Back in 2008, I was enrolled in a Certificate Program in Cooking and Baking Skills at Chef Gene Gonzalez’s Center for Asian Culinary Studies (CACS).
I was in the Saturday class, so I spent every Saturday attending lectures and doing kitchen laboratory work with my batchmates. While I welcomed the opportunity to learn to fabricate meats, fish and seafood and cook savory dishes of various disciplines and cuisines, baking was my favorite and having Chef Junjun de Guzman as our Pastry professor ignited the passion even more.
Chef Junjun is, for me, one of the most talented pastry chefs in the country. He whips up awesome cakes, pies, pastries and other desserts, and happily shares his recipes with everyone.
In the Baking Manual that Chef Junjun co-authored with Chef Gino Gonzalez for the Certificate Program in Cooking and Baking Skills, Chef Junjun shares one particular recipe that I truly personally love.
It is Carrot Banana Cake, a moist and delightfully flavorful cake with a cream chesse based icing. My group was assigned to make one, among other cakes, pies and tarts, on Cake Day, and it turned out really well. I’ve made it several times after, turning it from a Bundt cake to a regular round cake to mini cakes. I’ve also played around with the icing—from spooning it onto the Bundt cake to create a flowing effect to icing the whole cake to piping swirls or florets on top of a basically nude cake.
Just recently, I made my favorite Carrot Banana Cake again, and I’d like to share with you. It’s my most favorite cake to make.
Carrot Banana Cake
For the cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cinnamon powder
1 cup vegetable oil or corn oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 cup canned crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1-1/2 cups grated carrots
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
For the frosting
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsps. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp. cinnamon powder
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F (or 175˚C). Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt cake pan (or use a regular round cake pan or 2 pcs. small round cake pans).
2. Sift together all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon powder.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs.
4. Add vegetable or corn oil and continue to beat.
5. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar, and beat until mixed well.
6. Mash ripe bananas in a smaller bowl, and combine with drained crushed pineapple and carrots.
7. Add chopped walnuts and continue to mix.
8. Mix dry ingredients into the egg and sugar mixture, then add the carrot-pineapple-banana
mixture. Blend well.
9. Pour into prepared pan(s).
10. Bake in preheated oven for one hour or until cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
11. Let cake stand in pan for 10 minutes. Then turn out cake on rack and cool completely.
12. Make the frosting. In a small mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and cinnamon powder until mixture is smooth.
13. Spread icing all over the cake (top and sides) then scoop some icing into a piping bag and decorate as desired. Or scoop all the icing into a piping bag and decorate the nude cake as desired.