This cake heals all wounds.

Well, maybe not the stolen cell phone kind.  I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 sized void in my heart at the moment that not even a large slice of this plus pumpkin ice cream smothered in caramel sauce plus nutella can fill.

I know, right!?! Crazy.


Apparently food can’t buy you love.  Or a smartphone.  Or that overwhelming sense of peace that comes from being able to update your twitter feed from your bathroom. {TMI?}

But five hundred dollars can.  NOT awesome. NOT.  Ugh.

PicMonkey Collage

No one likes a negative nancy on a Friday, though, so let me tell you what this cake can do.

It can make two hours of lab meeting infinitely more bearable.

It can fill your kitchen with the lovely scents of banana/cinnamon! peanut/cinnamon! melted chocolate!  All at once.  Swoon.

It can have you trying to figure out just how much ganache you really need to frost the cake…and how much you can spare to eat off your fingers at 11pm on Tuesday night.

And pretty much…it will make your life better.  Or at least more delicious.


Hear that cell phone thief who snuck into lab and took my phone off my desk during the two minutes that I went into the tissue culture room to differentiate my cells!  While you’re filling your life with sin and wrongdoing and a guilty conscience, I’m filling my stomach with one of the most luscious cakes I’ve ever tasted in my life.

You may have my phone.  But you will NEVER take away my ability to emotionally eat.  So there.

{Um, but, you know.  If you ever want to make an Android-for-a-slice-of-cake trade…I’m open to bartering.  I really am.}

PS – that deal goes for all of you. Love.

Banana Cake with Mocha Frosting and Salted Candied Peanuts
Makes one 9″ layer cake, adapted from Ready for Dessert

Banana Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups (350 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 6 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 cups banana puree (3-4 bananas)
  • 1 1/4 cups pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease the bottom and sides of two 9-inch cake pans.  Line the bottom of each with a sheet of parchment paper and grease that as well.
  2. Sift together the flour, cinnamon baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, on medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla and espresso.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  5. Mix in half the flour mixture, scraping down the sides.  Mix in the buttermilk and banana puree, followed by the remaining flour.
  6. Stir in the pecans, mixing until just combined.  Don’t overmix.
  7. Divide the batter evenly among the two prepared baking pans.  Bake until golden brown and a tester inserted comes out clean, about 40 minutes.  Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Salted Candied Peanuts

  • 1 cup raw or lightly roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon


  1. In a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, add the peanuts, sugar, and water.  When the sugar begins to liquefy, begin stirring.
  2. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the sugar crystallizes.  At this point, turn the heat to low and continue stirring, letting the sugar on the bottom melt and brown slightly.
  3. Using a heatproof spatula, scrape up the liquefied sugar so that the peanuts are continuously being coated with it.  When the peanuts are a bit glossy and coated with syrup, sprinkle the sea salt and cinnamon over them and stir to combine.  Scrape the candied peanuts onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to let cool.

Mocha Ganache

  • 10 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces


  1. Combine the chocolate and coffee in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until combined.  Let cool until thickened and spreadable.

To Assemble the Cake
Run a knife around the sides of the cake to loosen them from the pan.  Invert one cake onto a serving platter and peel off the parchment.  Spread about 3/4 cup of the mocha frosting over the surface of the cake.  Invert the second layer cake out of its pan, peel off the parchment, and place it over the frosted cake. Spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake.  Sprinkle the candied peanuts over the cake. 


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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87 Responses to Banana Cake with Mocha Frosting and Salted Candied Peanuts

  1. I want to be at your lab meetings!!
    (enough said)

    (love it!)

  2. daphne says:

    i bet a mouthful of that makes all the hard work worthwhile! That recipe is a keeper.

  3. I made this cake a couple years ago and loved it… but I never tried the peanuts. Um, apparently that was a huge mistake.

    Agh on the phone!!!

  4. Oy, cell phone woes. I’m sorry. I should probably make this cake before I visit the Genius Bar to deal with my busted iPhone!

  5. oh my gosh this looks DIVINE. You have me drooling! I love chocolate anything.

  6. Wow, what a cake! I could eat a handful just of those candied peanuts. Happy weekend!

  7. Amy says:

    I’m so attached to my phone. I named it. Yes, I’m a weirdo. But that’s besides the point. How are you functioning? Oh wait…that’s right. This cake. THIS. CAKE. Numb the pain, Joanne. Numb the pain. It’s ok.

