Banana Snack Cake

With, how to use over-ripe bananas and make something sugar-free for my honey, as the question…this is the answer. It’s a healthy, sugar-free, low-calorie, moist, flavorful banana snack cake. Yes, my husband chooses not to eat sugar. You might be wondering how a sugaraholic/chocoholic gal and a sugar-free guy are married and work things out? Well, things are pretty good, we have it worked out and it will be 30 years in April. I eat as much sugary/chocolatey sweets as he eats tortilla chips…it’s magical!

Banana Snack Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener
2 eggs
1¾-2 cups mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut (it is sweetened, a tiny cheat)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°. In large bowl with electric mixer, cream butter, applesauce, and Equal. Mix in eggs, mashed banana, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add flour, wheat flour, oats, baking soda, and salt; mix just until combined. Fold in coconut and chopped nuts. Pour cake batter into sprayed 9″x13″ baking pan. Bake 25-30 minutes. Cool. Cut into 20 servings, approx 180 calories per serving. It is a very moist, flavorful, healthy cake!

The I don’t care about healthy, no sugar and calories version:
*Omit applesauce and add 1 cup butter total
*Replace Splenda with sugar
*Omit wheat flour and add 2 cups all-purpose flour total
*Add 1 cup chocolate chips
*Frost with Buttercream or Cream Cheese Frosting
*Please don’t be fooled that making these changes keeps the calorie count per serving at 180. ;o)

One Year Ago: Dark Chocolate Heaven Cake Dark Chocolate Heaven Cake

Two Years Ago: Caramel Filled Peanut Butter Brownies Caramel Filled Peanut Butter Brownies

Three Years Ago: Quick Dinner Muffins Quick Dinner Muffins

 

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Fruit & Honey Graham Granola

It is summer, and I always make granola. Why? Well, I did it one year to take with us on our family vacation to Sun Valley ID and then did it the next year and now…well it’s tradition! We can’t go without it, it just wouldn’t be right! Great for breakfast or snacking anytime.

Fruit & Honey Graham Granola

3 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups chopped (chunks) graham crackers
4 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried apple
1/2 cup chopped dried banana
3/4 cup Craisins
1 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350°. In large bowl, stir together Rice Krispies, graham cracker, oats, almonds, raisins, apple, banana, and Craisins. In medium bowl, stir together melted butter, brown sugar, and honey. Pour over oat mixture and gently stir to coat. Spread evenly in two baking sheets sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 8 minutes, take out and stir. Trade tray placement in oven, top goes to bottom rack and bottom goes to top rack, bake for 8 minutes more. Remove and stir, trade placement of trays in oven again and bake for 8 minutes more. Watch closely, don’t want the granola too brown (stir again if necessary). After removing after third 8 minute baking, let trays of granola cool completely. Break into chunks, desired size and keep in in airtight container. Ready to crunch, yum!

You might want to check out these other granola recipes:
Pumpkin Pie Granola
Dark Chocolate Peanut Granola
Homemade Granola

 

One Year Ago: Summer Vegetable Tian Summer Vegetable Tian

Two Years Ago: Jam Filled Sweet Muffins Jam Filled Sweet Muffins

Banana Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting

This is a good little cake, I love the vanilla bean little black speckles in the fluffy frosting.  The second picture is what I did with the cake batter the second time around, felt the need to put it in the waffle iron…YUM!

Cake:
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
2 Tbl butter, softened
2 mashed super ripe bananas (about 3/4 cup)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Frosting:
2 Tbl butter, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or equal amount of pure vanilla extract)
1¼ cups confectioner’s sugar

Preheat the oven to 375° (350° for glass pan).  For the cake, cream sugar, sour cream, egg, and butter.  Add mashed banana and vanilla.  Add flour, salt, and baking soda; mix well.  Pour into sprayed 8×8 pan.  Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, cream butter and confectioner’s sugar together until smooth.  Slowly add heavy cream; stir until smooth.  Stir in the vanilla bean paste until fully incorporated.  Spread on cooled cake.  Recipe from butteryum.blogspot.com.

