day oneonetwothreefourbanana chocolate chip cake

Banana Chocolate-Chip Cake
Adapted from the October 2012 issue of Bon Appetit, wherein it was found and obsessed over by one October birthday boy.

Moist and rich from butter and yogurt, bursting with chocolate chips, and wearing a thick cap of freshly whipped cream, this cake is really just a glorified banana bread. But it is a well-glorified one! It made a perfect cake for the pre-school set, and their parents too.

Butter for pans
3 cups King Arthur unbleached cake flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (loose-packed) brown sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups mashed very ripe bananas
1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt (we are in love with the new Straus Greek yogurt!)
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

For decorating and filling:

1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons cocoa powder

Optional: additional chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter two 8x8x2 cake pans, and line bottom of pans with parchment. Butter paper.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat sugar, butter, and brown sugar in electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Mix in vanilla. Add the dry ingredients; beat on low speed just to blend. Add the mashed bananas and yogurt; beat just to blend. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in chocolate chips.

Divide batter evenly between pans; smooth tops. Bake at 350 F until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean (this took about 35 minutes for me). Transfer the pans to wire racks; let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes. Invert the pans onto racks to remove cakes.  Peel off the parchment paper and let the cakes cook completely (I went with overnight) before frosting.

Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat cream with vanilla and sugar until just barely holding a peak. Remove from mixer. Take 5-6 large tablespoons of whipped cream and put in a small bowl. Mix with cocoa powder. Use the cocoa-cream as the filling between your two layers. Use the rest of your whipped cream to frost the cake. NOTE: don’t overwhip the cream. Working it with an off-set spatula to frost the cake will stiffen it up some; letting it sit in the fridge while you wait for your party to begin will stiffen it up more.

(We cut our cake into a number 4 after we layered it but before we frosted it. We used the leftover chocolate chips to outline the 4, on top of the whipped cream).

Note: this cake was delicious on day one. It was even more delicious on day two, after a night spent under cling wrap in the fridge.

Happy birthday J. We love you! I hope your birthday wishes come true. XOcakecandlespoof!

22 thoughts on “Four

  1. My number one reaches number four. Great pics! I am sorry I missed this cake (probably one that I could have eaten and enjoyed) but glad I got to spend some time around the big day.

  2. OK it’s like I’m on a two week delay…my guy turned four two weeks ago today and it’s more now, reading your post and looking at J’s adorable progression over the past four years, that I’m getting all teary. They are such good, big (but still little) boys. How blessed we are. Happy birthday Jacob!

    • Aw Jessie! It’s always when we get some distance that we see it most clearly. We are a couple days off the actual day, and it is just sort of sinking in here … it helps that we hear a lot of “this is something that four year olds can do!” in our day-to-day now! :)

  3. I love those photos. And the cake. And that you cut the cake into the shape of a 4. I am so going to do that before my kids get too old to be impressed by that sort of magic. :)

  4. Aw! So sweet, and what a gorgeous cake! My “little” one will be 8 soon. How did that happen? And the big one is nearly 11. It’s so true that while the days often creep by, the years do fly. Enjoy!

  5. Might have to make this for the next big 4 in the family! It was surprisingly moist and so much tastier than typical birthday cake!!

  6. Happy Birthday, Jacob. Can’t wait to hear you sing a song with your microphone!
    Great pics, K & H – He’s growing up so fast. I will bake this cake.

  7. Nico will be one in a couple of weeks. I can’t believe how different they are every single day, but oh my goodness, what a joy to watch them grow. I can’t believe how much your boys look like you. And your mom.

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