Even though I sometimes prefer gooey, rich Cake, when I think about Cake with Banana, Banana Bread usually first comes to mind.
And why not? There’s certainly nothing wrong with a good, classic Banana Bread. For home bakers, it’s a good way to use up overripe Bananas. And we want to purchase, in addition to bake, our Banana Bread. As reported by Bloomberg News, after Starbucks purchased French-style bakery, La Boulange, it stopped selling its Banana Nut Bread. What happened? You guessed it. Customers missed the Banana Nut Bread and Starbucks brought this classic back.
Of course, as with so many other desserts, Banana Cake has gotten fancy. Not just layer cake fancy. But fancy in terms of the added ingredients.
Alfredo Garcia, of California-based Kara’s Cupcakes, summarizes the evolution of Kara’s Banana offerings. First, there were Banana Cupcakes. Then Banana Caramel Cupcakes joined the line-up. And after Kara’s expanded its Cake line, passion fruit filling and toasted coconut flakes were added to Banana Cake and Paradise Cake was created. Alfredo remarks “We feel Banana Baked Goods have always been popular, but we are now seeing more creative ways of offering the delicious treat.”
And alcohol pairs beautifully with Banana Cake. The Whiskey Banana Cupcake is the most popular Banana item for Nashville-based Sweet Stash. Whitney May, who owns The Sweet Stash with her husband, says “We find Banana is a polarizing flavor for the masses. It seems like people either love it or hate it. But I think the whiskey [in the Whiskey Banana Cupcake] brings more people to the dark side…”
Even though Banana Cake is popular, Chocolate Cake isn’t going anywhere.
Janet Schreiber, owner of Toronto-based Phipps Bakery Cafe has this to say “Although anything with Bananas is popular, I would have to say the most popular Banana Cake would have to be the Chocolate Banana Cake. Probably because chocolate is such a popular dessert ingredient.”
Marilyn DeVault of Portland, Oregon-based Piece of Cake Bakery also agrees that Banana Cake is not as popular as Chocolate Cake. She offers up one of her Banana Cake secrets: Mash your own Bananas instead of using commercially prepared pre-mashed Bananas.
I’m tempted to make Banana Bread this weekend. Maybe I’ll include some ground hazelnuts and Chocolate Chips for good measure. That’s the problem with writing about Desserts – I want to eat them all!