Go Nuts! Go Bananas! Rich and Gooey Almond Butter Banana Cake

Almost all Neolithic desserts rely heavily on refined sweeteners (white sugar, corn syrup) to achieve their indulgent flavor. Not so with this cake. The only (all-natural!) sweetener it requires is 1/3 cup of honey, which, spread out over the entire pan, is not that terribly much. Most of the sweetness comes from the bananas themselves. For this reason, a lot of the flavor of your cake is going to depend on how ripe your bananas are. Green, unripe bananas are very tough and starchy. As they ripen, the starches convert to sugar, giving them the sweet taste that we all love. This recipe works best with slightly overripe bananas, when they are covered with a lot of black spots. It is a good way to get rid of the fruit that is languishing on your counter, and would otherwise spoil.

If you have not-quite-ripe bananas and are somewhat impatient (as I often am), you can speed up the process by placing your bananas in a brown paper bag. Bananas produce ethylene gas, which drives the ripening process, and placing them in the bag leads to concentrated quantities of the gas, which translates to faster ripening. When unripe bananas are brought to the store to be sold, they are also sprayed with massive quantities of ethylene gas in order to produce that bright yellow color and sweet taste that is so pleasing to customers. With the paper bag method, however, you are achieving the same result naturally, using the fruit’s own gases.

Some more of the sweetness (and a lot of the flavor) in this cake comes from the cinnamon. Not only a flavorful addition to recipes, cinnamon is somewhat of a wonder-spice, with numerous health benefits. Cinnamaldehyde, the organic compound that gives cinnamon its signature flavor, has been shown to impair cancer cell proliferation, decrease total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, increase HDL (“good cholesterol”) levels, and relieve muscular insulin resistance. If you want to read more in-depth about cinnamon’s health benefits, I suggest you take a look at this post on Mark’s Daily Apple.

And now, on to the recipe. You will need:

4 over-ripe medium bananas
1/2 cup almond butter
1/3 cup honey
2 organic free-range large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ cups almond flour (You can purchase pre-ground almond flour, although it can get a bit pricey. A more economical option would be to grind skinless almonds in your food processor until they reach the consistency of coarse sand.)

Pre-heat your oven to 350F and grease a 9-in round pan. (I used a spring form pan for nicer presentation and easier serving.) I enjoy the taste of coconut oil, but butter would work equally well. Blend the first five ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Stir the remaining (dry) ingredients together, and then beat into the wet mixture until well incorporated. Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan and place in the center of the pre-heated oven. Bake 28 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean.

Allow to cool slightly, slice, and enjoy. Nick and I have agreed that this cake is at its most delicious served warm out of the oven and topped with either homemade jam (like an old-fashioned PB&J!) or a melting pad of grass-fed butter. We devoured over half of the pan at the dinner table, I got positive feedback from my mother, who was surprised that I made such a tasty dessert without any refined sugar, and I deemed the recipe a blog-worthy success.

These were the remains of the cake after everybody had their fill. The rest might be going down for breakfast.

I am sharing this post at lots of blog carnivals this week. Check out the Hearth and Soul Hop, Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays and Gluten Free Wednesdays at the Gluten Free Homemaker, and Sweets for a Saturday.

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12 Responses to Go Nuts! Go Bananas! Rich and Gooey Almond Butter Banana Cake

  1. Bean says:

    I think if that’s what I had for breakfast, then there would be even less cake left! Haha.

    • elliemaeh says:

      Oh, there was no cake left after breakfast – I photographed those remains right after dinner. I figured a picture of an empty cake pan would not be very interesting! My husband and I gobbled everything down the next morning, it was just too addictive.

  2. With such a healthy cake, I’d definitely feel good about eating this for breakfast (and then snacking more on it during the day). I have a sweet treat linky party on my blog every weekend and I’d like to invite you to stop by then and link your cake up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com

  3. Swathi says:

    Delicious and healthy almond butter cake. Love banana in baking. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop.

  4. Tracee says:

    Oh yum, I am definately bookmarking this one.

    • elliemaeh says:

      Thanks for dropping by. I just checked out your site, and I think that I am going to have to make those Red Lobster-esque biscuits. They were one of my favorite glutenous indulgences before I became pregnant and started being so strict!

  5. hellad says:

    Oh nice recipe, I have some cashew butter in the cupboard I want to try this recipe with! Yum, thanks for sharing with Grain Free Tuesdays!

  6. Francine says:

    I rteally like that you can do this in the food processor and have to buy the pricey flour. I can grind my own. Yeah!

    • elliemaeh says:

      It is just a tiny bit more time and effort, and a pretty darn big savings. It is amazing the mark-up for almond flour. I love little money-saving strategies like this one- very handy when trying to shop on a budget!

  7. Pingback: Gooey Almond Butter Cake

  8. Pingback: Rich and Creamy Dark Chocolate Smoothie, and Smoothie Week Begins! | A Mom On A Mission . . . . . . to nurture and nourish her family

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