Sunday, January 11

Mini Banana Bundt Cakes with Sticky Maple Walnut Glaze

mini bundt

This was going to be a post about how to use up your ripe bananas. But it turned out to be a treatise in post-Kenysian economics. Much more interesting.

Food prices are high. I paid 99 cents for a dozen of eggs last year; the same eggs are $2.29 today. A 5-pound bag of flour that used to be $2 is now closer to $5. And good luck finding a carton of orange juice or a loaf of good, crusty Italian bread for under $5.

Having lived with these price increases for the last year or so, I'm no longer shocked at the price of most things at the market. Until last week. There it was, right at eye level. I squinted. I checked to see if it was for 1 or perhaps they meant for a whole case of it.

Maple syrup: $17.99.

"You gotta be kidding me," I muttered not very softly to myself, "Are they nuts? I mean, this is Trader Joe's. Who's gonna break a 20 for maple syrup at Trader Joe's?"

Thinking I would outsmart the forces of economics, I went to Costco. They had imitation maple syrup (in large quantities) for $14. Imitation maple syrup? Uh, don't think so. I mean, I'm Susan of Food Blogga. No imitation-maple-syrup for my readers. I gotta have the real thing.

I went to a local market that I sometimes hit for that hard-to-get items. I ended up paying $14 for a 12.5 oz. bottle, but Ha!, I gave my money to the little guy. Strutting off happy with my antidisestabolishmentarianism self, and having spent more money on gas and maple syrup than I ever wanted to, I was ready to bake.

ripe bananas 2

It was all worth it after one bite of these Mini Banana Bundt Cakes with Sticky Maple Walnut Glaze. (See I told you, this was supposed to be about bananas.) Moist, aromatic mini banana cakes become irresistible when drizzled with a sweet and gooey maple walnut glaze.

Oh, and don't expect things to get better this year; food prices are projected to rise 7% in 2009.

Mini Banana Bundt Cakes with Sticky Maple Walnut Glaze
Makes 24 mini bundt cakes
Print recipe only here.

Cake Batter:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
4 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup coarsely chopped lightly toasted walnuts

Maple Walnut Glaze:
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons heavy cream
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Coat two (12-mini bundt cake) pans with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon together.

In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugars and beat at medium speed for a couple of minutes. Add eggs and beat well. Add the vanilla, milk, and maple syrup; beat until batter is silky. Lower the speed; add the bananas and beat briefly.

Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients, and mix until just incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the raisins and walnuts. Divide the batter evenly among the 24 molds.

Bake for 25-30 minutes rotating pans mid-way through. Cakes should be deep golden brown, and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle should come out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack for 3-5 minutes. Then flips the pans upside down and place cakes on a cooling rack. Cool completely before glazing.

For the glaze, in a small pan over medium-low heat, melt butter and maple syrup; add heavy cream and a pinch of salt. Pour into a small metal bowl. Add confectioners' sugar, and whisk vigorously until smooth. If necessary, pour glaze through a fine mesh sieve to remove any tiny clumps of sugar. Let glaze rest for 3-5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. For easy clean-up, place a piece of parchment paper underneath the cooling rack. Drizzle glaze evenly over cakes, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Cool completely before serving.

Coming soon to a Food Blogga near you:
Since I always have lots of ripe bananas to use up, I'm going to turn this into a 4-part series. Each week for the next four weeks, I'll post a recipe for using up ripe bananas. And let's just say cookies, muffins and breads are involved.

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67 comments:

Heather said...

mmmm, these all look so good. i feel your pain on the price increases. i cannot believe how much just my weekly grocery shopping is costing me. but sticky maple walnut glaze?! i'd splurge for that!

Mike @ TrialbyFood said...

Thankfully, prices in the midwest are still fairly low compared to the coasts. And since I pilfered my mother's old, unused mini-bundt pan this past Christmas, thanks for giving me my first recipe to try with it.

Kara said...