For the waffles, make cake batter as above.  Scoop into hot, sprayed waffle iron and cook just as regular waffles.  Remove waffles from waffle iron (won’t be crisp on outside yet), set on cooling rack for about 30 second to crisp.  Eat with butter and maple syrup.

One Year Ago Today:  Baked Apple Cider Donuts 

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware and kitchen tools please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.

Muffins for Breakfast at Girl’s Camp

In our church every summer all the 12-17 yr old girls go to camp.  The last day of camp they want a simple breakfast for the girls and leaders to grab quick with no mess while they pack up and clean up.  Muffins it is!  Here are two kinds of muffins I took up to camp, Banana Nut Chocolate Chip and Fresh Raspberry Walnut.  Wow, those girls know how to have fun, what a great experience.  Summer memories with good friends!

  

Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Muffins:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup mashed banana
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.  In large bowl with electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, vanilla, and buttermilk until well-combined.  Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.  Scoop batter into muffin cups, distributing evenly.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Recipe adapted from kingarthurflour.com.

Fresh Raspberry Walnut Muffins:
2 cups flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup fresh raspberries, washed and dried

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.  Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In large bowl with electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well-combined.  Add flour mix alternately with buttermilk. Gently fold in raspberries, too much mixing will totally color the batter.  Scoop batter into muffin cups, distributing evenly between 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware such as the Muffin Tray and Perforated Sheet please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker/ or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.

Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

I am always trying to come up with ways to use ripe bananas…this is the latest.
Peanut Butter & Banana!

                       

Banana Cupcakes:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Peanut Butter Filling:
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 Tbl powdered sugar
1/4 cup batter

Peanut Butter Buttercream:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
milk
honey roasted peanuts for garnish

Preheat oven to 400° and put cupcake papers in 12 muffin cup pan.  With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, mashed banana, and vanilla.  Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.  Mix together peanut butter filling ingredients in small bowl.  Fill each cupcake paper with 1/4 cup batter.  Drop one small scoop (rounded tsp) of peanut butter filling in center of each cupcake, cover peanut butter filling with more batter.  Put cupcakes in oven, turn heat down to 350°.  Bake for 20-22 minutes, until center of cupcake is set.  Cool completely on wire rack.

With electric mixer, whip together butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and enough milk to make perfect frosting consistency.  Frost completely cooled cupcakes and garnish with honey roasted peanuts.

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware such as the Muffin Tray and Perforated Sheet please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.

 

Double Chocolate Walnut Banana Bread

I am always looking for ways to use ripe bananas, because I usually have some ready for baking.  This bread is moist and very chocolatey but you can still really taste the banana, it is wonderful.  You can see chunks of walnuts and little shiny spots of mini chocolate chips.

                       

2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
3 large bananas (about 1¼ cups mashed)
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1½ cup flour
1/2 cup Special Dark cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°.  In large bowl with electric mixer, mix eggs, oil, bananas, sugar, and vanilla (I have stopped mashing my bananas first, I just let the mixer do the job).  Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, mini chocolate chips, and walnuts.  Mix just until all combined.  Pour into 4 small bread pans sprayed with non-stick spray.  Bake for 35 minutes or until tops are set and pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.  Sweet breads cut easier when they are completely cooled…but who can wait, a messy slice tastes good too!

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware and kitchen tools please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.

 

Nutella Banana Bread

New Favorite!!!  This is probably the way I will make banana bread from now on.  We all know banana bread isn’t good for you, just because it has bananas doesn’t discount all the fat and sugar.  So, why not go ahead and make it the very best tasting banana bread ever, add Nutella!

