When I tell you this is one of the best cakes I’ve ever made, I’m not exaggerating. It got the stamp of approval from the roommate (though she doesn’t love cake, this went into her top 5 cakes of all time). It got a thumbs up from a classmate who hates salt (and this cake veers salty). It got a double thumbs up from my cousin who ate it frozen out of the freezer.
Five or so days after making this cake (for no reason other than we had ripe bananas and leftover s’mores ingredients from camping) and giving about 60% of it away, I found myself balled up around my computer wondering why I was incapable of finishing this one school assignment and seemed to have been racked with major PMS symptoms with no period in sight and why I felt like I wanted to cry and curl up into a ball and sleep for a day. And then I realized it was probably due to eating slivers of cake several times a day, occasional to the detriment of real meals #adulting
Sugar overload. Sneaks up on me every time. (And right before spring break in tropical Costa Rica + Puerto Rico! Nice.)
This is why I can’t make nice things and keep them around.
After that awful afternoon, I put on my responsibility pants and froze the rest of the cake and started eating kale and tofu again and felt much better.
I think that was a long way of me trying to tell you that this cake should be an occasion cake, not an everyday cake. There’s far too much gooey, toasty marshmallow, silky graham cracker cookie butter-ish frosting and irresistibly salty cookie crumbs to remain unmolested in any single household for long. Oh, and it’s SUGARY in case you didn’t get that. And incredibly dense. The moist banana cake definitely compresses under the weight of thick layers of textured frostings (fluffy marshmallow! toothsome ganache! smooth graham cracker frosting!). Start people unaccustomed to these types of crazy layer cakes off with very small slivers.
Like any momofuku-inspired cake, there are more than a few components to this (five, to be exact), but it’s really not that difficult to pull together (like one of the components is melting chocolate chips and almond milk together. Takes like 2 minutes, with stirring). However, for your sanity, you may want to break this recipe up–for example, by making and freezing the banana cake and crumbs ahead of time, then making the frostings the day of assembly. This cake was heavily influenced by much drooling and lusting after Michelle’s banana cake (thanks Michelle!)
It’s your party, do what you want.
MOMOFUKU BANANA S’MORES CAKE
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk I used 1/2 cup almond milk + 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup ripe banana broken into chunks (I used around 3 medium-small bananas)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips mini or regular
Graham cracker crumb:
- ½ cup graham cracker crumbs about 4 sheets ground in a food processor, if using whole crackers
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
Graham cracker frosting
- 1 cups graham cracker crumbs about 8 sheets ground into crumbs
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Milk chocolate ganache
- ¾ cup milk chocolate chips or Hershey bars
- 3 tablespoons milk
- ½ cup butter room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- 5 oz mini marshmallows
For the banana cake:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9×13 pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients (flour through salt). In another bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Beat in the egg until thoroughly combined. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Stream mixture into the butter mixture while beating on low. Increase speed to high and beat for 5-6 minutes until mixture is pale and homogenous. It may look a little grainy, but you want the mixture to be as smooth as possible.
- Once the mixture is homogenous, add the banana and beat until bananas are broken up. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until dry ingredients are just barely incorporated and you can still see streak of flour–do not overmix! Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula and finish mixing the batter by hand until no floury streaks remain.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes (check at 40 minutes and continue baking for 5-7 minute increments until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely before removing from pan.
- Use a 6-inch cake ring or template to cut two 6-inch circles out of the cake. Line a six-inch cake pan with plastic wrap and press the remaining cake scraps firmly into the bottom to form your third cake layer. At this point, you can freeze tightly wrap each cake layer (leave the scrap layer in the cake pan) in plastic wrap for easier assembly later.
For the graham cracker crumb:
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
- Whisk together all dry ingredients (graham cracker crumbs through salt. Drizzle butter over mixture and gently toss until you get a clumpy, just-moist, mixture with some pea-sized clumps. Pour mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring once, or until crumbs just start to brown. Remove and cool completely.
For the graham cracker frosting:
- In a small bowl, beat together the graham cracker crumbs, milk and salt until it achieves the texture of a runny cookie butter. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter, sugars and cinnamon. Slowly beat in the graham cracker mixture until fully incorporated into the butter mixture.
For the milk chocolate ganache:
- Add chocolate chips (or broken up Hershey bars, if using) and milk to a glass measuring cup. Microwave for 45 seconds, then stir mixture until all chocolate has melted. Microwave for an additional 15 seconds if needed to melt the chocolate.
For the marshmallow frosting:
- Make this frosting right before assembly!
- In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla until creamy. Set aside.
- Preheat your oven broiler to the highest heat and line a baking sheet with a silpat or greased parchment paper. Pour marshmallows onto prepared pan and broil for about 1 minute or less–keep an eye on the pan the entire time, as marshmallows can go from toasty golden to burnt in seconds. Once golden brown, remove marshmallows from oven and immediately beat them into the butter mixture. Use frosting immediately.
JUST WOW. You are such a dessertress, I totally get knocked in the tooth(some ganache) every time I see your creations! Soz to hear about the sugar PMS though, totally relate (*see no evil monkey emoji*). Horrible feelings, though I guess… masterful creations like this don’t come without some sweat (cramps) and tears. I am definitely going to try this cake out, when I restock on bananas. Yum xx
Joleen @ Joleen Cuisine
Whoooaa this is so cool! You got me drooling.
Shikha @ Shikha la mode
Momofuku cakes are always out of control, but alway so good! And Costa Rica, super jelly, it’ll be amaaaazing.
Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
This cake is seeeriously epic!!! There’s so much goodness going on! pinning!
Nancy @ gottagetbaked
Erika, I bow down to you and your mastery of cake baking. I’m always impressed when someone makes a Momofuku cake because DAMN, those long ass lists of ingredients and steps totally scare me off. This looks glorious! Absolutely glorious! T’hell with vegetables and proper adulting. I want this cake all day everyday!
mary-clay | the open oven
damn Momofuku and their fantastic recipes. I want that occasion cake on this occasion, please.
You got it!! 😉 I know, aren’t they the best slash worst?
Michelle @ Hummingbird High
OMG. I actually shrieked a little bit when I saw this pop up in my reader. You defs took my banana cake and leveled it up. Like… WAY UP. I love it!
Hahaha I LOVE YOU!!! Thank you for enabling this creation because that graham cracker frosting is. GENIUS. You need to make some toasty marshmallow frosting ASAP lady!!
Nora (A Clean Bake)
I love project cakes every once in awhile, but from the sound of it, it’s best that it’s a special occasion cake. Your poor insulin! haha. BTW that whole “PMS without the period” thing is what I think they call midterms 😉
Nora, I’m crying.
(with laughter…midterms is absolutely what this is!!!)
Courtney | Fork to Belly
OK but it looks absolutely AMAZING and I want a slice NAO. Girl, this cake is crazy!!! I feel the same way, baking adventures leave me in prime #slugmode over the weekend but applause to you for sticking to kale and tofu!
Oh girl you feel me. #slugmode is the perfect term!! I’m not saying I completely stick to kale and tofu (def had a little freezer slice last night), but trying my best, you know? 😉
This cake is seriously gorgeous. Love the graham cracker crumb and loooove that banana cake! Yum!
Thanks Katrina!! <333