Oooh - we have some (too) quickly ripening bananas that might be just perfect for this, as a good alternative to my normally healthy banana bread (who needs new year's resolutions anyway!)... though splurging for maple syrup for me will be a challenge... just maybe I have a 1/4 cup lurking around here somewhere instead.

Jaime said...

those mini bundt cakes are so cute! i agree that the prices at the grocery store are getting out of control!

Stacey Snacks said...

I just bought mini bundt pans because I love small individual cakes!

Elra said...

Oh how funny, I was just having a little chat with my cashier lady at our local grocery store about how everything seems so expensive.
So, how much are you going to charge for your cute cakes? LOL!
Look delicious Susan.
Cheers,
Elra

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Whatt gorgeous mini Bundt Cakes! Yummy!

Cheers,

Rosa

culinography said...

Food prices are crazy... now pass me a cake. :)

They look amazing - definitely adding to my "how to use up ripe bananas" arsenal.

Bellini Valli said...

I ahve many little banana torpedos in the freezer ready to fall on unsuspecting toes at any time. These would be a nice change from banana bread!

thepassionatecook said...

I was discussing the price of coffee with my husband last night and when i went to the supermarket this morning realised that the tin of Illy we used to have 3 years ago (when it was around £3 for 250g) is now £5.29! That's a whopping increase!!! I am glad now I stick to my small Italian supplier where I pay £10 for a kilo and, as you say, it benefits the small guy!
as for maple syrup, the selection over here is really not that great - the last one I bought (organic) also went mouldy after a few weeks, so I haven't bought any since - but I would LOVE to try those banana-recycling bundt cakes for sure!

Lien said...

Even here in europe prices have gone up a lot, fresh fruit and veg is worst. But your lovely cakes looks sooo good! I just been using my ripe bananas to make some ice cream, that was good too!

Alanna @ Kitchen Parade said...

Bananas "used to be" cheap here in St. Louis, at least if you bought big bags of slightly ripe bananas -- cheap AND a head start on the ripening process, since banana skins really should be completely dark before we think of them as "very ripe". Your cakes look lovely: they also explain why so many are doing without.

veron said...

prices are still pretty reasonable here in VA, but I know what you mean when prices sound to high for what you are getting. Those mini-bundts are my kind of breakfast!

Happy cook said...

Yeah same here. Now a days every time i go for my groccery shoping i get a shock when i see the bill.
Once or twice i was so shocked to see the end bill i thought the woman in the counter must have made a mistake
Delicious budnt cake.

Tartelette said...

It's been going up pretty steadily here too, milk in particular. Once a week I'll take a trip to a local farm for fruits, veggies and eggs. Certain food items are now on the backburner. The cakes look wonderful and I know you will find great uses for it!

nicisme said...

These look like heaven on a plate, love the sticky glaze.
Prices have rocketed here and maple has always been expensive.:(

Culinarywannabe said...

I am obsessed with using my mini-bundt pan. The little cakes just make the cutest gifts. And you can eat a whole cake and not feel too guilty for it. :)

Grace said...

i'm obsessed with miniature foods. i'm also obsessed with bananas. ergo, i'm now obsessed with you.

i kid, i kid. great cakes. :)

Hillary said...

Maybe instead of complaining, you could use this opportunity to talk about how we actually pay too LITTLE for food and how most of that money ends up going to distributors, transporters and packagers, which is slowly bankrupting our farmers... and maybe also a little about how bananas have to travel halfway around the globe in a refrigerated airplane, after being paid an unfair price for, to get to your grocery cart for $0.99/lb. Maybe they might seem like a better deal then.

Ivy said...

I never knew there were mini bundt cake forms. They look gorgeous.

Deborah said...

I've had to just stop looking at my receipt when I leave the store or I get sick to my stomach...

