Toast with peanut butter and banana is my staple breakfast. I love it. I eat it almost every day, so it was about time that this go-to breakfast of mine provided some inspiration for my next beer confection. When enjoying my first meal of the day recently, I decided that the same flavors would work great in cake form, so not only could I start my day with peanut butter and banana, but I could end it that way as well! But I didn’t want to stop there- peanut butter and banana on their own are fine for breakfast, but they need help for dessert. Add in chocolate chips, banana beer cream, and more beer and you’ve got yourself a deal. This tall, and slightly lopsided cake came together pretty quick with 4 main elements: banana chocolate chip beer cake, banana beer cream filling, sliced bananas, and peanut butter icing. All 4 components are easy to make. The only real time consuming part is the waiting. The cake is really moist, so it needs to rest in the freezer for about an hour to really firm up before you can cut and ice it. Also, the filling needs to chill for a bit. If you can make those two components the day before you need the cake, it would make things a bit easier for you. But, all in all, this isn’t too bad of a project.
For the beer, I turned to a very banana forward brew with low hop characteristics. There are a lot of different beers you could use for this recipe. Just find one that taste/smells of banana (most German hefeweizens or weiss beers should do the trick) and you’ll be good to go. I went with Sierra Nevada’s Kellerweis. This beer is 4.8% ABV, 15 IBUs and has a very banana forward flavor profile. The low bitterness, alcohol and flavors made it a great choice for this baking project. The beer was added to the cake batter, which aided in its moist and fluffy texture, and was also incorporated into the banana cream filling.
Four layers of cake, beer banana cream, and banana slices come together and get covered in peanut butter frosting to complete this amazing cake. I am not good at baking, icing, decorating, etc., but I managed to throw this thing together without much issue. I may have had to use my hands a few times to smooth out some icing, but hey, whatever works, right? If you want to go a bit simpler, you could just make a sheet cake, top it with frosting and be done. 2 round pans as oppose to one 9×13” pan like I used would also make this job easier (I don’t have any). The end product was a super moist, slightly sweet cake that was more like banana bread than cake. The filling and frosting complemented it perfectly. Certainly an excellent way to end the day.
Chocolate Banana Beer Cake with Banana Beer Cream, and Peanut Butter Frosting
What you need
- 2 – 3 large ripe bananas (you want around 2 cups)
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup hefeweizen or weiss beer with strong banana flavors (I used Sierra Nevada Keller Weis)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Peanut butter frosting (recipe below)
- Banana beer cream filling (optional, but good! Recipe below)
- Banana slices for decorating (optional)
What you do
Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees and prepping your pans by greasing them and dusting with flour. I used one 9×13” pan, but two 9” round pans work too. Next, mash 2 large ripe bananas with the lemon and set aside. Then, mix your flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.
Beat the softened butter and 2 cups sugar with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes until light, fluffy and smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each one before adding the next. Then, add in the vanilla. Once the egg/butter/sugar mixture is smooth, add in half the flour mixture and blend well. Add the beer, and blend slowly to incorporate. Mix in the rest of the flour mixture, then lastly add in the milk. Blend the batter until it is fully mixed. Throw in the mashed banana, and you guessed it, blend! Lastly, get those chocolate chips in the mix and incorporate them well.
Pour the batter into a greased pan(s) and bake for 55 minutes, or until golden brown. Pop the cake in freezer for 45 minutes to an hour to cool and firm up before assembling.
Once your cake is cool, remove it from the freezer and cut the layers. If you are using a 9×13” pan, you’ll need to cut the cake in half, and then split each resulting rectangle in two, carefully sawing a cross section through the middle of the layer. If you used round pans, you’ll just need to split the rounds in half.
Once you have your 4 layers, put one down on a plate, cover it with a heaping spoonful of beer banana pudding, and lay down a layer of banana slices. Put another layer of cake on and repeat. Do this one more time, than add the top layer of the cake. Glob on lots of frosting and smooth it out. I find when I frost a cake that the trick is to make sure you have enough frosting to spread (which means a lot) and try to go in one direction. It’s never prefect, but it almost always tastes good. Decorate the cake as you see fit and enjoy!
Banana Beer Cream Filling
What you need
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 5 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 dash salt
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 3/4 cup hefeweizen or weiss beer with strong banana flavor (I used Sierra Nevada Keller Weis)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 large ripe banana, mashed
What you do
Combine the flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small saucepan. Add the milk to the mixture and whisk. Cook over low heat, periodically whisking, until it becomes thick. This takes about 10 minutes. Be patient and resist turning the heat up.
Once your mixture is thick, put the egg yolks in a bowl and put a bit of the hot milk/flour mixture in them to temper them. Add the yolks into saucepan with the milk and cook for 1 minute. Next, add in the vanilla, butter, beer and mashed banana. Cook for about 5 more minutes to thicken the filling a bit.
When you are done cooking the filling, pour it into a container and cool it for several hours until thickened. After that you are good to go.
Peanut Butter Frosting
What you need
- ½ cup softened butter
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
What you do
Put the butter and peanut butter in a bowl and blend until smooth with an electric mixer. Add in the powered sugar ½ a cup at a time and blend after each addition. As the frosting begins to thicken and starts getting too stiff, add in a little milk and continue to blend. After all the sugar has been mixed in, adjust the thickness by adding in small amounts of milk if it is too thick or more sugar if it is too thin. Once you have it to the consistency you like, you are ready to use it.