Sunday, October 6, 2013

Banana Cream Cake

This amazingly-delicious paleo Banana Cream Cake recipe was inspired by my own fancy-cooking-tool ignorance (and lack of reading comprehension).

This Summer on our family beach vacation, my mom brought along a Pampered Chef catalog to fish for Christmas present ideas. When we were children, my sister and I didn't write letters to Santa. Instead we circled our greatest desires in the advertisements we found stuffed into post-Thanksgiving newspapers. We would each pick our own marker color, or jot an initial next to our circles, so that Santa wouldn't get confused. Most of the time it worked. And our circled toys magically appeared under the Christmas tree each year.

We've carried on the same tradition now that we're older. Granted, we spend much less time perusing the Toys R Us catalog than we did in the old days. But still. Circles turn into Christmas presents. So, when I saw the Pampered Chef catalog in my mother's room at the beach, I knew exactly what to do.

To my surprise, Santa shipped my Christmas presents 3 months early (lucky me!), and because I'm a total grown up and live 1000 miles away, my mom can't make me set them aside until Christmas comes around (that used to be the rule - presents that come in the mail early go under the tree). So, for the past week-or-so I've been playing in the kitchen with all my new toys.

When I opened up the packages, I also realized that I have a lot to learn in the fancy-cooking-tool department. One of the boxes contained two torte pans. This is exactly what I ordered, but not at all what I expected. I thought (and this is where reading comprehension becomes important) I would be getting tart pans.

In my defense, they don't look all that dissimilar in the pictures. I did think it was a little weird that the torte pans came as a set of two. But I just figured Pampered Chef was being generous. Turns out, the pans are not the same. A tart pan is for making shallow pies and quiche (that's what I wanted to make). A torte pan is for making filled cakes (I had no idea I wanted to make that).

The torte pan shape turns the cake into a crust.
I know! This is some strange new magic...

I'm not one to be intimidated by a cooking implement (or anything else for that matter). So, it took about 15 seconds to come up with a use-case for my new pans. I'd been playing with a banana bread recipe (based on a plantain cake recipe I found online) and I'd been plotting a new banana pudding recipe for CaveBoy (Christmas is coming sooner than you think). I'd imagined that once I got the banana pudding down, I would convert it into a Banana Cream CavePie (based on the wild success of my other two CavePies). But then, when these magical torte pans arrived, the Banana Cream Cake was born.

I tested the recipe out on the CrossFit Beauties during Girls Night In. Rachel said she liked it even more than the Key Lime CavePie (if you can believe that's possible).

Banana Cream Cake

And don't worry. The banana cake is sturdy enough to stand up to the pudding.
It won't become a soggy mess if you chill it over night.

For the cake:


4 eggs, separated
1 large ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In your stand mixer, combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip on high until it forms stiff peaks.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolk and coconut oil. Add vanilla extract and mashed banana, and continue whisking until fully combined.

In a small bowl (relax! your dish washer isn't broken), combine coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Make sure cinnamon and baking soda are evenly distributed throughout the mixture. 

Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Whisk to fully combine.

Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Using a spatula, add banana-coconut flour mixture to the egg whites one scoop at a time. Fold gently to combine. Then add another scoop of banana-coconut mixture. Repeat until the batter is fully combined. 

Grease a torte pan* with coconut oil spray. Pour in batter and smooth into an even layer. Bake at 350 degrees until the edges are brown, the center is firm, and the banana cake passes the toothpick test. About 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, invert cake onto a large plate or serving dish.

For the filling:


5 eggs
1 1/2 large bananas, sliced
1/2 large banana, mashed
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup spiced rum (or pineapple juice)
1 tablespoon raw honey (omit if using pineapple juice)


In a small bowl, whisk together rum and mashed banana until it becomes a delicious banana slurry (you'll want to drink it. don't.).

In an un-heated medium sauce pan whisk together eggs, coconut oil, honey, and rum-banana mixture. Once fully combined, place over medium heat and whisk continuously until the filling begins to thicken. Lift from heat and continue whisking until the filling is thick (about the consistency of home-made pudding). Transfer into a medium bowl. Refrigerate for 45 to 60 minutes.

Spoon the filling onto the banana cake and smooth the surface. Arranged sliced banana on top. Serve immediately or refrigerate (so the pudding doesn't run). Serves 8 to 10.

*Note: If you don't have a torte pan, get one, they're fun! Or, you can use a 9x9 baking dish and make Banana Cream Bars.

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