  8. Foodycat says:

    The whole cake looks good, but the peanuts on top sound absolutely addictive! Sorry to hear about your phone.

  9. Pam says:

    Too bad about your cell phone! I can see how see this cake would help your woes, it looks incredibly delicious and I want to make it. Love it with all those nuts. Good luck with your phone!

  10. london bakes says:

    I’m so sorry about your phone, what a complete pain . Definitely an occasion for cake.

  11. marie says:

    So many kinds of deliciousness going on here, I am a huge banana fan and salted anything fan.

    Sorry about your phone, such a bummer. Is it really $500 to replace? Wow, phones are expensive.

  12. Pam says:

    The cake looks amazing! Can’t they trace cell phones and find the guilty culprit?

  13. Shannon says:

    this cake sounds incredible!! i want a slice! so crappy about your phone though…boo 🙁 did you start calling it to see who picked up?

  14. So sorry to hear about your phone! My wallet was stolen from my desk last month, and it was awful. I agree that cakes like this make life better, if at least for a little while 🙂 Hang in there (and eat more cake ;)).

  15. Looks and sounds amazing.The cake will be eaten, digested and forgotten soon, unlike memories of a Samsung. Sorry for the reminder. If it makes you feel any better, many months ago I found a galaxy. The owner never called to reclaim is, I suspect it was lost for a while. Anyway, just wanted to say in this instance there is balance – loss and gain! Have a nice weekend

  16. Gloria says:

    Joanne I love this cake and especially the frosting look delicious!!!

  17. That sucks so bad Joanne 🙁
    This cake is insane. Banana cake is my all-time favorite but a double layer with that chocolate and candied peanuts – OMG! Your lab mates are so lucky!

  18. Argh to that cellphone thief! But you are right, this cake will make anyone’s life more delicious 🙂

  19. Rachel says:

    Joanne, I have the exact same phone. When I bought it I downloaded something called locked and found. If the galaxy S3 ever gets stolen one can actually take a picture of the person who has it and pinpoint your cell phone’s location using that software. Kinda nifty, eh? Did the company from you purchased the phone help you get this when you bought the S3? Love the cake by the way. Salted candied peanuts?? YUM.

  20. So shitty…what is wrong with people? Good thing you have this cake to comfort you – uhhhh, it’s completely awesome and I want a fat slice!

  21. this cake sounds amazing. sorry about your phone 🙁 i’d be seriously bummed too.

  22. MM says:

    So…I have this meeting at 10 AM Monday…how’s your schedule look?

    Sorry about your phone. Hope it can be tracked.

  23. I love how cake can make a day brighter, but losing your cell phone?! NOOOOO! I’m so sorry. Think you’ll hop on the iphone train?

  24. Mary says:

    oh, what a horrible way to start your weekend. Thanks for the fantastic recipe though. This cake actually made my mouth water!

  25. Sorry to hear about that, Joanne.
    Comfort you with another slice of this gorgeous banana cake.

  26. Mila says:

    Oh my god Joanne you are so naughty.
    Hugs on the phone issue – but as a person who tends to lose things a lot, I like to say – Things may come and things may go but chocolate is forever. Or pumpkin. Or you know, whatever else is awesome and maintains the meter.

  27. I love banana cake but the candied peanuts take it to a new level. And Speaking of levels, how low to steal someone’s phone. My phone has my life in it. (that’s a little sad I know) but I’m sure you feel the same!

  28. Lynn says:

    That is awful that your phone got stolen! But thank you for sharing this awesome looking cake. 🙂

  29. Eileen says:

    Boo for stolen phone! But hooray for that amazing cake! It almost sounds like a peanut butter and banana sandwich in cake form…and with chocolate. So, you know, better. Those candied peanuts sound like such a great texture contrast! 🙂

  30. So sorry about your phone! But this cake! I hope it helped! I bet eating an entire cake may fill the void. Or is that just me? 🙂

  31. Chocolate, banana, AND espresso? Sounds like heaven…

  32. I love the espresso in this, it sounds so good. I can see how it heals all! Stopping by (a bit late) to say hello and thank you very much for joining in Veronica’s fundraiser for myself. I really appreciate it and look forward to getting to know you!!

  33. This cake is amazing! Love the sound of the mocha ganache!

  34. Hotly Spiced says:

    Someone stole your phone? That’s awful. I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope it self-combusts while they’re holding it to their ear. Love the cake and yes, some leftover ganache in the bottom of the bowl is smart cooking xx

  35. Better they took the phone and didn’t touch you! But that pretty much stinks. I know the feeling. We watched my daughter’s iPhone drive away on “Find My Phone” when someone snagged it. A slice of your cake would have made me feel much better! Even a big bowl of your ganache with a spoon would work!

