I frequently here complaints from kids with summer birthdays. With school out of session, they feel forgotten, and many of their friends are on vacation when it is time for celebration. For those summer birthday woes, I have a solution. Dazzle the birthday boy or girl (or man or woman) with this Bananas Foster Cake recipe, complete with Caramel Frosting. What better way to take their mind off of the shorter guest list than with a delicious mouthful of one of the best vegan cake recipes in history (in our humble opinion).
Best of all, this entire recipe is egg-free, dairy-free, and nut-free … you can even make it soy-free if you choose! It comes from My Sweet Vegan: passionate about dessert, the popular full-color cookbook by Hannah Kaminsky (all recipe photos were taken by the author – see the photo for this recipe below).
Hannah states, ""Banana cake is often a disappointing, dry mess as many people think it’s perfectly all right to use any old banana bread recipe, slap some frosting on top, and call it a cake. Step it up a notch with a sweet treat that is actually meant to be a dessert, and you will understand what a huge difference it makes …"
Bananas Foster Cake
Recipe from "My Sweet Vegan," by Hannah Kaminsky
"Modeled after the traditional flavors of bananas foster, the layers are soaked in rum before assembly and topped with a caramel frosting that pulls the whole dessert together. In the typical showy fashion of traditional bananas foster, the banana slices used for garnish could be made with the addition of some rum, and then set ablaze to let the alcohol cook off. Knowing my personal ineptitude with fire, I think it is safer to recommend a simple sauté. The end results are still extraordinary, even without the stovetop bonfire."
- 2-1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 2/3 Cup Plain Soymilk [use rice, almond, or hemp milk for a soy-free option]
- 1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Dairy-Free Margarine [use Earth Balance Soy-Free for a soy-free option]
- 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
- 5 Ripe, Medium-Sized Bananas
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 6 Tablespoons Rum (Any Variety)
- 1 Cup Dairy-Free Margarine [use Earth Balance Soy-Free for a soy-free option]
- 3-1/2 Cups Confectioner's Sugar
- 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1-1/2 Teaspoons Water
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Firm, Large Banana, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Water
Preheat your oven to 350ºF (175ºC) and lightly grease and flour two 8 inch round cake pans. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In a separate small bowl, combine the soymilk and vinegar, also moving this to the side. In your stand mixer, cream together the margarine and both sugars until light and fluffy. Mash the bananas well and mix them in, along with the vanilla. Add the flour mixture, alternately with your now curdled soymilk, into your mixer. Ensure that everything is fully combined before equally dividing the batter between your two prepared pans.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each layer comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and while they are still warm, poke the cake tops numerous times with your testing toothpick. Evenly pour 3 tablespoons of the rum over each of the layers. Let the cake layers cool completely before turning them out of the pans to frost.
For the frosting, cream the margarine well and incorporate the confectioner's sugar slowly. Microwave the brown sugar together with the water for approximately 30 to 60 seconds, just until the sugar dissolves and it begins to bubble a bit. Let the brown sugar stand for a few minutes to cool off, then pour it into the margarine mixture. With the mixer on high, beat the frosting vigorously until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla, and frost the cake as desired.
For the banana garnish, combine the brown sugar and water in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves. Add the banana, and stir to coat all of the pieces well. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the sugar bubbles and darkens into a golden caramel, stirring gently every so often. Remove the bananas from the skillet and transfer them to a silpat. Separate each slice so that they do not stick together. Let them cool completely before garnishing the cake.
Makes 10 to 12 Servings