Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Tropical Way to Take the Cake

Oh how I wish I lived somewhere even semi-warm from October through April. Countless days spent indoors can get old to put it nicely. I know a lot of bloggers out there can’t relate because well..they are smarter luckier and choose to live in the southern or western sunshine. All I can do is look forward to our yearly vacation to somewhere warm over winter break.

Last year I visited L.A.:


The year before was Florida:

(My grandma and I)

Clearwater Beach


And in 2007 was Florida once again:



2006 was back to Clearwater Beach:


And 2005 was Clearwater once again..can you tell I love it there?!

So to say the least, all I do in these dreary months to hold me over till December is look back at all the fun times I have had.

Where’s your favorite vacation destination?

But of course I would not leave you with a post filled with pictures of past vacations with no mention of food. You almost thought I was going to right? No chance! Of course fall time is meant for baking with pumpkin, squash and other savory food. But for the sake of my tropical dreams, I cannot give up sweet treats with fruity tastes because it temporarily brings me to a tropical state of euphoria. Bear with me okay? =) This recipe has a little fall with cinnamon and a lot of tropical with coconut and banana!

Banana Spice Cake with Coconut Frosting


Serves 16



  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar (I used Splenda)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c low fat buttermilk (I used a little less than 3/4 c Almond Breeze milk with 1 Tbsp lemon juice—let sit for about 15 minutes)
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed, about 1 cup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 1 (8 oz) package of light cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 Tbsp milk (coconut milk is recommended, but I subbed vanilla Eighth Continent soymilk)
  • 1 tsp coconut extract (This is a crucial ingredient—no substitutes!)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c sweetened flaked coconut, toasted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with nonstick spray.
  2. To make the cake, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together the remaining cake ingredients in a separate medium bowl. Gradually add the banana mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just blended.
  3. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 30-35 min or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove cake from pan and let cool completely on rack.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the frosting, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat all the frosting ingredients except the flaked coconut until smooth, about 1 minute. With a narrow metal spatula, spread frosting over the top of cake. Add the toasted coconut evenly over the top.

This cake would even be delicious without the frosting..but who doesn’t like frosting? :-) 


**Speaking of tropical, enter a  HUGE giveaway here!**


Krista said...

What a great cake flavoured with the tastes of summer! I too wish I lived in a warmer climate!

Kim said...

I have always enjoyed the cooler weather, but I have to admit that I am starting to not enjoy it as much. I loved all your pics, very cute! My favorite vacation spot would probably be LA, or Las Vegas, or San Fran..who am I kidding? I love to go everywhere! Love your banana cake with the coconut frosting. Great combination of warm and spicy and tropical at the same time :D

katecooks said...

i'm not going to lie, the warm weather is pretty amazing in LA :) but at least you have lots of cool weather inspiration for yummy treats!!

Karine said...

I love your cake and the frosting on it! thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Hee hee, hope that tropical cake warmed you right up from the inside! My fav destination is anywhere new, and preferably warm! ;-)

Erica said...

I am not a fan of any kind of cold weather! My favorite vacation is Hilton Head, SC in the summer. We go every year with Josh's family and its a blast. This year, Josh and I may take a trip to Jamaica! Yummy cake. Banana and coconut is a really awesome combo

Anonymous said...

I don't know what happened to the weather, one minute it was warm the next freezing.


Barbara said...

Yummy cake recipe!
Well, I do live in South Florida. I love it here from November until May but trust me when I say that in July, August and September we have killer heat- and we end up staying inside just like you do in the winter!

Michelle said...

aww!! I love that there was someone else (family i'm guessing? :)) in your fave vacation spot photos! It reminds me that my favorite spots have definitely been places I've gone to with my family! So I would say Phuket Thailand is my favorite!!

YUMMMY bread!! Together we can open up a bakery and dominate the world of sweets!muahhaah