#42, Banana Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

This recipe came about because Allysa wanted to make a banana cake using butter instead of the traditional oil as the shortening. The result is a cake with a very different and quite lovely texture, and it’s perfectly complemented by the white chocolate icing. (p. 115)



Thank you Crumm.com for the pic. I don’t know why I didn’t take pictures this morning. This is only the third cake from Magnolia that I’ve baked. I enjoyed the early morning in the quiet kitchen,


but things heated up a bit when at 6:30 am:

1) I was reminded that we had a 7:15 meeting at school,

2) everyone but me was still in bed,

3) the cake hadn’t yet been iced,

4) breakfast wasn’t ready (although a bowl full of Martha Stewart inspired pancake batter was ready to go!), and

5) lunches weren’t made.

Well, off with the monastic calm and on with the firefighter’s rush to have everything in order and out the door in time.

LEARNED: Don’t put a freshly made layer cake in the trunk of a car and expect it to be standing when you get to where you’re going. Ask someone to hold it instead. I failed to do that and it looked like something out of Disney when we got to school.

Luckily mine was only two layers – I managed to right the wrong and regained its former beauty.

When I got to school and saw the landslide, I got upset. So, being the economically minded couple that my wife and I are, she reasoned that it was her turn to be calm and rational and mine to do the opposite. Contrary to my normal testosterone laden, cortisol restricted behavior, I listened, and had the cake looking better than ever in a matter of minutes. Thanks, sweetheart.


So who ended up with this cake today?

Today’s cake was made for the delight of the high school teachers who have hallway and dining hall duty this week.

“Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down, in the most delightful way.” (Mary Poppins)


There, there now children. I’m afraid I’ve run out of sugar. But I do have a delightful piece of cake.


#28, Cream Cheese Crumb Buns, p. 19


My original post of #28 was done in a rush before leaving for school. I need to readjust my time management. Basically, I need to push myself in the evening rather than try to pull everything off in the early morning. That said, the BUNS turned out scrumptialicious. Yep, scrumptialicious.

I posted this blog at 7:30 AM and announced to my (local) blog followers that the buns were theirs for the taking.


Cream cheese? Check. Flour? Check. Butter? Check. Sugar? Check. Espresso? Check. Begin!

Eventually gave rise to this

Well, those who check their email before the school world takes off at 8 AM, got the message, and a few got the goods.

Early birds
Smiles are the food of bakers, moms, and dads.


A three-tiered recipe – bun dough, filling, topping.

At the top of the page, I started post with a picture of all the assembled ingredients and tools ready to get to work. The French (bless their hearts) call this the mis en place. The picture just above this note is not exactly that. The three bowls in this picture are full of mixtures for the three layers that eventually make this SCRUMPTIALICIOUS bun. There are a few things which can’t yet be in bowls; the vegetable shortening, sugar, and eggs have to be “creamed” apart from the other mixtures.

Recipe Detour: I added two ripe, luscious pears to this that were not called for. They were orphaned in the fridge. I gave them a home – even if only temporary.

I need a a better squusher.

Baking these buns requires a bit of a process.

1. Half-fill the tins with dough and bake to 10 minutes.

2. Quickly pull the buns from the oven

3. Add 1+ tablespoon of cream cheese filling to each

4. Top generously with the crumb topping

5. Put back in the oven for 16 minutes.


These Cream Cheese Crumb Buns MUST be eaten with a fork or, even better, a spoon.

From the land of YUMDOM.

The buns were kind of delicate and needed the support of a muffin cup. Make a nice gift, don’t you think?

#13, Raspberry Cream Cheese Breakfast Buns, p. 10 a.k.a. Disaster Struck

Houston, Houston, We have a meltdown!


instead of


But that isn’t the end of this story.

I contacted two consultants, Thomson and Thompson, who specialize in saving lost-cause muffins for friends of Tintin. They got to work on the case right away.


First advice: Don’t give up on the recipe. Just accept that life in the oven has changed things.


FIRST – JUST THE FACTS — DETOUR FACTS: I got a little too smart for my britches (in Texas talk).

  1. I chose the wrong pan for muffining (tell your computer dictionary to learn that word) and thought I would do something really cool and it would turn out great. Nope. The pan in question is sometimes called a shortcake pan; it creates a kind of well in the bottom of the goodie to hold fillings. I just think it’s cool. It worked GREAT for the corn muffins (see #12 below). But NOT for this recipe. I greased and floured the pan, but it required strength and patience to coax the muffins out.
  2. I thought I could put extra batter in the wells and that I would have a pretty puffy top. Hey! I’ve done it before! Nope. Not this time, Hodo. (Hodo is my Texas family nickname – well, one of my Texas family nicknames.)

WHAT EMERGED FROM THE OVEN?  The muffins (called “buns” by Magnolia this time) didn’t exactly rise. They just glooped out and over the top of the wells and flowed all together to create a single muffin top that spanned the entire muffin pan. I think they were weighed down a bit by the raspberry jam.

WHAT TO DO? Operate! Yep. My consultants said that all could be saved, but that saving meant transforming. So here’s what we did.

Thomson and Thompson look on as their reconstruction plan is executed
  1. With a knife, separate all the grown-together muffin tops.
  2. With a knife, carefully separate the jam-loaded tops from the pan and the muffin bodies.
    1. Place on a cookie rack to await further reconstructive surgery.
  3. With a cheese spreading knife, coax the muffins out of the short-cake wells.
  4. Construct the canapés.
    1. Turn the muffins upside down.
    2. Fill the short-cake wells with raspberry jam and a dollop of cream cheese. IMG_0675
  5. Construct the muffin-top sandwich cookie-ish things
    1. Muffin-top #1 – spread a thin layer of cream cheese
    2. Place muffin-top #2 against #1 to create a cream cheese sandwich cookie-ish-muffin-thing
      1. Both out-sides of this creation should have raspberry swirls all over.
      2. Cover both sides of the muffin-top sandwich cookie-ish thing with confectioners sugar.

Do this  IMG_0677  to get this IMG_0679.



Thompson and Thompson suggested delivering these goodies to the high school counseling department since they are always respectful and would never hurt anyone’s feelings on purpose.

But did it really end well?

We invite the HS counselors to give us some feedback on these treats — for our learning.