Nesha’s Lunchbox Cake
Tonight, my mother had one of her dinner parties. Her dinner parties are always fantastic, delicious, cozy, and VERY Pakistani, desserts being no exception. Not that Pakistani desserts aren’t great…I mean…gulab jamun, anyone? However, nary a chocolate morsel would be seen if my mother had her way…and so for the sake of the children…those poor, poor children (think of the children!!), I decided to whip up…this.
A banana-chocolate-chip-peanut butter cake with peanut butter-chocolate sauce (I do not like icing or frosting, I refuse to use the terms). Or as I like to call it: Lunchbox cake, because it reminds me of my childhood and the bananas, cookies, and pb and j’s i would eat at school. I was a bit wary of using crunchy peanut butter because I thought the texture would be weird, but it turned out amazing (Alhamdulillah).
So here it is, in all its chocolatey-banana-y-peanut buttery glory.
Don’t worry about the calories. If you’re reading this…just give in. 🙂
2/3 cup butter, softened
3 yellow bananas, cut up
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 tbsp honey
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
1 tbsp vinegar
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup powdered sugar, or more to taste.
Preheat oven to 350F
Cover a large sheet pan with parchement paper and set aside.
In a standmixer, mix bananas, butter, and sugar until combined. Then, add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition. Add crunchy peanut butter, honey, and vanilla, and mix again until combined and small chunks of banana remain. Set aside peanut butter-banana mixture.
In a measuring cup, measure out milk, add vinegar, and set aside to allow it to turn to buttermilk, about 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, sift together flours, nutmeg, allspice, and baking powder. If you chose to add the salt, sift it in now with the dry ingredients.
To the peanut butter-banana mixture, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk. DO NOT OVER MIX! Mix just until combined and no flour can be seen. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour batter into the sheet pan, smooth and even out with a cake knife, and gently tap the sheet pan against a hard surface to force air bubbles to the surface.
Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes, or until edges turn golden brown. Let the cake cool while preparing sauce.
Heat milk in a saucepan on the stove on medium heat. To the milk, add the smooth peanut butter and gently whisk until combined. Once the mixture begins to bubble, take it off the heat and add the chocolate chips. Whisk to melt and combine. Add in powdered sugar, whisk to combine.
Pour over the top of the cake in drizzles, or coat it completely. Put the cake in the fridge until cake cools and sauce hardens, about 1 hour.
Serve cold for a brownie-like texture, or warm.