I will admit, I love a good deal, even if that means buying more than needed. If you shop at Costco, you know this well. Tell me, who can resist the splurging reigns of Costco?? No one.
You know, when you go in for a few items and end up with all sorts of
necessary unnecessary things? Yep. So when I saw the big ginormous bags of frozen organic cherries on sale my eyes lit up. I had to buy some. My practical side was thinking where is she going to store all those cherries and enough with all those bags of sweet & salty kettle corn popcorn. My Costco side wins every time – besides, it’s for the kids (wink wink).
By the way, have you ever popped those frozen suckers straight and chomped on them like candy? You have, right? It is darn near addictive. Don’t tell me I’m the only one with these issues. Nevermind. Anyway, about the cake.
This recipe came about thinking about my summers as a kid up in the Catskills (upstate NY) when our neighbor, Maya (in the bungalow next to us) would make the best banana blueberry cake every week and give us slices of it warm out the oven. She used blueberries instead of cherries since they grow like weeds upstate and well-ripened bananas. I remember eating it caveman style (no manners) then washing it down with milk, late afternoon, after a long day of swimming. Life was so simple then.
Inspired to make something similar to hers using frozen cherries (read: thinking about cake testing while chomping on frozen cherries) I thought: the textural base of a banana cake (reason why it bakes for so long) using my overripe bananas from my fruit bowl along with a nutty element from my leftover hazelnut meal in the fridge, but not be too heavy – as some nut-based cakes tend to be – then add those plump, sweet cherries before I eat them all (quick fact: frozen produce is only picked when ripe so it sure comes in handy when fresh is not available). Yes. Hope you don’t mind my jumping over spring for a minute.
The ripe bananas create a sweet caramelization that is so heavenly. Oh, how I wish I could give you a slice, it’s so GOOD. This is my kind of simple summertime fruit cake even if it is spring.
I had replaced my norm of using grains like rice for coconut and hazelnut meal to test it as a grain free cake – as a sweet treat during the week of Passover given our restriction to grains and legumes during the holiday. Even though many Passover cakes are already gluten free and dairy free, it’s always hard to find a good one at the market without a bunch of chemicals that is also delicious. I then tested it without eggs since I have 50 pounds of frozen cherries – it was tasty but came out too crumbly and didn’t hold up when sliced, even with the extra banana I added. I think it may have been the lack of starch in both, hazelnut meal, and coconut. I then tested it (again with eggs) which yielded consistent delicious results as the first. I haven’t yet decided what I’m making for Seder night dessert, yikes, and it’s almost here.
But with all that I should say, I can’t imagine clinching this cake solely to Passover. I can easily see this cake as a housewarming gift, brunch cake, Mother’s Day cake, lazy day picnic cake, during soccer practice cake, bring to work cake, you name it kinda cake – unpretentious rustic yet fancy on flavor. It’s also Paleo-friendly. Give it a try and let me know what you think, as always, I love to hear from you… enjoy!
- Makes 1 9-inch cake
- You will need a springform pan.
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
- 1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup (112 grams) hazelnut meal
- 1 cup (116 grams) coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) non-dairy soy free spread (I use Earth Balance)
- 1 cup (222 grams) raw cane (turbinado) sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure gluten free vanilla extract
- 4 whole eggs
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1 heaping cup frozen pitted cherries (or fresh, if available)
- confectioner’s sugar for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 C). Grease a 9-inch springform pan (at least 2 inches deep), set aside.
- Measure the coconut milk then add apple cider vinegar directly to the measuring cup - do not mix. Set aside. This is the ‘buttermilk’.
- Whisk to combine hazelnut meal, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer set with a paddle attachment begin
creaming‘buttery’ spread and raw sugar on low speed (to prevent sugar flying) then increase to medium highspeed and cream for about 3 minutes, until it appears whipped and pale in color. Meanwhilemash the bananas and set aside.
- When butter/sugar is ready, add vanilla extract then eggs, one at a time. Now add mashed bananas, mix until just blended. Then add "buttermilk". Immediately add in flour blend, when it just begins to blend turn off mixer then give the bowl a good mix using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to make sure the bottom of the bowl has been well mixed.
- Fold in frozen cherries to combine. Transfer batter into the greased springform pan then set it on a baking sheet (the batter hasn’t
leakyet but it is much easier to pull out of the oven with flimsy oven mitts like mine!).
- Bake for 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted
downthe middlecomes out with crumb (not wet and sticky).
- Let it cool in the pan for 30 minutes before removing from pan. When completely cooled, sift confectioner’s sugar across cake and serve; this is optional for garnish, either
- Some notes:
- My bananas were very ripe. The more browned the skin is of the bananas, the more caramelized the top of the cake will be and that is a good thing. It creates a thin crust-like exterior encasing the moist cake that is dreamy.
- I haven’t tried to sub eggs with
chick pealiquid (aqua faba) just yet with this recipe. If you do decide to give it a try sub eggs with 8 tablespoons of aqua faba. It’s best to drain the liquid from the can while the chick peasare still in there, rather than spooning out liquidfrom the top for measuring because the thickest liquid (the thicker, slimier, the better) has usually settled to the bottom.
- Don’t like hazelnuts? Swap out hazelnut meal for almond or cashew. It will create a different flavor but albeit delicious. I don’t suggest
walnutmeal, it will be bitter.
- Any sort of fruit with the same water content will do well in here - blueberries, strawberries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, raspberries, mulberries, etc.
- If making ‘Kosher for Passover’, use alcohol-free vanilla extract.
fabais not considered kosher for passoverby some Jews, please check accordingly.
- If dairy tolerant: omit cider vinegar and use
samemeasure as coconut milk, same for butter.
- Alternatively, you can swap out hazelnut and coconut flour for the same measure of an all-purpose gluten free flour blend (in grams for best results). If your all-purpose flour contains baking powder and baking soda then omit.
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