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Banana-Coconut Cake with RumThis is a light, but moist cake, with a nice pure flavor and a great texture.  It doesn’t have an over-pronounced banana flavor.  It’s subtle.  And it’s tropical, with bananas, coconut and rum.     Perfectly Ripe Bananas for Banana Bread/CakeThe secret to really good banana cake or banana bread, is to not use bananas that are too over-ripe.  We all have over-ripe bananas from time to time.  Admittedly, The Goddess has been known to let them get pretty dark, completely black, in fact.  But, she has learned that we pitch those onto the compost heap.  They just don’t make good banana bread/cake.  And who wants to waste time making a cake that isn’t delicious?  You want the banana to be nice and ripe, full of sugar and flavor, with great banana aroma, and soft, but not mushy.  The bananas pictured are perfect.  I mash the bananas with a fork, but you can toss them right into the mixer after you’ve added the eggs.  That works, too.

Banana-Coconut Cake with RumI placed a streusel topping on the loaves after they had finished baking, slid the under the broiler and browned and crisped the topping up.  Now, we’re going to have a teaching moment here, as The Eldest Progeny always tells me I can never pass up such a moment…but what does he know, anyway?!?  Banana-Coconut Cake with RumThe loaf on the right, is perfect!  The Goddess was a powerhouse of focus when she was broiling this one.  Now, I do want you to remember, she didn’t have to show you this.  You may recall that in the past, The Goddess has mention, “don’t walk away from the stove when you’re broiling something”…remember those sage words?  The cake on the left is what can happen when you just step out, for less than a minute, to drop the garbage into the can.  Seriously, it can happen that quickly.  There’s lots of sugar and butter in that topping.  It’s a winning flavor combination, but it’s also a recipe for disaster, if you’re not paying attention.  And The Goddess wasn’t paying attention!

Banana-Coconut Cake with RumSo, do we just pitch this cake out?  We do not!  No. No. No.  We can simply cut that too crispy topping off, top with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream and drizzle on some Bourbon Caramel Sauce or Caramel Apple Sauce with Bourbon.  No one but you will know.  Moment of truth???  The Goddess sort of liked that over-caramelized, almost-burned-to-a-crisp topping.  Yes.  It’s true.

The coconut helps keep the cake moist and it just so happens to be really delicious.  The coconut rum has a pretty decent coconut flavor, but you can use mango, dark, orange or whatever rum you want, except spiced rum.  Spiced rum has a tendency to over-power the other flavors.  You can add some ground cardamom, cinnamon, allspice or nutmeg if you want, but I wanted the pure banana/coconut flavor.

Ingredients for Banana-Coconut Cake with RumI combine the dry ingredients and set them aside.  I place the lime juice in a cup measure, then fill it with whole milk, stir it and set it aside to sour.  Later, I add the rum, vanilla and banana to the soured milk.  Butter and Sugar Beaten with Eggs for CakesI beat the butter and sugar together until light, then toss in the eggs, beating well after each addition.  Now, this is where it’s just a tad different.  Batter for Banana-Coconut Cake with RumJust pour in the dry ingredients, then the soured milk/banana mixture and beat it just until it comes together, about 30 seconds.  Do not over-beat it.  Banana-Coconut Cake with RumDivide the batter between the pans, into the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it.

Streusel Topping for Banana-Coconut Cake with RumThis cake is delicious with a cream cheese frosting or a butterscotch frosting, but we’re not that into frosting, so that’s why I did the streusel topping.

Banana-Coconut Cake with Rum

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Moderately Easy
  • Print

  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3/4 cup butter or stick margarine
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium bananas)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut rum (or other flavored rum, but not spiced)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut or plain rum to pour over the cooled cake (optional)

In a glass measuring cup, add the lime juice.  Fill the cup to the 3/4 cup level with the milk.  Stir and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter or margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add the vanilla. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine the flour, coconut, citrus zests, salt, soda, and baking powder. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture.

Stir the bananas and rum into the soured milk.  Add the mixture to the batter.  Beat everything  together until well combined, about 30 seconds…do not over-beat.

Line two 9-inch round cake pans, or one 9 x 13-inch pan or 2 8 1/2 X 5-inch loaf pans with wax paper; the pans can be greased and floured instead, if desired.  Divide the batter evenly between the pans.

Bake at 350°F for 17 to 20 minutes for the layered cakes, for 26 to 30 minutes for the loaf pans or for 25 to 40 minutes for the sheet cake.  Remove from the oven when a toothpick has no batter, but a few crumbs clinging.  Cool for 10 minutes and remove the cakes from the pans; cool the cake(s) to room temperature.

If you prefer to have a streusel topping, combine the topping ingredients, sprinkle over the baked cake(s) and slide under the broiler until crisp and slightly brown, about 2-3 minutes.  Cool completely.  Pour the additional rum over the top, if desired.

Streusel Topping:

  • 1 cup sweetened grated coconut
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger (optional)

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients.  When the cake(s) are just done baking, sprinkle the streusel over the cake and under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.  You just want the topping to crisp up and brown slightly.

Banana-Coconut Cake with Rum Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2017.  All rights reserved.

This is also delicious sliced and lightly toasted, for breakfast.  It’s a good coffee cake-type cake…really nice with coffee.