Butter Celebrates! Banana Pecan Caramel Cake and a Giveaway! {Giveaway Closed}

Butter Celebrates! Banana Caramel Pecan Cake

So I have this friend. She likes cake.

She likes cake so much that she eats a slice every. single. day. She takes her cake eating very seriously. If she’s out for dinner, she’ll order a slice of cake for dessert. If she’s eating in she’ll buy a slice of cake on the way home. If she comes over for dinner, she’ll always bring a cake. She’s a good friend to have.

(I seriously have a friend like this. I’m not talking about myself. Although you can usually count on me for sweet treats. I also really really like cake.)

And this banana pecan caramel cake is the perfect cake for cake lovers. Just look at it. First of all, the layers. There’s four of them. FOUR! Four layers of moist (yep, I said it) banana cake studded with pecans. And in between each layer is a thick schmear of caramel buttercream frosting. CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM. Also known as the lovechild of fluffy buttercream and caramel sauce. Four layers of cake means four layers of buttercream. It’s just math.

Butter Celebrates! Banana Caramel Pecan Cake

You can find the recipe for this luxurious cake on page 113 in the “Welcome Wagon” chapter of Butter Celebrates! Rosie Daykin’s latest cookbook. In case you don’t already know Rosie, allow me to introduce you. Rosie Daykin is the owner of the Butter Baked Goods bakery in Vancouver. Next time I find myself in Vancouver, you can bet I will be making a stop at Butter. Rosie’s first cookbook, Butter Baked Goods was released in 2013 and is a national best seller. Her latest creation, Butter Celebrates! A Year of Sweet Recipes to Share takes us through the seasons and shares recipes for delectable treats to enjoy during various holidays and special occasions. Rosie covers everything from Valentine’s Day to Mother’s Day to Summer Celebrations to Halloween to Christmas, and even shares a few recipes for our furry friends, inspired by her rescue pup, Zelda. (My girl Bella is already begging me to test out those treats). It might be the most beautiful cookbook I have ever owned, with 259 pages of gorgeous photos and mouthwatering recipes. And can I get an amen for a cookbook that includes a photo of every single recipe? I mean, how can I be sure that a recipe wasn’t a massive fail if I have no idea what the thing is supposed to look like when I’m finished? Rosie’s got us covered.

Butter Celebrates! Banana Caramel Pecan Cake

In her book, Rosie encourages us all to take the time to celebrate the little and big moments in life, preferably with cake. Now that’s a life goal that I can get behind.

Butter Celebrates! Banana Caramel Pecan Cake

Choosing a recipe to share was damn near impossible, as I flagged nearly every other page during my first flip through the book. I honestly cannot wait to try everything. Alas, I had to make a decision, and settled on this banana pecan caramel cake. My inability to consume bananas before they get too ripe for every day eating means I almost always have bananas on hand to bake with. The idea of an indulgent cake instead of my usual healthy banana muffins or banana bread just seemed too good to pass up. And holy heck, this cake did not disappoint.

The good news is that there is an opportunity for one of you lucky devils to win this glorious cookbook along with a box of goodies from Rosie’s bakery. If that isn’t an early Merry Christmas, I don’t know what is!

Butter Celebrates! Banana Caramel Pecan Cake

Good luck to all of you and happy holidays!

Please be sure to check out more incredible treats from my fellow Butter Celebrates! blogger pals in celebration of this gorgeous cookbook!

And now, for the giveaway!

One lucky reader will win a personally signed Butter Celebrates! cookbook from the lovely Rosie herself along with a delicious box of goodies from her bakery in Vancouver. Umm, yum! More details are listed below. Good luck!

Simply leave a comment below and tell me your favourite holiday tradition (mandatory). Be sure to click the widget options below for both mandatory and optional bonus entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to all legal residents of Canada who have reached the age of majority at the time of the contest in the province or territory in which they reside. Void in Quebec.

Winner must answer a skill-testing question.

No purchase necessary to enter.

Giveaway will run from Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 12:01am to Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 11:59pm. Winner will be contacted via email and name will be displayed on Rafflecopter widget. Email address will never be given out to any third party or anyone for that matter.

Prize value is approximately $125.

Butter Celebrates! Banana Caramel Pecan Cake

A big warm thank-you to Jenny Jack of the Brunette Baker for organizing this blog hop and Rosie Daykin of Butter Baked Goods for providing this super sweet giveaway!

Disclosure: The Butter Celebrates! A Year of Sweet Recipes to Share cookbook was provided to me by Random House of Canada Limited for review at no cost. All opinions are my own. I truly adore this book.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

Friends! Hello! How are you?

Please forgive me for my absence over the past few weeks. Things got a little hectic there for a while, I got a little tired, and this ol’ blog was forced to the back burner for a wee time. But, I spent the weekend in the kitchen and I have a batch of recipes to share with you, so let’s get to it!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe


This ice cream. Oh, this ice cream.

