Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Banana Dream

This past weekend was my brother's 25th birthday.  The family came up for the weekend to celebrate here and so I had the honor of making him a birthday cake.  When I asked what he might like, he mentioned TooJays' Banana Dream Cake.

Have you ever been to or heard of TooJays Deli before?  We used to have one in Gainesville (the big city 45 minutes away), but it has since closed.  I never visited.  So...I had no idea what a TooJays' Banana Dream Cake was but who am I to disappoint?

So, I searched for copycat recipes but none were to be found on the internet.  REALLY??  I kept my head down and formed a new plan.  I headed to TooJays web site and read their description of the cake.

Banana Dream jpg
photo via flickr

Happy 25th Jay!!  

Then I searched recipes for banana cream.  I started to take the easy way out and make Jello Instant Pudding but had neither vanilla or banana cream pie in my pantry.  So I made it from scratch.  I used this recipe.  Except--I didn't realize we were out of cream, so I didn't add that in.  If you make this cake (and you should) add it in.

TooJays' Version via flickr--mine looks very similar except for my filling was much smaller and darker with out the cream.

As for the frosting.  Yep, this self-proclaimed milk-chocolate-hater made milk chocolate buttercream for my sweet brother.  I then stuck the walnuts and (semi-sweet) chocolate chips to the outside.  I was going to make a ganache, but no cream...so I melted down some dark chocolate chips, stirred them into the milk chocolate frosting, smeared it on the top and called it a day.

I didn't use near as many chocolate chips and walnuts as they do...

Having never had the original, I had no idea if this would be good or at all comparable.  But, my guinea pigs family members dove in and came back up with smiles.

Three days later we still have a quarter of the cake left (I forgot to send it home with my brother) and its been calling me every morning for breakfast...  The cake has a similar taste to banana bread but is much lighter in density and flavor.  The banana cream (which would have benefitted from the whip cream in my opinion) tastes like banana pudding ('cause it is...) and adds a nice creaminess to the cake.  The chocolate frosting tastes just like Easter candy to me and is a nice compliment to the lighter banana flavors.  And the chocolate chips and walnuts add crunch and a zing of flavor.

I probably would have never ordered this cake at a restaurant since I like bananas but they're not my favorite, but I have to say, my homemade version surprised me.  If it's anywhere near as good as TooJays I see why so many people were searching for the recipe online.

If you like Banana Dream Cake, I definitely recommend this version.  It was a winner around here.  Now if only making the cake made the calories nonexistant to the baker...

Linking up...


  1. It's my favorite cake ever. I only splurge on a slice every couple of years, but totally worth it. It's so rich you have to split it with a friend. I wouldn't have known where to start to make it from scratch. Good job!

  2. Okay, so first of all, TWENTY FIVE?! Why does that sound so damn young all of a sudden?!?! Crap, I'm officially old.
    Second of all, holy cow, this sounds AMAZING and I wish I was part of the family right about now. Alas, I'm too old. Ha!

  3. It was great! and you are a wonderful big sister!! (always have been)

  4. That looks great! Vintage Cakes to the rescue! And how cute that your brother reads your blog!


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