What a great way to use up extra bananas!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

heather- I hear you. My bill has just about doubled over the last year.

mike-Yay! And they're probably taste better in your mom's pans too. :)

kara-Oh, go ahead and splurge!

jaime-I love them too.

stacey-Aren't they fun?

elra-Since you're a regular, I think I could strike you a good deal. ;)

rosa-Ooh, thank you!

val-Yeah, it is a nice change.

johanna-Thanks for sharing your personal experience. Prices really are rising globally. Moldy maple syrup; oh, no!

lien-I love banana ice cream! Wanna swap? ;)

alanna-Yeah, my mom was saying in RI, that they have really risen. too.

veron-Everything is more expensive in CA.

happycook-I know how you feel! Seriously.

helen-I prefer local farmers' markets for produce too. It's fresher, healthier, and it supports the local economy. Yay for eating locally!

nic-Thank you so much, my dear!

ashley-Yeah, it is fun to say I have eaten a whole cake. ;)

grace-I have that effect on people. I kid. I kid too. :)

hillary- Thank you for your response about the bananas; however, I never mentioned the price of bananas. I am well aware of the causes and implications of rising food prices around the globe. My blog is a platform to present topics and thoughts of my choice. This post was written intentionally with a humorous tone not a didactic one.

cooknkate said...

With the way prices are I began to think I might have to make my kitchen maple-syrup free. That's a tough price tag to swallow.

These look delicious, by the way. I can't wait to see what else you've got under those speckled peels.

duodishes said...

Yes, food prices are sticking us in the wallet too! Here in LA, the cost of shopping can really break your bank, but there are a lot of ways to get around it if you can buy in bulk, go discount shopping, or hit up the ethnic markets. The craft cook has to always find a way!

Sara said...

These look beautiful! My Costco actually sells jugs of real maple syrup for a reasonable price.

Peter G said...

oh my! I'm totally in love with these. Funnily enough, I just saw some mini bundt pans on sale...and now I have an excuse to buy them!

Debbie said...

Your banana cake sounds sooo good! I live in Va and food here has gone up but it doesn't sound quite as bad as where you are. But still high also. I'm making a banana cake as I'm writing this that is baked at 275 F for 1 hour and then goes in the freezer for 45 minutes....Sounds crazy but it has gotten great reviews..I'll let you know how it turns out.

Rita said...

I pay $3 for OJ at Trader Joes here in Seattle.
I like banana cakes, I am thinking the maple syrup glaze might be too sweet though... And expensive!!

Maria said...

We recently got a mini bundt pan. I can't wait to try this recipe. The mini cakes are too cute!

Peter M said...

Salad days are back...another notch in the belt and besides...I wanted to diet!

Love the mini-bundts and I must seek the forms out.

Kevin said...

Those look really good! I am liking the sound of that maple glaze.

Anonymous said...

I love baking with bananas. These little lovely cakes look amazing!

Dragon said...

These are gorgeous little cakes. :)

Elle said...

Some items are worth the money and pure maple syrup is one of those. I like to buy it from my local market, too, even though it costs a bit more than Costco or Trader Joe. The bananna cakes are darling...I can taste them with that sticky walnut glaze...mmmm.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

If you ever need a Care package of maple syrup from our local sugaring houses here in Rhode Island....

Susan from Food Blogga said...

kate-I know. But the maple syrup is too easy to swallow. ;)

duodishes-All good points. Thanks! I like farmers' markets too.

sara-Whaaaat? ;)

peter-Go back and get 'em before they get snagged!

debbie-I'll be interested to hear how it turns out! What's the logic behind freezing it, I wonder?

rita-Nope, not too sweet or expensive for me!

maria-Have fun!

peter-Good luck with the weight loss!

kevin-Thanks!

anonymous-I appreciate that!

dragon-Why, thank you kindly!

elle-Exactly... mmmm. :)

lydia- Oh, thank you, so much. :)

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Well, the syrup may have been frighteningly expensive, but at least it was put to very, very good use - those teeny bundts look absolutely scrummy!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

If it's not more than 7% we'll be very lucky.
Love the banana cakes.

linda said...

Sticky maple walnut glace sounds like heaven!

RecipeGirl said...

Yikes- thats $$! Luckily I still have a big bottle.

That glaze on those cute little cakes sounds amazing!

Darius T. Williams said...

