Banana + Chocolate + Cake = My Kind of Breakfast: PNG’s Breakfast Banana Cake

Here’s an oldie but goodie in my house, and until last week, I was completely unaware that it was such a global dish.

Banana cake. So simple. And, according to Rutabaga, a very popular breakfast item in PNG.  Rutabaga explained that, because PNG is so diverse across the board, every area has a different dialect, traditions, etc.  One thing that is consistent across the country is banana cake- and it can be found at any establishment. He also confessed that it was one of his favorite things, and that was enough to tell me that I should make it.

I actually didn’t go searching for a traditional recipe since my mom’s is so good, and therefore I decided to use that. The one tweak I made is that I swapped mom’s traditional walnut cream cheese frosting with a chocolate coconut sauce, which Rutabaga said was a more traditional topper.

Chocolate for breakfast? DONE.

Makes an 8×8 cake

Frosting adapted from Baking Around the World


½ cup super ripe mashed bananas (about 2)

¼ cup shortening

¾ cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

¼ cup buttermilk

¾ cup flour

½ tsp baking soda

Pinch salt

¼ cup nuts (optional)

For the icing:

¾ cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup coconut milk


1.  In a mixer bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla and banana.

2.  While the above is blending, combine the dry ingredients. Set aside.

3. To the sugar mixture, alternate the dry ingredients with the buttermilk, starting and ending with dry until well blended. Don’t over mix.

4. Add the nuts if desired.

5.  Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes until a tester comes out clean.

6.  After cooling in the pan for about 10 minutes, invert on a cooling rack until completely cool.

Make the frosting:

1. Place chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl.

2.  Heat the coconut milk in the microwave (approx. 1 1/2 minutes) or in a saucepan until boiling.  (Stir intermittently to prevent scalding.)

3.  Pour the milk over the chocolate, ensuring the the milk completely covers the chocolate.

4.  Cool the chocolate mixture for 30-40 minutes.  After it has cooled for about 10 minutes and looks melted, gently stir.

5.  Beat the mixture until smooth.


banana cake

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