March 9, 2011

"We'll help you eat it all!"

Some weeks ago I made a delicious Banana Coconut Cake from a recipe that I found on Tropical Traditions. I thought it was good, but could be better. So I decided to tweak it, making it gluten-free and replacing the icing in the original recipe with a chocolate almond ganache filling. And after a day’s work, I was very pleased with the results, and was over the moon when my girls were ooohing and aaahing over the cake. I wiped down the counter-top and cut a good chunk of the cake to give to my friend K, who cannot eat wheat for now. I heard V exclaiming, “And this is gluten-free mom! And it’s so good!”

And I almost burst through the roof, all pumped up with pride.

Then V asked, “And there are no eggs either, mom?”

That’s when the roof came crashing down, and my pride, well, I think it went down the garbage disposal.

I had totally forgotten about the eggs!! I was so focused on the wheat I forgot about the eggs!!

You have no idea how sad I was, for it was a good cake. I could not tell K I forgot the other half of her allergy and give her half the cake. As I was banging my head against my very clean counter-top, I heard V pipe up: “Don’t worry, mom! We’ll help you finish it all up!”

Isn’t it sweet? And funny?! – I was not worried that the cake would not get eaten up, I was just agonized that I forgot to replace the eggs with something else! Such things take practice, I suppose. I am pretty sure the way this cake is made, the eggs can be easily replaced with applesauce, but I am no expert. What are your favorite ways to replace eggs in a cake recipe?? All ideas and suggestions much appreciated!

And below, the gluten-free but not egg-free banana coconut cake recipe. If you manage to make this egg-free, I would love to hear!!

Gluten-free Banana Coconut Cake

  • 1 1/4 cup whole cane sugar
  • ½ cup virgin coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup, about 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut 
  • 1 recipe Chocolate Almond Ganache filling (recipe follows
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 13 by 9 baking pan. (You can also bake in two 9-inch cake pans if preferred.)
  2. Cream sugar with coconut oil (remember to measure in liquid state!) until well combined. Mixture will look thick, and creamy yellow. Add the eggs and vanilla, and continue to mix until fluffy.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to mix. Mash up bananas and add to buttermilk.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low, and add in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk and bananas. Start with flour mixture, then buttermilk mixture, and end with the flour mixture. Stir in chopped toasted almonds and shredded coconut. 
  5. Pour into baking pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.
  6. Run a knife around the edges of the pan. Cut cake into half cross-wise. Remove the two halves from the cake pan and then slice each half of the cake into half horizontally. Spread about 2/3 cup of the ganache filling on top of one layer of the cake, top with another layer, and repeat this with the next layer, finishing the cake by topping off with a last layer of cake. Enjoy!!
I love how the almonds look atop the ganache before being stirred in.

Chocolate Almond Ganache Filling
Makes 2 cups

·        ½ cup of almonds
·        8 oz bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped
·        1 cup heavy cream
·        2 Tbsp amaretto
·        1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast in 350F oven for about 5-7 minutes, until fragrant. Cool completely and then chop into medium-fine pieces.
  2. Add chopped chocolate to food processor and process until fine.
  3. In a heavy small saucepan or pot, scald the heavy cream (heat to boiling point, watch for small bubbles forming around the edge of the pot).
  4. With the motor of the food processor running, pour the cream through the feeding tube in a steady stream. Process until smooth, then pulse in the amaretto and vanilla extract. 
  5. Scrape ganache into a glass bowl, stir in the chopped almonds and allow to cool for an hour. Cover the bowl and cool for several hours, or until it reaches a soft frosting consistency.


  1. I think your friend is very lucky. I have used applesauce with success. Flax and chia seeds are iffy.

  2. Thanks for letting me know! I've tried flax and not exactly excited about it. :/