Birthday’s require cake, so it’s a good thing that I love baking. I needed to come up with a completely different idea to the Ninja Turtle cake I baked for The Boy Next Door’s birthday last year, so I spent hours a wee bit of time searching Pinterest until I settled on this years idea.
A Banana Chocolate Chip Surprise Cake with Nutella Buttercream Frosting. The surprise? The core of the cake was loaded with M&M’s that could only be discovered upon TBND making a wish and cutting the first slice of cake.
After fighting my way through the horde’s of tourists in Leicester Square, I made it in one piece to M&M’s World so I could go wild at the pick n mix section and choose my colour themed candy.
I was ready to channel my inner Martha Stewart and bake the boy a cake! Except I felt like the cake needed a little something else. An impressive cake topper or decoration was the missing link. Back to Pinterest, and bam, there it was, exactly what I needed to complete the cake. Instagram Marshmallows! Hallelujah, these were too good to be true! And even better, the company is based in the UK, 2-3 days from order to delivery, I was able to organise this just in the nick of time.
Boomf are the masters behind this fantastic idea of edible photo marshmallows. The instructions are very simple, and I followed their suggestion of creating a separate Instagram account to upload my photos, so that TBND didn’t question why there were various embarrassing pictures of him suddenly popping up on my regular Instagram page.
Two days later, my marshmallows arrived in the post. Boomf have made the boxes small enough to fit through your letterbox, so there’s no need to sit at home all day waiting for the postman to turn up. Nine hilarious Instagram marshmallows stared back at me, and I could not wait to get this cake made!
Cake baked, frosted and assembled, I was like an excited child waiting for Christmas. The Boy Next Door arrived, and *drumroll! he loved it. Phew! And I know I baked the cake, but Oh My Goodness Me it was so unbelievably delicious, I’m already looking for another reason to bake it again.
The M&M’s also added a second element of surprise when TBND made a wish and cut into the cake.
Birthday Cake Success. I’ve now got 11 months and so many days to come up with a new idea, but in the meantime, if you fancy testing out your baking skills and recreating this delicious cake, then scroll down further, past the photos and you can follow the recipe to baking success for yourself.
(Boomf, You’re Awesome! Thank you for the fanstastic, speedy service! Everyone is getting Boomf marshmallows from me for their birthday/Christmas/Easter/wedding/baby shower/insert any occasion here)
Banana Chocolate Chip Surprise Cake with Nutella Buttercream Frosting
- 300 g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 120 g unsalted butter (slightly softened)
- 200 g white caster sugar
- 180 g light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 163 g buttermilk
- 200 g plain/dark chocolate chips
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 176°c.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and baking soda and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, white sugar and brown sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla and one egg at time, mixing until combined.
- Mix in the bananas until combined.
- Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk, then follow up by stirring in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the cake batter into a deep 7 inch baking paper lined cake tin.
- Bake in the oven for about 40-60 minutes or until a cake tester is inserted in the middle and comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven, and let it cool before taking it out of the cake tin.
* Note: The baking time will depend on your oven, and also your cake tin. The recipe I followed, used two shallow 8 inch cake tins and therefore instructed the baking time to be around 40 minutes. I used one 7 inch cake tin and the cake took 60 minutes to bake. To be on the safe side, start check from the 40 minute mark, and recheck in 5 minute intervals if still not baked at that point.
- 250 g unsalted butter (slightly softened)
- 200 g Nutella
- Remove the cake from the cake tin and place on a flat, steady surface.
- You will need to cut the cake into 4 equal pieces, which can be done with a very sharp knife, however I recommend purchasing a cake cutting wire for precision cutting.
- Using a small, sharp knife, cut a circular core out of the centre of the cake, and remove the core, keeping it aside.
- Using the first layer of cake, carefully remove it and flip it over onto a cake board or cake stand, so the top of the cake now becomes the bottom. (I do this, because the bottom cake layer then becomes the top layer, and it’s much flatter than the top layer, so makes for a more professional finish).
- Add some buttercream frosting, and continue by adding the next cake layer, more frosting, and so on and so forth until you’ve placed your final layer on top.
- Pour the M&M’s into the centre of the cake, until almost level with the top of the cake.
- Slicing off the very top of the cake core you put aside, place this on top of the M&M’s to ‘hide’ them.
- Using a palette knife, spread buttercream over the outside of the cake in a thin layer.
- Add a second layer of buttercream, but this time smoothing it over much more neatly to give you a good finish.
- To add Boomf marshmallows, carefully place bamboo skewers into the bottom of the marshmallow and insert into the cake.
*Note: When adding my second layer of frosting, I keep a glass of warm water next to me, and between each use of the palette knife, I wipe the excess frosting off the knife and then quickly dip it into the warm water. This helps you to get a smoother finish on your cake. If you have any excess frosting on your cake stand, carefully wipe it away with a paper towel.