There was a bust of Elvis in our basement. It was there for as long as I can remember and I honestly had no idea why. It was about 8 inches high and was painted gold. I mean what other color could “The King” be painted. Pink? I don’t think so. Apparently it was a reject from my grandfather’s craft store and we gave it a home. So everyday for years, whenever we’d go downstairs to watch tv, Elvis would flash his signature sneer at us from the bookshelf.
When I was up in my room I could hear my father blaring his Elvis records from the basement. It amused me to imagine the statute singing, giving my father a private concert. Elvis became sort of an ersatz family member and so for his birthday (January 8th) I baked a cake. In addition, to the great gift of his music he has also blessed us with popularizing the combination of peanut butter and banana. Honestly, I am not sure which is better.
45 minPrep Time
45 minCook Time
1 hr, 30 Total Time
Adapted from Bon Appétit October 2012’s Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting by Janet McCracken and Alison Roman
Inspired by Bon Appétit October 1997’s Banana Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 4 large or 6 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
12 ounces chocolate chips (1 bag)
3/4 cup whole milk
10 ounces peanut butter chips (1 bag)
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) salted butter
5 to 6 cups confectioner's sugar
- Position the rack in the center of oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and line with parchment paper two round 9-inch cake pans and butter and flour the sides with the rice flour. The pans should be at least 2 inches high.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the first three ingredients and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and whisk just enough to break them up.
- Add the melted butter and vanilla extract to the eggs. Whisk to combine.
- Add the bananas and buttermilk. Whisk to combine.
- Add both sugars and whisk until all sugar is dissolved. Tip: If your brown sugar is old, you made need to break up clumps with your fingers.
- Add the flour mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. Note: You have to be careful not to over mix when using wheat flour. If you activate too much gluten, your cake will be tough. However, over mixing is not an issue when you use gluten-free flours. There is no gluten to over activate!
- Fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula. Tip: View a video on How to Fold an Ingredient into your Batter.
- Divide the batter equally between the two pans. Bang down each pan a few times to level the batter and burst any air bubbles.
- Place the pans on the center rack and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until they are well risen and the cake has come away from the sides or the pan. If you press the cake lightly with your finger, it should spring back.
- Remove the pans from the oven and place them on cooling racks. Cool the layers in the pans for 10 minutes. Then unmold the layers and remove the parchment paper.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk to a simmer. Add the peanut butter chips and stir occasionally until they melt. Tips: 1. Don’t worry if the mixture is not completely smooth. If you smell roasted nuts, it’s done. Remove from the heat and let cool. 2. Pouring the mixture into a new bowl will help it cool faster.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the cooled peanut butter mixture and beat until combined. Tip: Make sure the peanut butter mixture has cooled to room temperature so the butter does not melt.
- Gradually add the confectioner's sugar (1/2 cup at a time) and beat until thick. Tips: If frosting is too thick, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time. If frosting is too thin, add more sugar, 1/4 cup at a time.
- Let the frosting sit 10 to 15 minutes before using.
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