  36. Debbie says:

    I am making this cake…definitely…this is one of the most delicious looking banana cakes I’ve ever seen!!!! I always have extra bananas that are way to ripe for my taste hanging around just for cakes like this!!!!!

  37. Beth says:

    That is one spectacular cake! Sorry about your phone.

  38. Nasty phone thief. 🙁 So sorry. But this cake is wonderful, and looks like it would definitely solve many of the world’s problems. 🙂

  39. Sometimes I forget how easy it is for people to steal things! I’ve often times left my stuff on desks or in the computer lab when I had to go to the restroom quickly, and never had I had to deal with thievery. Perhaps my LG Vu isn’t worth stealing? Haha. 😛

  40. Guru Uru says:

    Ugh a phone thief my friend, that is awful! I hope you ate mnay a piece of this delicious cake and then it can be recovered soon!


  41. Kari says:

    I’m so sorry about your phone! How horrible. This looks like it should *help* at least, even if it couldn’t quite fill the phone void. Beautiful, beautiful cake!

  42. Tandy says:

    Silly idjit who is now preventing you from tweeting while ‘busy’. Lovely, yummy cake 🙂

  43. Tandy says:

    Silly idjit to prevent you from tweeting while ‘busy. Lovely cake to compensate a bit though 🙂

  44. Mo 'Betta says:

    I can’t believe someone stole your phone. I really want to punch them in the face. But the cake looks amazing 🙂

  45. Barbara says:

    Major downer to have your phone stolen! 🙁
    But you’ve got some fabulous flavors going on with this cake!

  46. There’s nothing worse than a lab thief who waits for someone to go into the culture tissue room to differentiate cells!!! geeeeez. This cake looks wonderful Joanne.

  47. Holy cow, this sounds like a crazy good combo. I’m totally making this for the next cake occassion I have! Sorry about your phone 🙁

  48. I love this sexy version of banana bread! I am so sorry about your cellphone, that is terrible. 🙁

  49. Sippity Sup says:

    When I lost my cell phone it took me months to even admit. I kept thinking it would magically reappear. Alas, it did not. GREG

  50. Cathleen says:

    Oh no! I’m sorry to hear about your cellphone! I once had money in my wallet, and left for a few minutes, and people took my money from the wallet but left my wallet and bag behind.
    Now I think I would trade a phone for a slice of this cake. This looks like a million bucks 😉

  51. Candace says:

    I’m so sorry that someone took your phone. That REALLY stinks. This cake looks amazing. I wish someone would make one of these for me….tonight.

  52. so sorry about your phone and wow what a cake

  53. That Girl says:

    Oh no! I’m so sad for your phone! I have insurance for other reasons, but it would come in handy for times like this.

  54. Lori says:

    I’ve never been that big of a fan of banana baked goods, but I’m pretty sure you just convinced me that this will change my life. Well that, and the mocha frosting. Such a bummer about your phone. Sorry to hear that. I’m now curious to know which of your tweets are coming from the bathroom.

  55. Kristen says:

    What a rotten person that cell phone thief is! Baking is solace, but you’re right, not even a slice or 10 of that beautiful cake would fill the void.

  56. cquek says:

    I’ll be bookmarking this one.

  57. Christine says:

    This cake looks like a slice of heaven on a fork, seriously! I will never understand how people can have NO moral center, no ethics and not realize that what goes around comes around and one needn’t do a thing. Luckily, I’ve seen the “comes around” part happen twice, and the perpetrators never knew what hit them or more pathetically, why. Hope the culprit goes for the cake/phone swap!
    Note: tried to send this yesterday, but to no avail.

  58. Laura says:

    This is the kind of post I need to hide from my family, because if they see this cake they will be begging me to make it. And I might as well be allergic I hate bananas so much. 🙂

  59. Megan says:

    If only the person who took your cell phone could see this cake. I’m sure he/she would give it back in an instant for a slice.

  60. sandra says:

    How awful! I am so sorry about the demise of your phone. It is especially awful when the theft occurs at your place of employment. I had my wallet stolen at work once and even though I found the culprit I never felt safe there again – I hope you don’t feel that way.

    But how wonderful that you have a whole study group of people to bake for. When I bake a cake like that I end up eating most of it. Doesn’t do my body good. Yours looks absolutely scrumptious.