You do know this warms my heart - right?

stephchows said...

the price is crazy! I bought some while I was on a trip to VT a few months ago, and like you, straight from the farm! That's the best way to buy it :)

Cakespy said...

Eep! Mini cakes = mega cute! They sound delicious too. The perfect way to comfort oneself when confronted with the cruel reality of a shrinking wallet!

Kristen said...

Awww - you always go the extra mile for your readers, Susan :) That is a crazy price, but your cakes look soooo good. I'd pay you $15 for one :)

Helene said...

I will never eat imitation syrup. There is nothing like the real one. Especially when you make a recipe that looks so good like this one. Enjoy every bite of it.

Carolyn Jung said...

My gawd, maple syrup is $18?? When did that happen? I admit I don't buy it often, as I prefer a sprinkling of confectioner's sugar on my waffles and pancakes. (A tradition from childhood). But I do like to bake with maple syrup. Good thing a little usually goes a long way.

AgathaX said...

I'm pretty sure 8 oz. of maple syrup is still under $4 at the discount grocer near my house, and if it is, I'm going to stock up--$14 for 12.5 oz. is madness.

As for a loaf of crusty bread, that doesn't cost any more than 3 cups of flour, a teaspoon of yeast, a little salt and water. You just have to do it yourself. (See, NY Times No-Knead). Even at $5 for 5 lbs. of flour, its a bargain. And at BJ's I can get 10 lbs of King Arthur for a bit over $6. Actually, though, I usually get 5# of bread flour for between $3 and $5, depending on whether its Gold Medal or King Arthur--and as pro-King Arthur as I am, I really don't think you can taste test the difference in the bread. Though, to be fair, I only make one loaf at a time, and have never tried.

AgathaX said...

And one more thing. I can never think of maple syrup without remembering the maple syrup that my college roommate's dad made out in their back yard, of syrup from the tree in their front yard. He cooked it over a wood fire and it tasted of smoke. One of the best things I've ever eaten; something I may never have again.

My roommate's parents gave up the old house a few year's back, and in what must be the horticultural crime of the century, the new owners chopped down the sugar maple.

Mimi said...

Susan,
WTH???? There must have been a problem with the signage at TJs. I just paid $7.99 for organic grade B maple syrup. I have the receipt to prove it! (I had to go check because I have a bad habit of buying things without double checking the prices, you almost gave me a heart attack) Go back and complain.

Now that I am done ranting.. that is one lovely dessert!

Jude said...

they better give me a few gallons of maple syrup for that much money.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Susan, Where do you shop? My TJ's has it for 7.99, it use to be 5.99.
You want me to send you some?
Those little bunt babies look outstanding!

Alisa said...

Yep, that was me 2 weeks ago at Trader Joe's, with my husband as we both, not so quietly exclaimed, How much!? I have been rationing and buying the smaller bottles (it is $5.99 for a bottle (I want to say 15 ounces) of the real stuff at Fresh & Easy in the southwest) to get buy until this "maple syrup shortage" subsides.

I am so glad you splurged though, this recipe looks oh-so-worth it!

sunita said...

Food prices are soaring here too :-(

Your little cakes look sooo yummy :-)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

forkful-Thanks! They were worth the scare. ;)

tanna-True. So true.

linda-It kind of is. :)

lori-Ration it. ;)

darius-That's what I love to hear.

steph-That's the way to get it. It must have been divine.

cakespy-Mega cute, like you! :)

kristen-That is so sweet of you to say. $15? Maybe I should start selling them. Then I could afford more maple syrup.

helene-I have enjoyed every bite. And have spent longer times at the gym too! ;)

carolyn-Just within the last several months. I was shocked too. Maybe I should adopt your childhood tradition instead. :)

agathx-Thanks so much for sharing the prices of the ingredients with me. I do make most things from scratch, but,honestly, sometimes I just like the convenience of grabbing a loaf of bread to eat within a couple of hours. I will be baking more though.

agathax-I love when a post elicits nostalgia. Thanks for sharing that delicious memory. I can understand why it's so special to you.

