Earlier this week I made brownies with bananas, but I have really, really been wanting to make a naked cake. I kind of attempted last month with a cake for my friend Kelly, which tasted amazing, but it did not live up to my vision. And so I have been picturing more cakes in my mind (plus we make cakes daily at work and I observe a lot).
I don’t know what it is, but I like the raw, rustic appeal of the naked cakes, decorated with fruit or flowers. They seem more natural. Less high maintenance. The frosting doesn’t have to be perfect. The caramel can just drip down the sides. I think maybe I like them because it relates to me and my personality. Food I’ve learned can do this. Even the way we season things, says a lot about our personality. I think these cakes draw me in because I see myself as a low maintenance and slightly untamed kind of girl. A nature seeking, raw beauty kind of girl. I prefer my hair a curly wild mane and to be outdoors. I am not a very conventional girl. Straight lines and super structure are not my style. My flow is softer and easy-going and free and artsy and organic. Not fondant and perfectly smoothed buttercream and pearls and glitz.
When I baked pies for the boys’ one of them was a banoffee and it was a hit on flavor, so I knew I wanted to pair it with caramel. And then I go back to my last job. My baking trial was a chocolate gluten-free cupcake with a browned butter buttercream and candied bacon. I remember tasting it and talking with my boss, the brown butter MADE the cupcake and added incredible flavor. I had to do some browned butter frosting. And you can’t have banana cake or bread without nuts (at least that is my opinion), so I had to add some pecans. And then I was decorating it, thinking…..thinking…….It needed some kind of border. The brownie bites were too tempting, so I crumbled them and put them around the parameter. Why not add a little color to it and sprinkle a bit of white chocolate?
This recipe was also frat boy approved! One of the boys was in the kitchen when I was slicing it for a photo and we had him be our taste-tester. He said it was delicious, was shocked when we told him it was gluten-free, and asked if he could could take the piece with him.
I think this cake is stunning. And it is definitely without a doubt, delicious. This could be the first of many naked cakes to come……………………………
Naked Banana Cake
Banana Honey Cake
- 1 cup almond flour
- 3 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup ghee
- 1 ¼ cup honey
- 2 local, pasture-raised eggs @ room temperature
- ½ cup plain yogurt (I used goat)
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla
- 3 super, duper ripe bananas
- 1 cup toasted pecans
Browned Butter Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16 oz cream cheese (or goat cheese would be my preference)
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 cup ghee
- 3 ½ cup powdered coconut sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
Caramel (a recipe from Feel Great in 8)
- 1 can coconut milk
- ½ cup maple
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350.
Cream butter. Mash bananas (I use my hands, just squeeze them). Beat sugar into the ghee for 5 minutes until lighter in color. Add eggs one at a time. Now add the yogurt and vanilla. In a separate bowls whisk the dry ingredients (flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon). Slowly add in the flour mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition. Lastly add the banana and mix until it is just incorporated.
Divide the mix into two small cake pans. Bake for 18 minutes, until it springs back or a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely. Freeze. Cut each in half and get ready to layer!!
For the Frosting: Cook the ghee in a skillet at medium heat until it is browned (obviously). Place in the freezer, covered in a bowl for 45 minutes or so. Not frozen solid but not warm at ALL. Beat the ghee for one minute. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla. Keep beating for an additional 5 minutes. Use your hands and mash cream cheese into the mixer. Beat. Scrape down the sides and beat 2 minutes until it is soft and smooth.
For the Caramel: Combine the coconut milk, maple and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Stir at the end to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat to add the vanilla and coconut oil.
Layer and Assembly: Place down a layer of cake. Place a heaping spoonful of frosting on top. Smooth. Drizzle with a layer of caramel. Even layer on some banana slices. Continue until you reach the top, then spread a very thin crumb layer of frosting. Freeze for a bit to set up and stabilize. Remove. Drizzle with caramel on the top. Design the top with banana slices and some white chocolate shavings. Crumble banana brownies around the bottom for a border.