I’m no purist when it comes to ice cream. I like my ice cream trashy. Full of different flavors and textures, especially big chunks of chewy cookie. I may or may not dig around in the container in search of the chunky bits. Except that I totally do. This ice cream has a creamy chocolate base that gets all trashed up with swirls of peanut butter and chunks of banana and chocolate cookies. I mean?!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

Let’s just say that after having my first taste of this ice cream, I promptly shared it with anyone who was willing to eat it, simply so that I wouldn’t devour the whole thing myself.

Despite the fact that we’re dealing with more cold temperatures and another round of snow, I know that Spring is around the corner somewhere. So I’m just going to keep making ice cream and margaritas and pretend that it’s already here. If we believe it, it will come!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream

Chocolate ice cream base from The Kitchn, which was adapted from Jeni Britton. Makes just over 1 quart.

8 oz. good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3 1/2 cups half and half
1 TBSP. plus 1 tsp. cornstarch
2 ounces cream cheese, softened (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup sugar
pinch salt

Mix-ins: 1 banana (chopped small), 1/2 cup chocolate cookies* (chopped), and about 1/2 cup peanut butter

*I used these cookies (minus the centers) because I had some left over, but you can use any homemade or storebought chewy chocolate cookies.

In a small bowl, mix 2 TBSP. of the half and half with the cornstarch. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine the remaining half and half with the sugar. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to heat, bring to a boil and cook over medium high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

In a separate bowl, combine the chocolate and cream cheese. Pour just enough of the hot milk over the chopped chocolate and cream cheese to cover it. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the salt. Gradually add the remaining hot milk mixture and whisk well. Cover the mixture and chill completely, preferably overnight.

Pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Stir in the banana and cookie chunks. Layer in a container, along with spoonfuls of the peanut butter (I microwaved my peanut butter for about 20 seconds to make it thinner and easier to work with), then swirl with a knife. Freeze for an additional four hours (or more) in an airtight container. Scoop and serve!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

Mix It Up | Browned Butter Macadamia Nut and Cinnamon Chip Banana Bread

Browned Butter Banana Bread with Macadamia Nuts and Cinnamon Chips | Once Upon a Recipe

Well friends, here we are, another Monday. The furthest day of the week from the beloved weekend. As such, Mondays seem to have a bit of a bad reputation. I mean, how many times have you heaved a big sigh on Sunday night and said/thought “Ugh, it’s Monday tomorrow”?

Browned Butter Banana Bread with Macadamia Nuts and Cinnamon Chips | Once Upon a Recipe

Browned Butter Banana Bread with Macadamia Nuts and Cinnamon Chips | Once Upon a Recipe

But Mondays aren’t all bad. For one thing, you’re probably more likely to be well-rested on a Monday, given that it follows the weekend and most people are able to sleep in and relax a bit more. On Mondays, you have the whole week ahead of you – it’s yours for the taking! So spruce it up a bit – make some plans with friends to enjoy a patio beverage, plan to try that yoga/crossfit/pilates class that you’ve been meaning to get to, kick back and relax with a glass of wine and a good book – and enjoy the day. You might also wish to make this little diddy of a banana bread.

Browned Butter Banana Bread with Macadamia Nuts and Cinnamon Chips | Once Upon a Recipe

First of all, browning butter has become a bit of a trend. And it’s popular for good reason – browning the butter adds depth to the flavor of the bread – it’s kind of nutty and definitely insanely delicious. Try it once and you’ll be hooked. Secondly, I’ve added macadamia nuts and cinnamon chips. As I mentioned before, I brought home a sweet little stash of macadamia nuts from Hawaii back in April. I took a bus tour of the Road to Hana during my trip and one of the stops was a little roadside food store that sold fresh coconuts (remember this?), pineapple, banana bread, and other treats. I bought a loaf of the macadamia nut banana bread, which inspired me to add some macadamia nuts to this recipe. Cinnamon chips are a fun addition and create little pockets of cinnamon goodness in each bite. Cinnamon chips are something that I haven’t been able to find here at home, but I brought home a couple of bags from the same trip. They seem to be easy to find in grocery stores in the United States (in the baking section right next to the chocolate chips). If you can’t find cinnamon chips where you are, add a little cinnamon flavor to the loaf with one teaspoon of the stuff.

A warm slice of this banana bread is certain to make your Monday better. That’s a guarantee. Make it, eat it, share it. Let’s start this week off right!

Browned Butter Banana Bread with Macadamia Nuts and Cinnamon Chips | Once Upon a Recipe

Browned Butter Macadamia Nut and Cinnamon Chip Banana Bread (inspired by Joy the Baker)

Makes one 9×5-inch loaf. 

1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, browned

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup buttermilk (or plain yogurt)

3 large ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

1/2 cup cinnamon chips (or 1 tsp. cinnamon)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the pan as the butter cooks. The butter will foam and crackle, and then it will start to brown and smell nutty (this takes about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Measure the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, and bananas. Add the cooled butter and mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and gently mix together. Fold in the macadamia nuts and cinnamon chips.

Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and gently smooth out. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!

Browned Butter Banana Bread with Macadamia Nuts and Cinnamon Chips | Once Upon a Recipe

Happy to (K)New You | Banana Flax Muffins (+/- Chocolate Chips)

Banana Flax Muffins | Once Upon a Recipe













Here we are friends, on the eve of a new year. I hope that Santa treated you all very well and that you ate and drank as much Christmas cheer as I did! Truth be told, I may have enjoyed a little too much Christmas cheer, but that’s what new year’s resolutions are for, right? I mean, what would a new year be without the promise to eat healthier/exercise more/take better care of one’s self?

Resolutions aside, I am filled with excitement. I think 2013 is going to be an amazing year. In fact, I can feel it. Good things await us all.

Banana Flax Muffins | Once Upon a Recipe













And so I was all ready to share a fancy-pants appetizer recipe with you – one that you might like to make for a New Year’s Eve/Day party. But then I found myself in my kitchen this afternoon, baking up a batch of my very favorite (and most frequently made) muffins, and realized that I have yet to share the recipe with you. And I decided that I couldn’t let the year pass by without doing just that.

(Don’t worry, that fancy-pants appetizer works well year round and will be shared soon!)

Banana Flax Muffins | Once Upon a Recipe


















And so, dear friends, I give you my most very favorite muffin recipe. It achieved that status based on the fact that it is wickedly simple to throw together, the fact that I always have the ingredients sitting in my kitchen, and the fact that they have been a hit with absolutely everyone that I have shared them with. They are somewhat healthy too, with the option make them even more so (suggestions included) if you so desire. However, I recommend trying the recipe as I’ve written it first, then playing around to figure out what suits your tastes. To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of muffins that have no added butter or oil, as their gummy texture always gives them away. But to each their own!

With that, I raise my glass to thank you all for a wonderful year, and I send you warm wishes for the coming one. I hope that you all have the opportunity to usher in the new year with those you love most.

Cheers to 2012 – hello 2013!

Banana Flax Muffins | Once Upon a Recipe













Banana Flax Muffins (+/- Chocolate Chips)

Despite being made with all whole wheat flour, these muffins are incredibly tender and moist. I usually make them without the chocolate chips, but for a little treat, I’ll add dark chocolate chips. Makes 12 muffins.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3 large ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed (or 2 TBSP. honey)

1/4 cup ground flax

1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup butter, melted (or applesauce)

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a 12-count muffin tin with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine the bananas, brown sugar, ground flax, egg, butter, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, if using. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin tins. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops are just beginning to brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

These muffins freeze extremely well and make a great breakfast or snack!

Some Things Just Go Together | Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

Hello long lost friends. It seems like ages since I have shared any deliciousness with you. It practically has been ages. It has been a stressful few weeks. The biggest stress of all has been preparing to list my condo for sale. Honey and I, and mostly our little (but rapidly growing) Bella have outgrown the condo, and are preparing to look for a cute little house. However, first things first, we must sell my condo. It was finally listed for sale this week, after many hours of cleaning, decluttering, and all-out stress. And unfortunately, the stress is only beginning, as we now have to be prepared to get out of dodge at a moment’s notice if someone wishes to view our condo. Which is not easy when we have a pup to worry about.

My body has done a fantastic job of protecting me from all of the sickness that everyone seems to be dealing with…until yesterday. I have succumbed. I now have one of those annoying cold/flus that don’t necessarily make you feel completely terrible, but just overall pooped and blah. With a very sore throat to boot. *sigh* Life may feel rough right now, but then I think about those people who have it far worse. The current crisis in Japan has definitely made me feel thankful for my life, despite some difficult days here and there. (Boogie over at The Boogie blog has some great suggestions for how to help).

One of my favorite stress-relieving activities is baking. I find calm and serenity in measuring out ingredients and building something warm and comforting. Not to mention the bonus of eating said deliciousness when it’s all said and done. Last night, after lying on the couch watching bad TV for much of the evening, I threw these muffins together. Banana and peanut butter just go together. At first bite, these muffins took me back to my childhood of peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Lots of banana flavor with a hint of peanut butter. Yum. And comforting indeed.

Banana Peanut Butter Muffins (from Lululu at Home)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (next time I will try whole wheat)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup peanut butter (I used natural smooth PB)

2 eggs

3 large bananas, mashed (I used 4)

1 sliced banana for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare your muffin tin with liners or grease.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the peanut butter. Add in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the mashed bananas. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the flour mixture until just combined.

Fill the muffin cups with batter. Top with a slice of banana. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

PS. Chocolate chips would be a great addition to this recipe for some added richness, although they taste just fabulous the way they are. I bet peanut butter chips would be incredible as well. Oh the possibilities!

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