mimi-There was no Grade B at my market, only A, which may explain the discrepancy. Of course, I'm really hoping that the sign was incorrectly written and was supposed to be $7.99 not $17.99. I'll have to ask the manager next time I go. Thanks!

jude-No can do, my friend. ;)

marie-You're the second person to say it's $7.99. Please let it be that my market made a mistake by adding a "1" in front of the 7. I'll have to check. Thank you so much for the offer, but I'm good. You are sweeter than maple syrup. :)

alisa-So someone else did see the exorbitant price. Whew! I thought I was needing a new prescription there for a minute. I haven't been to Fresh and Easy, but I know they opened one in SD recently. I'll have to check it out.

sunita-Thanks so much!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Those bundt cakes have my name all over them--I want this now!

As for the price issue...very frustrating indeed :-/

Sarah S. said...

Looks beautiful! But...the "print only" recipe is something else?

--Sarah

Manggy said...

Ouch. OUCH. The maple syrup price is comparable to the one in Manila-- and that's after shipping, taxes, and store inflation! Amazing. The worst is the eggs, though. Ours are still a little over $1 for a dozen. $2.30 is just highway robbery. Those chickens better be the happiest ones on earth.
Sigh... I need one of these cakes to cheer me up! ;)

LyB said...

My jaw dropped, actually DROPPED, when I saw this. I've never seen such expensive maple syrup, I would go nuts! Having said that, those cakes look like they are absolutely worth the purchase of that syrup. So moist and sticky, beautiful! :)

Anali said...

I love the mini cakes! I'll get one of those pans at some point. I just bought syrup myself and it just hurt! I know this is wrong, but I've been buying the cheap store brand fake syrup and mixing it with the real Vermont maple syrup to make it last longer. *sigh*

Susan from Food Blogga said...

mike-Seriously!

sarah-Thanks! I changed it now. :)

mark-Just over $1 for a dozen eggs. That sounds good to me. :)

lyb-Thanks! That's sweet of you to say.

anali-Your secret is safe with me. ;)

Malli said...

that looks delicious!!thanks for the recipe and the mouth-watering pic...will sure be baking this one minus the maple syrup!!!agree with u on the prices these days....its a nightmare

Snooky doodle said...

what an amazing recipe. I love the addition of maple syrup I think it really goes well with bananas

Connie said...

Here's a link regarding the jump in maple syrup prices.

http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20090111/NEWS04/901120299/1050

Connie said...

I just bought a 32oz jug of Grade A maple syrup last Friday, January 16th at the Tacoma, WA Trader Joe's. I stood in disbelief in front of the shelf for several minutes.
Could the $17.99 really be correct??
Didn't I only pay $7.99 last time at Trader Joe's?
I felt like an idiot as I put the jug in my cart...but we do LOVE our real maple syrup in this house!

So, after just reading your post...I dug my TJ's receipt out of the paper recycling bag...and called Trader Joe's!
Yep, the price is correct.
The guy said the price jump reflects the problems with supply and also gas prices. (see above link)
I've also read that certain cleansing diets have increased the demand of maple syrup so much, that farms are having a hard time keeping up.
Damn the diets I say!!! LOL ;o)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

malli-I understand. But they were worth it.

snooky-Thanks a bunch!

connie-I am so relieved to hear someone else saw that it was $17.99. I thought I was losing it or that it was just my market. Thanks for the info. too. I'm glad to have a fuller understanding of the causes of the price increase.

ChichaJo said...

I love bananas in baked goods and this look like just the kind of thing I would devour in 60 seconds flat! I only have a big bundt pan though -- how would you adjust the time/temp for one big pan?

Jeanne said...

I won't let a fresh banana cross my lips... but show me a banana baked item and I'm yours! I've made banana muffins twice in a couple of months and really should do it more often.

As for the food prices - it's truly scary. And one of the scariest things is that just as it started looking as if real steps had been made in persuading people to buy free range and organic and vote with their feet, the price of food shot up. And in a decision between feeding your family or paying attention to the ethics of food production, I know the way that the majority of people are going to vote. Depressing... especially if you are a chicken or a pig!

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