Banana Split Birthday Cake

Happy 26th Birthday to me. YIKES.

I’m constantly saying birthdays are the most important time of the year; it’s a time that reminds us of the importance for being grateful for the wonderful friends we keep, it brings everybody together. This year I’ve felt too unemployed, too useless and therefore too undeserving to even begin contemplating the fine art of celebration for myself (the only happiness I see is the bottom of ice cream tubs) and it’s unfortunate that such a happy occasion should fall on such an awkward time in my life. But, thanks to some encouraging family and friends we partied nice this weekend and it was good.

Such a terrifying number (twenty six, say it with me now) amplified by my post graduate and job seeking status warranted the creation of a delightful cake screaming of age denial. Welcome to my life, banana split cake; banana cake with a dulce de leche filling covered in yellow buttercream, chocolate glaze, honeyed cashews, 100s and 1000s, faux ice cream buttercream scoops in neapolitan colours and even more nuts, sprinkles, cherries and wafers. If your cake doesn’t scream “DIABETES” then you’re doing something wrong. This is an ode, no, a blaring symphony to my cake philosophy; FONDANT NEVER, BUTTERCREAM FOREVER. It’s my legacy instilled in sugar.

For a cake that began as a humble sketch pictured above it seemed apt to illustrate the procedure for creating this buttery wonder instead of documenting via photos and I assure you the lack of fancy cross-section photos has nothing to do with the eternal struggle between gin brain and camera/knife wielding after blowing out the candles. Guys, did I make an idiot out of myself when I made that speech… ? RIP me. Death by embarrassment.

The banana cake recipe was taken from a classic Women’s Weekly book (my mum used to make it all the time (~FAMILY HISTORY~)) and the dulce de leche filling was made by slow-cooking condensed milk in a bain-marie with a pinch of salt (too scared to boil dat can).

Beautiful, flourishing emotions aside, here’s how to decorate it; you’ll need two 9 inch rounds of cake, a filling of your choice (optional), lots of buttercream, food colouring (I find gel is best), crushed nuts, sprinkles / 100s and 1000s, chocolate, cream and glucose / corn syrup. It will make any 26 year old cry with happy tears or at the very least gently ease them into the final year of their “mid 20s”. There is no such thing as age appropriate when it comes to cake.

… twenty… six.

 

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  1. chocolatesuze’s avatar

    Hot damn. That cake is freaking amaaaaazing! Happy birthday!

    Reply

  2. dayo’s avatar

    yeah fuck fondant! damn overly thick and chewy icing

    Reply

  3. Swah’s avatar

    Oh wow! This cake looks absolutely amazing! Happy Birthday xxx

    Reply

  4. chelle’s avatar

    omg this is so so so uber cool – it’s like straight outta a comic book or smth with its bright happy colours! happy birthday! :) betcha had an awesome bday celebration with such an awesome cake. i really thought those were real ice cream scoops and wondered how it wouldnt melt until i read the step by step illustration (which is really nicely drawn btw).

    Reply

  5. Kara’s avatar

    Okay so, 3 things. First, Happy Birthday! Secondly, that is THE finest cake I have ever laid eyes on in my entire LIFE. Holy smokes, way to make it COUNT! Thirdly, “fondant never, butter cream forever”, amen sister. Amen. So, so cool. So cool.

    Reply

  6. Marjorie (Sugar for the Brain)’s avatar

    OH. WOW!!!! Happy 26th!!! Great idea with the faux ice cream scoops!!! Love it!

    Reply

  7. Vivian - vxdollface’s avatar

    happy 26th birthday lovely! fabulous 26 :D
    i love this cake, it’s so beautiful & scrumptious looking! haha if you ever need a taste-tester, i’m free!

    Reply

  8. Ai-Ling@blueapocalypse’s avatar

    Happy Birthday! Saw the photo and wondered how you managed to capture perfect ice cream scoops which didn’t melt all over the place, nice trick with the buttercream!

    You should just design and make cakes for a living.

    Reply

  9. Jessica’s avatar

    this is actually SO FUCKING GREAT! and it makes me so sad that i wasn’t at your party to eat it!!! :( i had no idea how you made the ice cream either but now i know they’re buttercream i’m even sadder that i didn’t get to eat basically the whole thing. seriously, WOW.

    Reply

  10. Steph’s avatar

    Happy Birthday! Your cake is SO FRICKIN AMAZING. I am 100% with you on the fondant never, buttercream forever philosphy!!!

    Reply

  11. Tina @ bitemeshowme’s avatar

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEETIE!! You are a genius. Love the look of that cake. You fooled me, I thought you used real ice cream but then I thought to myself it would melt. Bam. YOU ARE LEGENDARY! I hope you had a wonderful birthday babe xoxo

    Reply

  12. Lisa’s avatar

    Happy birthdy to you! This cake is incredible. My sister has asked (nay, demanded) that I make it for her birthday this year!!

    Reply

  13. Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar’s avatar

    Holy crap – that is AMAZING!!! I am so in love with the buttercream ice cream scoops!! I want to faceplant in it. Now. Happy 26th Birthday!!

    Reply

  14. Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy’s avatar

    Woah! This cake…THIS CAKE! I bet this is going off on Pinterest! Happy Birthday Alana – 26 is an awesome age..I remember it well. Just wait until you are 30 something!
    Stunning work.

