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There are so many things they never tell you about becoming a parent. Like every birth scene you’ve ever watched in a movie or on tv is a big fat lie dipped in fantasy. That your belly does not go back down right after the baby arrives. The very real realness that is sustained sleep deprivation combined with elevated hormone levels.

Then, the bananas.

One of the first solid foods. Thank goodness for bananas! What child doesn’t freaking love a good banana?

That is, until they don’t. love. bananas. EVER. AGAIN.

Poor little broke-ass banana. Better times are coming, little fella.

Poor little broke-ass banana. Better times are coming, little fella.

We go through this cycle fairly frequently at my house. We love bananas! Followed by we can’t stand bananas, and how could you put one in my lunchbox Mom, how could you? So the half-eaten, the too brown, the just plain wrong in the eyes of a six-year-old bananas go into the freezer to gather.

Today is National Chocolate Cake Day, and those poor little fruits are getting their day in the sunshine (or oven, as it were). Since I’m not at all above hiding food in other food to get certain young members of my house to eat them, this cake is one that I especially enjoy. It is so deeply chocolaty, tender, and easy to make. Paired with a fluffy batch of peanut butter-cream cheese frosting and topped off with crunchy shards of peanut-banana chip brittle, no one, not even a banana-hater (this week, anyway) can resist.

This cake recipe is directly lifted from the brilliant one found here, which I have only changed a tiny bit, because it is so dang good as is.

Banana Devil’s Food Cake with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

2 c. sugar
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process, it makes a darker cake)
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

2 large eggs
1 c. ripe banana, mashed
3/4 c. warm water
1/2 c. whole milk
1/2 c. unflavored oil, such as grapeseed or canola
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 freshly brewed espresso

Place the first six ingredients (the dries) in a bowl and whisk them together well.

Place all of the wet ingredients in another bowl and whisk them together until well combined.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in.

This seems like a good idea, but it isn't. Switch to a whisk.

This seems like a good idea, but it isn’t. Switch to a whisk.

Whisk/fold together until just combined. The mixture will be both thin and a bit chunky. Fear not.
This is more like it.

This is more like it.

Pour into the prepared cake pans and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool for ten or so minutes before removing from the cake pans. Cool completely before assembling.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick salted butter, room temp
8 oz cream cheese
1 c. creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth and well combined. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and continue to cream together. On low speed, add the powdered sugar a 1/2 c. at a time. Scrape the bowl down with a rubber spatula. Cream the mixture on high speed for 4-5 minutes.

Assemble the cake.

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Peanut Banana Chip Brittle

1 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. water
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1 cup peanuts, lightly roasted, roughly chopped
1/2 c. banana chips, roughly chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda

In a large heavy-bottomed pot, combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup over high heat. Stir often. Cook to about 300F, then carefully pour in the peanuts and banana chips, stirring thoroughly to combine. Continue to cook on medium heat until the mixture takes on a light caramel color. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and baking soda. Return to medium heat and stir again until combined. Immediately pour onto a silicon mat-lined sheet pan. Smooth the surface to thin it out and allow to cool completely before breaking into pieces. Apply to the cake.

Eat with reckless abandon.

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