The Timeless Birthday Cake

It was my birthday!  This past Tuesday I turned 18 and it was the first time I spent it in my new home… Philadelphia! Before I left for Drexel, we had a few close family and friends over for a nice dinner and MY FAVORITE CAKE OF ALL TIME.  This cake is a banana-nut cake with coco frosting.  You will not regret making this for any occasion…ever.  The cake is extremely light and is perfect with the simple mocha whipped cream frosting that surrounds it in a THICK (the more of this icing the better!) layer.


Ten years ago!


6 years ago!


My sister’s birthday over 5 years ago!


4 years ago!

For as long as I can remember I have been eating the same birthday cake every year.  But, I am not complaining!  This cake is light, delicious, and continually a hit at birthday parties.  My sister also has this cake for her birthday every year too. It has gotten to the point that it doesn’t feel like my birthday unless I am spooning this cake into my mouth after dinner.  This cake has been in the family so long that my mom even remembers celebrating her birthday with this cake as a child (it was the cake at her first birthday party).  The weird thing about this cake is that I have never made it for my own birthday, just other family members.  My mom always bakes my birthday cake each year!

This past weekend, my sister and I had an amazing dinner at White Dog Cafe in Philly to celebrate. (pictures of the meal below) My classes started Monday and I am writing this post between my seminars and homework which is how I think most of my blog posts are going to be written during the school year.  I love all my classes and I am super excited for the next four years I am spending at Drexel!


White Dog Cafe — right off of Drexel’s campus


Warm rolls with honey salted butter


Beet arugula salad (it had delicious polenta “croutons”), a hummus platter, and pita


Shrimp with white beans, spinach, and basil pesto (the pesto sauce was amazing)



Icelandic Cod with littleneck clams, chorizo, fingerling potatoes, fennel, and saffron broth

So, along with the recipe to my favorite cake of all time… I am highly recommending stopping by White Dog Cafe if you are ever in University City (they also have two other locations).  Their brunch menu is also delicious! I recommend the Kennet Square Omelet which is filled with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, and Cheddar cheese.

Banana Nut Cake with Coco Frosting


*adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Banana Nut Cake:

  • 2/3 c butter
  • 2 1/2 c cake flour
  • 1 2/3 c sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 c mashed bananas
  • 2/3 c buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 chopped walnuts, toasted

Coco Whipped Frosting:

  • 1 c sugar
  • 2/3 c cocoa
  • 3 c heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 1 ripe banana


Banana Nut Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and line with parchment two 9 x 1 1/2 inch round pans.
  2. Put the chopped walnuts on a baking sheet with parchment or a mat, and bake until lightly toasted, about 6 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  4. Cream butter on medium speed until ribbon-like, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the flour mixture and sugar to the butter.
  6. Add the banana and half the buttermilk.  Mix until the flour looks wet.
  7. Add the rest of the buttermilk and eggs and beat for 2 minutes on medium-high speed.
  8. Fold in the nuts to the batter
  9. Divide the batter between the two pans.  Bake for about 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Cool 10 minutes then remove from the pans and let cool completely.

Coco Whipped Frosting:

  1.  Combine the sugar, cocoa, and heavy cream in a mixing bowl.
  2. Chill at least 1 hour.
  3. Beat until stiff and holds firm peaks.
  4. Icing the Cake:  Place one of the cakes on a platter.  spread about 3/4 c of the icing on the top of the cake.  Slice the banana and top the icing with banana pieces.  Spread 3/4 c more icing on top of the bananas.  Place the second cake on top and use the rest of the icing to spread around the top and sides of the cake.
  5. Enjoy!

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