Every year I try to do something different for my Easter table centrepiece. This time around, I decided to stick with some traditional flavours incorporated in a different way for a completely new outcome.
Lo and behold, my tropical Easter cake with almond buttercream…
Let’s talk flavours
I’ve used fresh pineapple in this recipe. However, if you can’t source it, you can use tinned pineapple in juice (not syrup).
The bananas must be over-the-top, smack-me-on-the-head overripe. If you don’t have bananas that are on the brink of no return, shove them in the oven, skin on, and roast for a few minutes until they’re black.
When making the icing, full-fat milk is essential to get that indulgent, voluptuous texture. Do not compromise on the quality of butter – the better the butter, the better the taste.
Last but not least, the almond and vanilla extracts must be the best you can get your hands on in order to avoid any essence-like, artificial flavours.
Now, let’s get down to business!
Tropical Easter cake with almond buttercream
For the cake:
- 350g fresh pineapple, puréed
- 250g overripe bananas, mashed
- 3 large eggs
- 210ml vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 200g caster sugar
- 100g brown sugar
- 200g plain flour
- 100g walnuts, ground coarsely in a food processor
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- good pinch of salt
For the icing:
- 240ml + 2 tbsp full-fat milk
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 225g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 210g icing sugar, sifted
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- For the cake, start by preheating the oven to 170°C. Line a cake tin (I used a bundt cake tin; you could use an 8-inch round cake tin) with vegetable oil and flour.
- In a food processor, add all the wet ingredients with the fruits and sugars. Blend until combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Now add all the dry ingredients, including the ground walnuts. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until it’s well combined. Transfer the batter to the lined tin and bake for 28–30 minutes, or until the cake has risen and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool.
- To make the icing, cook the milk, flour and salt in a pan over low to medium heat, whisking constantly to avoid any lumps. Once thickened, after 3–5 minutes, take it off the heat and leave to cool.
- In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the butter for a few minutes until it turns pale. Add the icing sugar and whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add the extracts and whisk once again before adding the milk mixture into the butter minutes (make sure the milk mixture has cooled or else the butter will melt). Whisk the mixtures together for 4–5 minutes, or until well combined and fluffy like a cloud.
- Once the cake is cool, turn it upside down and frost as desired.
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