  61. teresa says:

    boooo to the person who stole your phone! seriously, what’s wrong with people.

    love the cake though, those flavors are so fall-tastic, it looks and sounds delicious!

  62. What. Please tell me that’s not true. Sometimes I think karma works backwards and a lot of bad stuff can happen to you to build up karma so that a lot of good stuff has to happen to compensate. You are in for some seriously awesome things coming your way.

    This cake looks so good! I am about to stay at an all inclusive hotel to trade for teaching yoga – and all I want is for them to have anything remotely close to desserts like this. I won’t keep my hopes up.

  63. Julie says:

    So sorry about the cell phone! Crazy what it is to replace them, isn’t?

    This cake now, amazing! At least it made you feel better for a little bit.

  64. So annoying! But it’s true that emotional eating heals all… except tweeting from the bathroom 🙂


  65. Oh, and I’m DYING over the salted candied peanuts (and the whole thing really, but those sound delectable!!).


  66. This cake is amazing but I’m so sorry about your phone – I cannot believe someone stole it off your desk! I just got my first smartphone recently and panic every time I misplace it and can’t find it for 5 seconds.. now I’m going to be even more paranoid!

  67. Joanne – I think we need to send this to Samsung. but really, I want to hoard it all to myself. WOW *IMPRESSED* and sending wishes that your phone comes back!

  68. Why, if these flavors don’t just BELONG together—this is a fabulous looking cake, I’m in loooove =)

  69. Oh good god! Just finishing my 21 day detox…are you trying to kill me?

  70. That stinks! Someone from your class? Say it isn’t so. Oh my goodness, what a great cake! Every flavor I adore~

  71. well, i kind of beg to differ on the food can’t buy you love or happiness.
    i had a memorable and authentic béarnaise sauce from maison robert in boston (now closed) and it was one my favorite food moments in life.
    you might have heard of it; very famous for its french cuisine.
    sadly they closed after decades of being open.
    i think a ruth chris is there now?
    love the salted peanuts on this, reminds me I have to re-do my famous devils food pb cake w/ ganache and salty peanuts.

  72. Johanna GGG says:

    oh you sound like you were truly in need of that cake – and it sounds scrumptious – who needs a mobile phone when you can have those nuts!!!! (but yes they were bad bad nasty folk to take your phone)

  73. Hannah says:

    Your desserts are always show-stoppers, but you’ve really outdone yourself this time… I can completely believe that this cake would have magical healing powers just from a glance at that tender crumb smothered in rich chocolate frosting. In fact, I think that doctors should start writing prescriptions for this cake, asap. The world would instantly become a happier place!

  74. Deborah says:

    Ooooh, I can’t imagine how upset I’d be if my phone was stolen. It’s got my whole life on it!! I’d definitely do some emotional eating – and this cake looks like the perfect place to start!

  75. tigerfish says:

    I am usually not a fan of frosting on cakes, seriously. But today is the day I can have the cake without scraping off the frosting! Too good!

  76. Cara says:

    I am right there with you! I’m certain that having this cake in my presence would free me of all emotions, save pure joy…

  77. grace says:

    unsalted nuts are useless to me, and that’s a fact. what a marvelous creation!

  78. Reeni Pisano says:

    That completely stinks! I can’t believe the nerve of someone to do that right under your nose. Now if I were passing by and spotted this cake you can bet I’d swipe a piece and run! Like the wind. Completely and utterly divine!

  79. Oh my goodness – this cake looks so insanely decadent and delicious! Sorry about your phone. That totally stinks!

  80. Aww I’m sorry to hear about your phone, but I’m certain this cake took your mind right off of it! … or at least gave you a chance to eat your feelings with something DELICIOUS!

  81. Kevin says:

    I could really go for a slice of that right now! I am liking the salted candied peanut topping!

  82. We all know how much of a pain it can be to be without a phone. It’s especially frustrating when the phone was stolen. Let the cake take you to another place…a place that can be soothed for just a few minutes while you enjoy the slice!

  83. […] One year ago…Banana Cake with Mocha Frosting and Salted Candied Peanuts […]

  84. OK, I am still shocked when things get stolen in the work place or at school. . I mean, come on people. are we really that hard up?! I hate that that happened. . but freaking love this cake! Banana cake with mocha frosting?! LOVE!

  85. Julie G. says:

    Sorry about your phone! Also, you make me feel like eating cake with frosting is no longer a crime!! Thanks so much for sharing, I can’t wait to try this recipe. Pinned!

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