by Amanda Rettke in View All Posts, June 2nd, 2016
by Sarah De Heer in Books, Contests, April 7th, 2014
Once the weather heats up, the first thing I crave is a homemade banana split: ice cream, strawberry topping and whipped cream, surrounded by bananas covered in hot fudge. A classic for sure.
Turning that classic summertime dessert into a cake was a brilliant suggestion from a good friend who shares the same passion for those amazing flavors as I do! One word of advice: Be sure to time out your recipe. The fantastic frozen banana bites should be made ahead of time and properly chilled before you add them to the cake. You may also notice that I used a canned strawberry pie filling — this was very intentional! It really adds to the authentic banana-split flavor.
Once the cake is fully assembled, it should be eaten right away. Leftovers are not an issue, as it is so good people always want more.
Amanda Rettke, FN Dish contributor and founder of the I Am Baker blog, is serving some of her most-beautiful confections yet in her first cookbook, Surprise-Inside Cakes. In Amanda’s book, there’s no such thing as an ordinary chocolate or vanilla cake with frosting (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Just like opening up a gift, the element of surprise is within each baked good, whether it be a heart, football, smiley face, stripe or house (yes, a house). Simply put, if you want to wow guests at your next gathering, make one of Amanda’s cakes.
What caught FN Dish’s eye? The entire book. Each page is more colorful than the one before, and there’s a surprise-inside design for every occasion: celebrating holidays, family, love and life events (like moving to a new home). Have a cake recipe you’ve perfected? Great. Because Amanda encourages using tried-and-true recipes, but she’s provided a few of her favorites too.
At first glance some of the cakes may seem like a challenge, but Amanda’s included step-by-step photos and instructions for each one. And be wise: Don’t start out with the most difficult design!
You can buy a copy of Surprise-Inside Cakes here, or you can enter to win one for free from FN Dish. We’re giving five lucky, randomly selected readers each a copy, and all you have to do to enter to win one is leave a comment below telling us your favorite Food Network cake recipe. You must include the recipe URL in your comment to be entered to win (find cake recipes here).