Banana Pudding Cake! I have a confession to make…keep this between you and me, OK? Sometimes I use boxed cake mix instead of baking from scratch. There, I said it! I keep a box of yellow or vanilla cake mix and a box of chocolate cake mix in the pantry for cake baking emergencies like when you forget that you were invited to a potluck and you’re supposed to bring dessert.
I usually combine the cake with other things I have in the pantry and the rest of my kitchen to make a tasty treat. I usually have some tasty jam and some fruit to layer on top of the cake. A little butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar make a great topping.
I baked the cake according to package directions and while it was baking I made a vanilla custard with some egg yolks. I love the flecks of vanilla beans in the custard so I use VANILLA BEAN PASTE . I think vanilla bean paste gives the custard a richer taste than vanilla extract but you can certainly use vanilla extract if you like.
With the egg whites I made a fluffy Italian meringue to top the entire thing and the results were pretty tasty. I prefer the silky texture of an Italian meringue, it’s also more stable than a French meringue so you don’t have to worry about it weeping liquid.
I use a CULINARY BLOW TORCH to brown the top of the Italian meringue but you can brown it in a 400 degree oven if you like.
. Here’s the recipe:
- 1 box yellow cake mix baked in a buttered Pyrex dish according to package directions (you'll need the eggs and oil that the package directs)
- FOR THE VANILLA CUSTARD
- 4 cups whole milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
- ¼ cup corn starch
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 2 bananas
- FOR THE ITALIAN MERINGUE
- 1 cup of granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- ½ cup water
- 4 egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ⅛ teaspoon of Kosher salt
- Make the yellow cake according to package directions and bake it in the buttered Pyrex dish.
- While the cake is baking make the custard
- Pour the milk in a saucepan, (at least 4 quarts) add ½ cup of sugar, stir and heat on medium until simmering
- Separate the eggs (reserve the whites for the Italian meringue) place the egg yolks in a bowl add ½ cup of sugar and cornstarch WHISK TOGETHER IMMEDIATELY or the egg yolks will crystallize
- TEMPER THE HOT MILK INTO THE EGG YOLKS
- Turn the heat off on the milk. Carefully and slowly whisk a cup of hot milk into the egg yolks until well blended. Repeat with another cup of milk.
- Pour the egg yolk mixture into the remaining hot milk and stir over medium heat until thickened and it begins to bubble. Be careful not to scorch the custard.
- This should take about 5 minutes
- Slice the banana and scatter the banana slices over the cake
- Pour the custard over the bananas and cake
- MAKE THE ITALIAN MERINGUE
- Combine 1 cup of sugar, corn syrup and water in a small sauce pan.
- Cook until sugar syrup registers 240 degrees on an instant read thermometer
- With the whisk attachment beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in the stand mixer on medium speed until thick and fluffy, about 2 minutes
- With the mixer running, carefully and slowly pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the mixer
- Continue to whisk for another minute or two until the meringue is thick and fluffy
- Top the custard with the meringue. Toast the meringue carefully in the oven at 400 degrees for 5 minutes or use a culinary blow torch (do this at your own risk)