Peanut Butter and Banana Cake (aka “Elvis Cake”)


My buddy Brooks is a cake man, pure and simple. Oh, he likes a pie now and then, but if he wants to put together a celebratory dessert, it’s cake. I’ve always argued with him about the merits of the humble pie. Fruit or pudding in a crust — it’s so simple, but so pure. But he wouldn’t budge. “Cake is the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega — all that there ever was in the world of desserts.” OK, he never said that, but he might have.

I’ve always been a fan of pies, but over this holiday season, all we made for dessert was cake. For Christmas it was a brown sugar pound cake, and today, my 12 year old daughter and I made an “Elvis Cake.” Yes, it was a banana cake with peanut butter icing. And I must say that of the 9 pieces served after dinner, there wasn’t a crumb remaining. It was a special, but incredibly simple cake.

I got the cake recipe from the wonderful Dorie Greenspan and her book, Baking: From my home to yours. It’s an incredibly adaptable cake. I encourage you to get this cookbook, as it’s one of my all-time favorites. Of course, I don’t have a recipe for the icing. To be completely honest, I initially made the cake with Marshmallow Fluff between the layers, frosted with the peanut butter icing. But the Fluff was too fluid and actually oozed out through the icing. Not a pretty sight. So I took the cake apart, scraped off most (but not all) of the Fluff, and re-frosted it. Mmm, it was mighty good. Not all that pretty, but damn tasty. Would have made The King very proud.

Banana Cake

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1-1/2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temp
2 Tbs. dark rum
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup buttermilk
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350°F.

2. Butter and flour 2 nine-inch cake pans.

3. Mix the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt together in a bowl.

4. With a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is creamy.

5. Add the sugars and beat for a couple of minutes.

6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Then add the vanilla and the rum.

7. Lower the speed and add the bananas. Keep it on low speed while you add the buttermilk and the flour – add the dry ingredients and liquid ingredients alternately, adding the flour mixture in three portions and the coconut milk in two (begin and end with the dry ingredients).

8. Mix until everything is just incorporated.

9. Divide the batter between the two pans.

10. Bake for around 45 minutes, or until the cakes are a deep golden brown.

11. Cool in pans for 5 minutes and then on a rack until completely cool.

Peanut Butter Icing (this is just a guess)

1 cup smooth peanut butter (I used Jif)
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Cream the peanut butter and butter in a mixing bowl. Slowly beat in 2 cups of the confectioners sugar. Add half of the milk, then the remain sugar. Add the vanilla and remaining milk. Beat until smooth.

Ice the cake (and I’m not going to tell you how to do that!).


12 Responses to Peanut Butter and Banana Cake (aka “Elvis Cake”)

  1. Amy says:

    That looks divine! I’m gonna have to figure out some way to get chocolate in there. Maybe chips on top or a drizzle of ganache on the plate?

  2. Rochelle says:

    I use Dorie’s pie crust recipe. Baking is a great cookbook, but I hadn’t considered making one of her cakes because I am a devotee of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Cake Bible for cake recipes. I might try this one, though. Who doesn’t love bananas and peanut butter?

  3. Jeff says:

    Think I’ll make this one next Tuesday…in his honor. Will have to have the bacon on the side.

  4. Teran says:

    Wow! Peanut Butter, Banana, and Cake all at the same time..who could ask for anything more?!? It looks and sounds amazing, I will def have to try that sometime! Another fun and different thing to make sometimes is Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies!

  5. PolitiPornster says:

    Thank ya, thank ya very much for putting this recipe up. I might be kicking back with a slice of this and a big glass of milk come Saturday. To further improve the vibe, I think I’ll put “Viva Las Vegas” in my NetFlix queue.

  6. RayRoadie says:

    I’ve been using this flavor combination loosely adapted from Wayne Harley Brachman’s OOP “Cakes and Cowpokes” for, oh, about ten or twelve years now. Try making some simple peanut clusters with roasted peanuts and melted chocolate and use for decoration. Never fails to get raves.

  7. kaseyk says:

    i love the kings cake. dont you! lol, so hows it going, oh im supposeed to write about the cake…ummmm…you should make the kings cake it is very DILICIOSO! great for family get togethers like new years or thanxgiving! MAKE ELVIS PROUD, BAKE THE KINGS CAKE!!!!!

  8. kaseyk says:

    no seriously, do it

  9. jeni says:

    how much coconut milk?

  10. Varmint says:

    Oops. There’s no coconut milk in here. That should be the buttermilk. Something crazy going on there.

  11. Varmint says:

    I made this cake again last night with the half cup of coconut milk called for in the original recipe. I used a chocolate ganache between the layers and a cream cheese variation of the peanut butter icing. It was really amazing. My kids were literally arguing over the last pieces, and my oldest son and I really fought it out over the final piece.

  12. Jeff says:

    I dusted this one off last month, but since it was for a charity fundraiser at work, I made cupcakes. The other difference…I went for the full Elvis…made pig candy with some really good applewood bacon, and crumbled it in the frosting. The only cupcakes left at the end were a couple of the pig-free I made for the vegetarians.

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