Choco Banana Snackcake

Oh man, if you have lots of bananas and like chocolate cake, do I have the perfect recipe for you. Dairy-free, super moist and delicious, this one is a winner. Plus it's packed with 5 bananas so it's almost a health food, right? I was looking for an easy and dairy-free dessert to share with my sister and brother-in-law. I stumbled across this beauty on Pinterest (everyone's already following me on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/evbecker/)? It's a quick and easy snackcake recipe that will offer endless variations. My next iteration will be a vanilla version with vegan caramel sauce drizzle, stay tuned for that one!

choco banana snackcake

Choco Banana Snackcake

Adapted from Serena Bakes Simply, Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 5 whole bananas, peeled and frozen, then thaw for 1 hour
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup black coffee
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup walnut or pecans, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (To Sprinkle On Top)
Rich chocolate and banana snackcake heads into the oven.

Rich chocolate and banana snackcake heads into the oven.

Directions

Baker's note: I always have lots of bananas in my freezer. Before you begin making this cake, remove 5 frozen, peeled bananas from the freezer and allow to thaw for about 1 hour. In a pinch, you can take 5 ripe, peeled bananas, and microwave them for 2-3 minutes before beginning this recipe. You should have nearly the same results.

Preheat oven to 350 F and adjust oven rack to the middle position. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan (I used glass pyrex to great success).

Place thawed bananas in a large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher until fairly smooth. Stir in brown sugar, canola oil, egg, vanilla, vinegar and coffee.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and kosher salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Stir in 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (I recommend Ghiradelli's 60% cocoa dark chocolate chips for this recipe) and chopped nuts if you are using them. Pour snackcake batter into the prepared pan and top with remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a cake tester comes out mostly clean. Cool for 15 minutes before slicing. 

I found that the banana flavor quickly disappeared. If possible, enjoy this cake the same day that you bake it.  

Snackcake ready for devouring.

Snackcake ready for devouring.

Dense Chocolate Cake-Gluten and Dairy Free

Or, adult brownies as my husband lovingly called them. Not because they have alcohol, simply because they are sophisticated and the very essence of chocolate. I made this cake a few years ago using butter and thought I would try a variation that omits the dairy and substituted coconut oil. It worked out perfectly. A little slice of this perfectly moist cake with a cup of coffee, or Bailey's and your dinner guests will go home happy!

Dense Chocolate Cake

Dense Chocolate Cake-Gluten and Dairy-Free

Adapted from www.epicurious.com

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • Powdered sugar for additional decoration (if desired)
Measuring cocoa powder

Measuring cocoa powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F and grease a 9-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with round of parchment paper and grease the paper. Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a microwave-safe glass bowl, melt chocolate with coconut oil. On full power microwave for 45 seconds, stir, then microwave for 30 second intervals stirring in between until the chocolate is fully melted. Whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven 20-25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.

To create a design on top,  place a stencil (you can cut one out of parchment paper, like making a snowflake), and dust with icing sugar. Carefully remove the parchment paper and serve immediately.

Lots of chocolate goes into this dense cake.

Lots of chocolate goes into this dense cake.

Vanilla Custard Pie

This little birthday pie hit all of the right notes: sweet, silky, cool and just a bit salty and crunchy. The custard filling is made with whole milk, which I can easily substitute my husband's lactose free milk for. It results in a creamy and rich, but not too rich filling. And, the homemade graham cracker crust got a boost from crunchy pecans and rich coconut oil instead of butter. 

vanilla custard pie

Vanilla Custard Pie

makes one 9-inch pie

Ingredients

Crust

  • 20 graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • pinch of salt

Custard

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • pinch of salt

Topping

  • 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips
vanilla custard pie

Directions

Crust

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a food processor, combine graham crackers and pecans and process for about a minute, or until finely chopped. Add melted coconut oil, brown sugar and salt to food processor until combined.

Firmly press the mixture into a 9 inch pie plate, using your hand or a flat-bottomed glass. Bake the crust for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven and cool thoroughly.

Custard

While the pie crust is cooling, add the milk, egg yolks, vanilla, sugar, cornstarch and salt to a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Heat over medium-high heat while whisking frequently. Once the mixture comes to a boil, drop the heat and stir continuously for one minute. Take off the heat and cool the mixture in an ice bath. Add the cooled custard to the pie shell and place cling wrap directly on the surface of the pie so that no skin forms. Refrigerate for at least four hours before serving.

Topping

Just before serving, heat the dark chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Try heating for 30 seconds at a time. Stir after each 30 second interval. When chocolate is fully melted, use a spoon to artfully drizzle the chocolate over the custard. 

The pie is ready to cut, serve and enjoy!