The Jimbo Cake

3/12/2014 10:56:00 PM

Jimbo cake

The luscious concoction you see above is a banana chocolate chip buttercake with vanilla bean peanut butter cream cheese icing. Ahem. You can see why I've shortened the name to the "Jimbo"!

Here's the story: A little while ago, I offered to bake a cake for my friend Jimbo's birthday. I thought a banana cake might be nice (I always have a surplus of overripe bananas in my freezer), and a quick Google search of revealed that the brilliant Nat Paull from my favourite cafe Beatrix had shared her recipe for The Elvis Cupcake on Broadsheet. Hooray! Nat's Elvis cupcake is a super-moist banana buttercake, topped with peanut butter cream cheese icing and crunchy bacon praline. Amazing. I've had it before, and it is insanely good! (PS The Elvis isn't available every day - follow Beatrix's Facebook page to see what cakes and ciabattas they have on offer each day.)

So, I used Nat's excellent recipe, making it a layer cake cake instead of cupcakes, adding choc chips, skipping the bacon praline (delicious, but I was lazy and I wanted to make sure veggoes got a look in!), and adding fresh banana between the layers. I loved the results so very much that this slightly simplified version - The Jimbo - is now one of my favourite cakes to bake.

Mmm.. you can tell how moist the cake will be, with all the ripe bananas and full-fat sour cream in the batter.

Bananas, sour cream and eggs

I found mini choc chips at the supermarket, which are totally adorable, but normal-sized choc chips will (obviously) do the trick.

Choc chips


The icing is, perhaps, my favourite part of this cake. How could you go wrong with cream cheese, icing sugar, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla? I've only ever used plain old Kraft peanut butter when making this, which gives it that appealing salty-sweet taste and reminds me of my childhood. (And my adulthood, hehe). I suppose you could try a natural peanut butter from the health food store if you really wanted, but why would you?

Peanut butter cream cheese vanilla bean frosting

If you have any icing leftover (and I wouldn't bet on it), it is totally fabulous spread on toast. (Or eaten with a spoon).


Fresh banana filling

And here's the completed cake! (I got the idea for the border of choc chips from my friend Sofia, a fabulous baker who owns and runs Frost and Flourish, a cake business in Kuala Lumpur).

Jimbo cake!

I had been hoping to save a slice or two for my parents, but there was no chance. My coworkers practically inhaled the cake!

Another time, I made The Jimbo in mini-cupcake form for another friend's birthday party. Too cute! (And this time, I managed to save a few for my parents).

Jimbo cupcakes

Jimbo cupcakes

Jimbo cupcakes, caramel slice

I actually did quite a bit of baking for this party (three cakes and two slices), and a Brazilian chef friend of the birthday girl made a fab range of Brazilian savoury treats. I'm planning to blog the party soon! But for now, please enjoy this photo of a mini Jimbo cupcake.

Jimbo cupcake

The Jimbo Cake
Adapted (only slightly) from Nat Paull's outstanding "The Elvis Cupcake" on Broadsheet

For the cake
225 grams overripe bananas
135 grams sour cream
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
190 grams raw sugar
110 grams vegetable oil
225 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup mini milk chocolate chips, plus extra for decoration
1 large ripe banana (that's what she said)

For the icing
110 grams unsalted butter, softened
390 grams cream cheese, softened
110 grams icing sugar mixture
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
The scraped seeds of one vanilla bean
150 grams peanut butter, smooth or crunchy

Preheat the oven to 155C. 
Mix the 225 grams overripe bananas, sour cream and eggs in a food processor until smooth. Tip the mixture into a mixing bowl. 
Add the vanilla, sugar and oil and whisk to combine. 
Sift over the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt. Whisk gently until smooth. 
Fold in the mini milk chocolate chips.
Line a 20 cm springform cake tin with baking paper. Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Bake for 45 - 55 minutes, or until cooked when tested with a skewer. 
Allow to cool for ten minutes in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the icing, place all the ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat gently for 5 - 10 minutes, or until light, airy and creamy.
Slice the cooled cake in half with a serrated knife, and place one half onto a serving plate. Spoon a third of the icing mixture onto the bottom half, and spread with a palette knife. 
Peel the large ripe banana and chop into thickish slices, and then into little cubes. Sprinkle the banana squares over the cake and press down into the icing. 
Place the second cake half on top. Spread the remaining icing over the cake, as neatly as you can manage.
Decorate with extra mini choc chips.
Makes one two-layered 20-centimetre cake, serves 8-12

Option: Jimbo Cupcakes
To make cupcakes, distribute the cake mixture into a mini-muffin tin lined with paper cases. Bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool completely on a rack, then pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes using a star-tipped piping bag.
Makes approximately 48 mini cupcakes.

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  1. And, likewise, Nat's recipe is only slightly adapted from the banana cake is Rose Levy Berenbaum's The Cake Bible; the favourite baking book for her, and for me!

  2. I absolutely could not be trusted around this cake! :)

  3. In the name of all that is holy yes.

    Also, natural peanut butter with no salt is a crime against peanuts. It's like anything else in life: a pinch of salt does wonders. Sometimes the health police go too far TOO FAR I SAY.

  4. Oh my god, that is AMAZING! I'm a massive fan of bananas AND peanut butter, so this is a dream come true. :)

  5. Lorraine Not Quite Nigella11:20 PM

    I just love the sound of this Elvis cake! I'm so down with how he loves bacon! :)

  6. Omg this recipe by the famous Nat herself? There's not a lot of recipes that make me want to bake (too much of a baking noob) but I've GOT to try this. Yum!

  7. Wow this looks amazing - I just made a really decadent banana cake as well - I figure it's still healthy though because it's got bananas in.

  8. Oh that cake! A masterpiece!:) x

  9. I was scratching my head for 1 second when I read the title 'jimbo' cake but it now all makes sense and sounds absolutely delicious!!!!
    And guess what :P I just looked and i have 4 sad looking bananas will need to make this ASAP!



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