the oven and press down gently to help lessen the dome. Allow to cool completely. 

 

WHIPPED CHOCOLATE GANACHE

Place the chocolate in the bowl of a stand mixer or heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a small pan, and place over low heat until just boiling. Pour over the chopped chocolate, add the salt, then cover the bowl with a plate. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let the ganache sit on the counter for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, then carefully cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge, and leave for 60-90 minutes, checking occasionally, until a scoopable consistency. Place the mixing bowl on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix on medium speed until whipped.

ASSEMBLY

Dump the ganache onto the cooled cake, spread with an offset spatula, and sprinkle with chocolate pearls and flaky sea salt. Slice into squares to serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container. 

Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting