boys to the yard – strawberry banana ‘milkshake’ cake

by hungryrabbit on June 27, 2013

Strawberry Banana Milkshake Cake

BREAKING NEWS–This boy got a proposal. Not that kind of proposal–I still don’t have a ring on my finger.

Instead of laying low for July 4th, M proposed that we take an extra vacation, so we won’t be participating in this year’s Pride festivities in NYC, even if that means missing Cher performing at the Pier Dance. From the emails and phone calls I’ve gotten from friends, it sounds like the community event of the summer.

This year, instead of doing a rainbow dessert for Pride, I thought I’d leave the boys a little gift for the weekend celebration–a Strawberry Banana Milkshake Cake. As Kelis, sings, “”My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard . . .

If you make this cake and fill the yard—perhaps you’ll catch a mensch, like I did.  That’s not a bad chaser for Cher’s performance.


Strawberry Banana ‘Milkshake’ Cake

yield: One 9-inch cake

Strawberry Milkshake Cake

recipe adapted from Cook’s Country


15 ounces frozen whole strawberries (3 cups)
3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 drops red color gel (optional)
2-1/4 cups (9 ounces) cake flour
3/4 cup (3-3/8 ounces) malted milk powder
1-3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350℉. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment, grease parchment, and dust with flour.

2. Transfer strawberries to bowl, cover, and microwave until strawberries are soft and have released their juice, about 5 minutes. Place in fine-mesh strainer set over small saucepan. Firmly press fruit dry (juice should measure about 3/4 cup); reserve strawberry solids for frosting. In a small saucepan, bring juice to boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, 8-10 minutes. Whisk milk into juice until combined. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

3. In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk strawberry milk, egg whites, vanilla and red  color gel (if using) until fully combined, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix flour, malted milk powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until only pea-size pieces remain, about 1 minute. Add half of strawberry milk mixture, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, add remaining strawberry milk mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Give the batter a final stir with rubber spatula.

4. Divide batter equally into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18-22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discarding parchment, and cool completely, about 2 hours. (Cooled cakes can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)

Strawberry Milkshake Frosting

recipe adapted from Cook’s Country


16 tablespoons (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
3-3/4 cups (15 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons malted milk powder
16 ounces cream cheese, cut into 16 pieces and softened
Reserved strawberry solids from Strawberry Milkshake Cake recipe


1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix butter, sugar, salt and malt milk powder on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add reserved strawberry solids and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.

Banana Malted Milk Cake

recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen


1-3/4 cups (8-3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1-1/8 ounces) malted milk powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
5 large very ripe bananas (about 1-3/4 pounds), peeled
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/1 stick) unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (6 ounces) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350℉. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment, grease parchment. Whisk flour, malted milk powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl, set aside.

2. Place bananas in microwave-safe bowl; cover with 2 layers of plastic wrap and cut several steam vents in plastic with paring knife. Microwave on high power until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Transfer bananas to fine-mesh strainer placed over medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes (about 1/2 cup).

3. Transfer liquid to medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir reduced liquid into bananas, and mash with potato masher until fairly smooth. Whisk in butter, eggs, brown sugar, sour cream and vanilla.

4. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined with some streaks of flour remaining. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans.

5. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cakes come out clean, 18-22 minutes. Cool cakes in pan on wire rack 1o minutes, then remove cakes from pan and continue to cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 30 minutes.



Strawberry Cake layers
Banana Cake layers
Strawberry Milkshake Frosting
Strawberry Preserve (optional)
1 pint fresh strawberries, for garnish, washed and dried


1. Place one banana cake layer on the bottom of cake stand or serving platter. Spread a thin layer of strawberry preserve over cake layer; then with 1/2 cup strawberry frosting; top with one strawberry cake layer. Spread another thin layer of strawberry preserve, follow by 1/2 a cup of frosting. Repeat with the remaining cake layers.

2. Spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake. Garnish with strawberries. Serve. (Cake can be refrigerated for 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.)


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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ Burlap and Butter Knives June 27, 2013 at 9:38 am

Maybe this weekend on your “vacation” you WILL get a proposal…? Fingers and toesies crossed for you!!! :-)

Also, this cake looks scrumptious!

xoxo <3

Barbara | Creative Culinary June 27, 2013 at 10:58 am

I’ll propose to you. I proposes you come see me and bring this cake with you!

OK, maybe not what you had in mind but still, the cake is GORGEOUS!

dixya| food, pleasure, and health June 27, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I hope Jessica is right :) the cake looks beautifully delicious :)

KENNECTED June 27, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I’m allergic to banana’s but this is one gorgeous cake!

