3 Ways to Enjoy Going Bananas Improv Challenge

Published On: 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker is a third generation professional baker/caterer and a mother of 5! Creativity is a necessity when juggling various jobs and obligations. As an artisan baker, Kristen has issued a monthly challenge to herself and other food bloggers to improvise with a couple of ingredients. January’s items were bananas and nutmeg.

Going along with the Ninja Baker motto of always “seeking the sweet stuff of life” (such as fun!), I went bananas in the kitchen and whipped up the following 3 treats:

1. Nutella Bundt

I never knew about Nutella in Japan. Now that I am in the US, I can rave about this hazelnut chocolate spread like all the other kids on the block.

Baking the Nutella Bundt brought a whole new meaning to heavenly smells. Click here for the recipe. If you want the divine enhancement and experience of banana and nutmeg, substitute half of the butter with mushed up banana. Also, add a ½ teaspoon of nutmeg and 1 teaspoon of Penzeys Cake Spice (which includes nutmeg as one the ingredients.)

Honestly, the Bundt is rich and moist with chocolately, nutty, spicy goodness and doesn’t need frosting. But it is not particularly filled with banana flavor so I created a buttercream where banana is the star.


The Ninja Baker’s Banana Buttercream
½ cup coconut spread (found in the butter section of Whole Foods)
½ cup of no hydrogenated oils vegetable shortening (in other words, healthy Crisco)
¾ teaspoon banana extract
5 ½ tablespoons of milk
4 cups of powdered sugar (sifted is better)
1 generous tablespoon of meringue powder
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
Using the paddle attachment on your KitchenAid or by employing a very strong electric mixer, combine the coconut spread, the shortening, extract and milk. Slowly add in the sugar, vanilla and meringue powders.
P.s. I had to rush out to an appointment so I put my frosting in the refrigerator. We’ve had a cold snap of 50-degree weather in California (hear the violin music?), my buttercream refused to soften. So, I carefully added a soupçon (a ½ tablespoon or so) of hot water, remixed in the KitchenAid for a minute and it was perfect for piping.

2. Won Ton Crisps with Banana Cream Pudding

Into cooled won ton crisps (made with a butter cooking sprayed mini muffin tin in a 375 degree oven for 5 minutes), I scooped in a mini dollop of banana cream pudding to which I added a ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg. For garnish, I piped chocolate pudding dots.

3. Chocolate Filled Won Tons with Banana Buttercream

I filled cooled won ton crisps (see above for the easy instructions) with chocolate pudding and garnished with leftover Ninja Baker Banana Buttercream. (Scroll up for the recipe.)

Wishing you spurts of going bananas with creativity!

The Ninja Baker

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker's recipes are also available at:

The Ninja Baker's Japanese Plum Sweet Memories and Recipes

Bob's Red Mill:
Almond Oatmeal Apple Cookies

Bob's Red Mill:
The Ninja Baker's Gluten-Free Breakfast Cupcake


Wholesome Sweeteners:
The Ninja Baker's Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Cheesecake Minis with Espresso Cream

Wholesome Sweeteners:
The Ninja Baker's Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Champagne Glaze & Optional Lemon Peach Marmalade Filling





Thank you for your kind words

Thank you for your kind words, Kristen. Very much appreciate your invite to your fun Improv Challenge. P.s. Love your gourmet Bananas Foster rendition at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker.

So, so good to see you've

So, so good to see you've joined the Improv Challenge! Wow, you will be a hard act to follow with your delightfully delicious Bundt and your wonderful puddings. Just amazing, my friend!!!

Looks delicious

I wouldn't think that anything would have topped the nutella banana bundt cake but the filled wontons look crazy delicious. My Improv Cooking Challenge entry this month: Baked Bananas, hope that you'll stop over and check the recipe out. Lisa~~

Your wonderful enthusiasm is

Your wonderful enthusiasm is very much appreciated, Lisa. I'm grateful too for your Cook Lisa Cook's Baked Bananas recipe. Such a great idea to bake instead of fry. Calories can then be spent on extra whipped cream =) Your Eggnog Popover recipe is intriguing, too! P.s. Glad to meet another Disney fan in the food blogosphere.