Overripe bananas? Yeah, me too. My favorite bananas are slightly underripe with a touch of green. Once they start to get a few small brown specks on the peel I could toss them into a smoothie. Or slice and freeze them for blended frozen treats. Yum. But if I let them sit around one more day then it’s time to bake with them. That was yesterday’s situation. Bake something banana. Because life is full of hard choices, and I didn’t want to waste perfectly overripe bananas now did I?
This recipe originally started off with inspiration from a Honey-Nut Muffin recipe. You can see the original recipe, by Melissa Rubel Jacobson on Food and Wine here. I’ve added coconut, eliminated the nut topping, increased the banana, decreased the sugar & honey and made it into an 8 x 8′ cake with a tangy cream cheese frosting. It’s a size that cuts well into 9 square serving size portions, without being too much. For a bigger event, you can double the recipe and make this into a layered cake.
I suggest making this the day before if possible and leave frosted overnight (in the fridge). The banana flavor really blends with the sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting. I prefer this cake served just slightly cooler than room temperature, remove from refrigerator 30-45 minutes before serving. Since this is a cream cheese frosted cake, storing refrigerated is necessary.
Never toasted coconut? It takes about 10-12 minutes at 350°. Spread onto a baking sheet in a thin layer, remove the baking sheet every 3-4 minutes and (using a spatula or long handled wooden spoon) gently stir the around coconut to evenly re-distribute where it browns. Make sure you keep an eye on it so it does not burn. Allow to cool before folding into the cake batter.
Don’t want to toast the coconut? You can use untoasted coconut. Don’t love coconut? Eliminate it from the recipe, I would suggest garnishing the cake with chopped walnuts.
Banana Toasted Coconut CakePrint Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 stick Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 2 Eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 cup Mashed Over Ripe Banana (2-3 depending on size)
- 1 heaping tsp Lemon Zest
- 1/4 cup Milk, (skim or with fat will work)
- 1 cup Toasted Angel Flake Sweetened Coconut, plus 1/2 cup for Garnish
- 1/2 batch Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe under Sweets)
Preheat Oven to 350°. Grease or fully parchment paper line an 8 x 8" square baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together Flour, Baking Powder and Salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, on medium/high speed blend together the Butter, Sugar and Honey. Blend until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Use a rubber or silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add Eggs & Vanilla, blend on medium speed until just combined. Add Mashed Banana & Lemon Zest and blend until just combined.
Add dry ingredients into wet ingredient mixture, slowly in 2 parts alternating with milk on low speed. Use a rubber or silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to fully incorporate all the ingredients.
Using a spoon or spatula, fold in 1 cup toasted coconut.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until the middle is set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Some ovens can run hot so check cake every 5 minutes after the 40 minute mark so it does not over-bake.
Let pan cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes, then gently remove cake from pan and allow it to fully cool on a flat surface (like a cutting board or parchment paper).
When cake is completely cooled, handle gently and frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Even a slightly warm cake can melt the frosting.
Sprinkle with remaining toasted coconut for garnish.
Refrigerate cake, remove 30-45 minutes prior to serving.*
*TIP: If you don't have a cake cover or container to store this in, refrigerate just cake until the frosting is cold & firm (no longer sticky to the touch), then lay a small piece of wax paper over the top and cover in plastic wrap. This will help prevent all the frosting from completely sticking to the plastic wrap or foil when covered.