    Reply

  15. Winston’s avatar

    OOOOOOOMFG THAT IS THE SEXIEST LOOKING CAKE I HAVE EVER SEEN!! And happy 26th, Alana! Hope you had a great one. With a bloody good cake like this, how could you not. No, really. Your photo is friggin amazing. Am sure 2013 will be the year of Alana! Woot!

    Reply

  16. Nic@diningwithastud’s avatar

    OMG Happy Birthday to you and what a delish way to celebrate :) fab work!

    Reply

  17. Shelby’s avatar

    LOVE your cake! After looking at so many others, yours was truly the parent of my cake. I alluded to your blog, especially how this blog post was the basis for the cake I just made. Hope you can check it out! http://dessertfirst-always.blogspot.com/2013/02/ice-cream-cake.html P.s I just got back from a 6 month exchange in Sydney and wish I was back there! Loved it so much.

    Reply

  18. Phuoc'n Delicious’s avatar

    Oh god damn!!! What a marvel of a cake! This is utterly amazing! Happy (belated) birthday!

    Reply

  19. Carrie (The Cake Blog)’s avatar

    This is seriously fabulous!! In love!

    Reply

  20. Charlotte’s avatar

    OMG this is amazing, do you have the recipe for the ganache and the ice cream scoops?

    Reply

    1. Alana’s avatar

      Hey Charlotte! Thanks so much; there’s a buttercream recipe right here (though you’ll need more than what that recipe calls for; use it as a ratio guide) and from memory the chocolate glaze was 240g chocolate, 1/2 cup pouring cream and 1/2 cup of glucose or corn syrup (same product but it’s called different things around this fancy globe). Hope that helps!

      Reply

      1. Charlotte’s avatar

        Thank you so much, I am about to give it a go for my husbands 32nd birthday tomorrow

        Reply

      2. Kat @ KatCakes’s avatar

        Hi Alana! I just wanted to say that I came across your blog after seeing this picture and thought it was such a fabulous idea! Looks like you had a great birthday! :)

        Reply

      3. Gaya’s avatar

        Hi Alana! Firstly, I love this cake and it has totally inspired me for my brother’s 30th birthday in a few weeks time, (he’s totally an ice cream and cake and no fondant kinda guy!). What I wanted to know was how did you make the chocolate glaze, and was it the addition of the glucose/syrup which made it the right consistency to not drip all over the yellow buttercream? Also did you refrigerate the frosted cake first before pouring over the warm chocolate glaze? Thank you so much in advance!

        Reply

        1. Alana’s avatar

          Hey Gaya, thanks for your kind words! Off the top of my head the glaze recipe was; 240g chocolate, 1/2 cup pouring cream and 1/2 cup of glucose / corn syrup. And yes you’re right, it’s the glucose that provides the almost lethargic dripping quality. I most definitely refrigerated that bad boy before pouring over the chocolate glaze, if you have room in your freezer I’d even suggest throwing it in there for a few minutes too but do let the glaze stand at room temperature for a bit so it’s not too warm. You must let me know how you go! Email me some photos ok!

          Reply

          1. Gaya’s avatar

            Thank you so much- I will give it a jolly good go (!) and will email you the results :)

            Reply

          2. Shauna’s avatar

            I think I love you.

            Reply

          3. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom’s avatar

            Are you kidding me?! I love this. Wow.

            Reply

          4. Julie @White Lights on Wednesday’s avatar

            Great cake Alana! I was wondering how you pulled off ice cream on top of the cake. The buttercream trick is brilliant!

            Reply

            1. Alana’s avatar

              Thanks Julie, I froze the buttercream then used an ice cream scoop to form the balls, just like you would with regular ice cream!

              Reply

            2. Chelsie’s avatar

              Hi, do you think that this would taste equally good with an orange cake rather than banana? Also using REAL ice cream instead of buttercream?
              Thanks

              Reply

              1. Alana’s avatar

                Hey Chelsie, the orange flavour is entirely up to you (but I’m not sure about the orange + caramel combination). As for the real ice cream, sure, but it will melt quickly so there’s a risk of it turning your cake into a mushy mess! Work quickly or scoop the ice cream on just before serving and you should be fine.

                Reply

              2. kara’s avatar

                Okay so, I know this is ages old and I have ALREADY even commented on it before but I just came across this again in my bookmarks and it still stunned me with its perfect righteous cake beauty. Just wanted to let you know, this one withstands the test of time. A year later, still kickin’.

                Reply

              3. Wolfgang Gesselmann’s avatar

                I am feeling surprisingly guilty to share these amazingly cake recipies. Absolutely georgous! I better forgot this!

                Reply

              4. Linda Inglis’s avatar

                Loved the cake. Made it for my daughters 30th birthday. Didn’t fancy all the scoops of butter icing, so covered mini muffins instead. Had to put cocktail sticks to hold muffins in place, as they started to slide. Just looked as good.

                Reply

              5. Sinead Fenton’s avatar

                THE best birthday cake ever!!! WOW!

                Reply

              6. Lisa’s avatar

                Just made this cake for my husbands birthday this week. Everyone loved it. Turned out great. Thanks for the fantastic idea and clear directions.

                Reply

              7. Fiona’s avatar

                I LOVE buttercream!!! I have never understood why it’s not more celebrated – it packs flavour and is fantastic frozen (add brandy) and eat with hot christmas pudding! I have a birthday coming up and am going to make this. You are a star for sharing it with the world – a talented and creative cake maker you are ;)

                Reply

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