                       

2 large ripe bananas
2 eggs
1½ cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Nutella

Preheat oven to 350°.  In large bowl, beat bananas with electric mixer to mash.  Add eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla, mix well.  Add flour, baking soda, and salt, mix until just combined.  In a medium bowl, mix Nutella and 1 cup of banana batter.  Pour half banana batter into large (9x5x2½) bread pan coated with cooking spray.  Pour half Nutella/banana batter over then remaining banana batter and finish with remaining Nutella/banana batter on top.  With long knife, swirl batters.
Bake for about an hour, or until pick in center comes out clean.  Can make small loaves, adjust baking time.

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware and kitchen tools please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins…Two Ways

At our house we love a good taste test.  We have taste tested different brands of root beer, tortilla chips, maple syrup, pickles and more.  I wanted to compare two recipes for Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.  The first one shown below uses baking mix aka Bisquick and the second shown below that is completely “made from scratch”.  The term “made from scratch” means made from the most elementary starting materials, no short-cuts (as in using baking mix).  Sorry you can only compare the pictures, we got to compare taste.  My son and I have to say the from scratch muffin was definitely better, moist and flavorful.  But…if you are in a hurry the baking mix muffin is pretty darn good too.

                       

BAKING MIX BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS:
2 cups baking mix (such as Bisquick®)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 (about 1 cup) mashed very ripe bananas
1 egg
4 Tbl oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
Heat oven to 400º.  You can make 12 small muffins or my preference 6 muffins that make a statement.  Use Demarle muffin tray on a perforated sheet or spray a regular muffin pan.

In mixing bowl whisk together baking mix and sugar.  Stir in mini chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.  In another small bowl, mash bananas and then stir in egg, oil, and vanilla.  Add banana mixture to flour mixture and stir just until combined.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, I like to use my large scoop.  Sprinkle each muffin with 1/2 tsp sugar crystals if desired to give them a sweet crunch.  Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  During baking I cover with foil when muffins are at the point of perfect golden color I want so they don’t get too brown.

                   

BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup mashed banana, about 2 medium or 1 1/2 large bananas
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 400º.  You can make 12 small muffins or my preference 6 muffins that make a statement.  Use Demarle muffin tray on a perforated sheet or spray a regular muffin pan.

In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add banana, egg, vanilla, and buttermilk.  Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, mix until just combined.  Stir in mini chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, I like to use my large scoop.  Sprinkle each muffin with 1/2 tsp sugar crystals if desired to give them a sweet crunch.  Bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown.  During baking I cover with foil when muffins are at the point of perfect golden color I want so they don’t get too brown.

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware such as the Muffin Tray and Perforated Sheet please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.

 

Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread

I make a lot of banana bread.  My family members own two grocery stores and when there are over ripe bananas my mom brings them to me, which is quite often.  How do you improve upon delicious banana bread?  Add Chocolate!  I found this recipe on the internet and knew I had to give it a try. I made some changes and of course made a double batch because I had so many bananas. When I cut open a loaf I realized I need to work on my marbling skills!

2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
2 eggs
1 (6oz) vanilla yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

In a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed sugar and butter until well blended. Add banana, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist.

Place chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly. Add 1 cup batter to chocolate, stirring until well combined. Spoon plain batter alternately with chocolate batter into a loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Swirl batters together using a knife.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.  I use three small loaf pans and bake 35-40 minutes.

Chocolate Cranberry Banana Bread

Overripe bananas again…excellent, banana bread.  Basic banana bread is good, but lets make it a little more exciting.

3  cups flour
1 1/3  cups sugar
4  tsp baking powder
1/2  tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2  cup sour cream
1/2  cup milk
1/3 cup oil
2  teaspoon vanilla
1 ¹/3  cups mashed banana (about 4 medium bananas)
1/2  cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2  cup chopped walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray bottom of 2 loaf pans or 5 small loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture.

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, milk, egg, and oil. Stir in mashed banana and vanilla.  Add sour cream mixture all at once to flour mixture, stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in chopped cranberries, walnuts, and chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into prepared pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (28-32 for small pans) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pans, cool completely on wire rack.