Diane {Created by Diane} June 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Oh my, I can smell the yumminess through the computer on this one!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar June 27, 2013 at 4:16 pm

You’re bringing the girls to the yard too! LOVE this!

Jenn Baker (@jbakernyc) June 27, 2013 at 5:04 pm

I LOVE this. The look and I can practically taste how fluffy it’ll be!

Irene June 28, 2013 at 4:09 am

This cake is unreal!!! So beautiful, got nothin but love for it haha 😀

Irene June 28, 2013 at 4:31 am

Beautiful, lovely, pink! Gah, can’t describe how perfect this is!

Dina June 28, 2013 at 9:48 am

such a lovely cake! sounds yummy too.

Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor June 28, 2013 at 10:38 am

This cake looks amazing, I love anything strawberry.

Ester @nurturemygut June 28, 2013 at 11:48 am

This cake looks dazzling! You are inspiring. I love your photos and I can just taste the cake by looking at them.
It never would have occurred to me to cook down the strawberries the way you did. Very clever! Have fun on your 4th of July!

Jaclyn June 28, 2013 at 11:50 am

Gorgeous cake! I love the combination of flavors and alternating flavors – awesome idea!

foodwanderings June 28, 2013 at 12:44 pm

I literally gasped when I read your first sentence. You are a bad bad Wabbit, getting my hope up. My message to M: “what are you waiting for? Get on it!” & yeah what a momentous week this was. I really didn’t have ‘faith’ (pun intended). I didn’t see this ruling coming which made it the even sweeter treat just like your cake.

foodwanderings June 28, 2013 at 1:29 pm


Andrea June 28, 2013 at 7:18 pm

This is such a beautiful cake! I know this is simple- but the way you arranged the strawberries on the top is my favorite part!

Killian June 29, 2013 at 8:57 am

I love the photos, and hope you get that proposal soon! I brought two of my kids up from NC to NYC Pride last year and we had a blast.

Two questions on the cake construction to make sure I read it right…you say to slice the banana one horizontally, and in the photo, it does look like the banana layer is much thinner. Why only use one of the banana cakes, and what do you do with the other one?

Have a great vacation!

hungryrabbit June 29, 2013 at 10:59 am

Hi Killian, thanks for visiting my blog and Happy Pride. To answer your question, the banana cake is baked in two pans so there’s no need to slice them horizontally. I find it easier to bake the banana layers separately than to slice one banana cake horizontally after it’s baked. I’ve revised the recipe, thanks for pointing out the discrepancy.

If you choose to bake the banana cake as one layer, increase bake time to 25-30 minutes. Happy Baking! -Ken

Linda July 1, 2013 at 11:34 am

Thank you for this recipe! What would happen if I didn’t use parchment paper?

hungryrabbit July 1, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Hi Linda, you’ll run into the possibility of the cake sticking to the bottom of the pan. -Ken

Larry July 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Hi Ken – It’s Susan’s friend Larry……this cake is gorgeous!!
Everything you do is sensational, but this one is really magnificent!! I will be making this one for sure!

hungryrabbit July 2, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Thanks Larry, I hope you like it. Happy Baking! -Ken

Jackie July 3, 2013 at 1:03 am

Hi Ken

Why put all those strawberries on top of the cake, just to take them off when you cut the cake.

Jackie July 3, 2013 at 11:58 am

Hi Ken

What brand of red color gel did you use in this recipe.

hungryrabbit July 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Hi Jackie, it’s Americolor. -Ken

Donna at NothingChocolate July 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Hi Ken! Images and layout are just perfection… Truly delicious-looking strawberries that look just-picked!
Thanks for posting!

Julie July 3, 2013 at 7:56 pm

I made this for my husband’s birthday and had several hiccups along the way. I had to bake my cake a lot longer than the time stated in the recipe. The strawberry milkshake icing was really good, my husband and I weren’t crazy about the banana layer- really just tasted like banana bread. I did not split into two different cakes because I had been having so much difficulty with the starwberry layers and didn’t know if my cake would even be salvaged. So maybe the banana layers would be better if they were smaller. Overall, I think this cake is a neat idea but I will probably not make again. It was very time consuming and didn’t give you that wow factor I was looking for.

hungryrabbit July 4, 2013 at 11:44 am

Hi Julie, I’m sorry you didn’t have a good baking experience with this recipe. There was an error on the initial recipe regarding the Assembly that I’ve now revised. Please accept my sincere apologies if that was the version of the recipe that you’ve followed. -Ken

charmaine July 6, 2013 at 5:42 pm

This is one of the best cakes I have ever made; it is labor intense but I knew as I was making the fruit reductions that it would turn out to be something special and it truly was!! The icing was genius….it tastes exactly like strawberry ice cream!! Loved, loved it!

