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Banana Cake with Coconut-Cream Frosting

January/February 1999, The Essential EatingWell Cookbook (2004)

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Combining traditional flavors with modern sensibilities, the creamed butter and sugar have been replaced with a simple meringue in this moist, luscious cake.



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Banana Cake with Coconut-Cream Frosting Recipe

Makes: 12 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Ingredient note)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas, (2 large)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Coconut-cream frosting

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut chips, or flaked
  • 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

Preparation

  1. To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Dust lightly with flour, shaking out the excess (or use cooking spray with flour).
  2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, swirling, until it turns a nutty brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
  4. Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry (this can take up to 5 minutes).
  5. Combine the melted butter, egg yolk, remaining 1 cup sugar, bananas, oil and vanilla in a large bowl. With mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk; beat until just blended. Beat in a heaping spoonful of the whites. Using a whisk, fold in the remaining whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  6. Bake the cake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto the racks and let cool completely.
  7. To prepare frosting & assemble cake: Toast coconut in a pie pan at 350 degrees F until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.
  8. Combine cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and coconut extract in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  9. Frost the cake, using a little less than half the frosting between layers and the rest on the top. Garnish with the toasted coconut.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 6. Wrap cake layers in plastic wrap, then foil and freeze for up to 3 months. | Equipment: Two 9-inch round cake pans
  • Ingredient Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Available in large supermarkets and in natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.

Nutrition

Per serving: 346 calories; 13 g fat (6 g sat, 4 g mono); 39 mg cholesterol; 54 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 2 g fiber; 361 mg sodium; 239 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 3 1/2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 other carbohydrate, 2 fat


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