hungryrabbit July 6, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Hi Charmaine, I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the cake. I agree with you, the result is well worth the effort. Happy Baking! -Ken

kelly @ kellybakes July 11, 2013 at 11:06 am

You can’t tease me with an opening line like that! Anyway, this cake is simply stunning! I always get a little crazy with buying strawberries while they’re in season so I have a ton in my freezer that should definitely make their way into this cake. Hope you had a fantastic vacation and had the chance to relax and enjoy! xo

donna loesch July 13, 2013 at 2:15 pm

This cake caught my eyes immediatly thank you. But i haven’t made it yet my grandchildren love making a challenge. I guess we will try it hope I get it together any tips for me I am an old woman, and my brain is the same.

Emily July 30, 2013 at 3:11 am

hmm… the ingredients list for the banana section includes malted milk powder and sour cream but those are not listed in the steps anywhere… while making this, I remembered the malted milk powder but forgot the sour cream! Hope it’s still okay… the banana section is baking at this moment

hungryrabbit July 30, 2013 at 10:01 am

Hi Emily, apologies for the discrepancy in the recipe. I hope your cake turned out OK. I’ve revised the recipe and should be good to go. Thank you for addressing the error and hope it didn’t ruin the occasion that you baked the cake for. -Ken

Marie August 11, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I found this recipe through Pinterest and I’m in love with it !! Thanks for the recipe !! And greetings from Venezuela 😉 <3

Neaey November 13, 2013 at 2:58 pm

This just lovely. I MUST attempt making this during the holidays. Or maybe even dedicating a whole weekend because I can. Requires a lot of ingredients which I’ll have to get around to. Anyway, thanks for sharing this recipe! A combination of my favourite fruits :3

Teresa January 28, 2014 at 11:28 pm

I made this cake this weekend and it turned out great and it was really beautiful. I got a lot of compliments. I will definitely make it again. Thanks for sharing!

Girl Expat February 19, 2014 at 5:52 am

Wow, the malted milk powder really intrigued me! The photos are fabulous too, although I might have trouble finding malted milk powder (((o(*゚▽゚*)o)))

Victoria February 23, 2014 at 1:06 pm

I cant wait to make this for my mom.

Pamela Joy July 8, 2014 at 12:45 pm

I made this cake last summer for my 12 year old friend’s birthday, it was a hit! I had issues with the frosting, ( we live in Florida and it kept melting ) I had to use another frosting recipe .

hungryrabbit July 8, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Hi Pamela, glad everyone like the cake. Instead of 16 ounces of cream cheese, I suggest you use 8 ounces of melted chocolate and 8 ounces of cream cheese. (Make sure white chocolate is cool to room temp) This will make the frosting a bit sturdier. Happy Baking! -Ken

Rebecca May 31, 2015 at 10:07 am

Hi, I’m planning to make this for my 5 year old’s birthday soon. This may sound odd, but we don’t have a microwave. Should I just boil the strawberries? Also, I’m not sure where to get malted milk powder from. Can I substitute that with normal milk powder? -Rebecca

hungryrabbit June 1, 2015 at 10:40 am

Hi Rebecca, you can most certainly cook the strawberries on the stove top. Make sure you bring it to a simmer and not boil because you do want the juices for the cake. I hope this cake will contribute your 5yr old’s birthday celebration. Happy Baking! -Ken

Rebecca June 5, 2015 at 2:47 am

Thanks Ken for your reply! Just wondering about the malted milk powder. I couldn’t find it, can I substitute with normal milk powder or leave it out?

hungryrabbit June 5, 2015 at 7:38 am

Hi Rebecca, the malted milk powder gives the cake a distinct milky taste. If you live in US, most supermarkets carries Carnation Malted Milk Powder. You can also purchase them from Amazon My preferred brand is Horlick.

You can certainly omit the powder if it’s time consuming for you. The cake will still be delicious. Happy Baking! -Ken

Rebecca June 8, 2015 at 9:32 pm

Oh my, horlicks is a childhood favourite drink of ours! What an ingenious thought to use that in a cake. I’m excited to try the cake, and will making it few days before the party. How long can the cake keep in the fridge or should I freeze it? (I plan to bake the banana and strawberry cake in advance n then layer and frost the day before the party).

hungryrabbit June 8, 2015 at 10:31 pm

You can wrap the cake layers tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days.

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