Who Needs Powdered Sugar? Chocolate Banana Ganache

I appear to be incapable of buying powdered sugar. Visiting the baking aisle has become part of my weekly shopping routine, as I have been going through flour like nobody’s business (I graduated to the 10 lb bag, but it’s still gone within a week).  Picking up flour tends to jog my memory as to other baking supplies I need.  Not so with powdered sugar, it’s been weeks and weeks and I still haven’t bought any.

Stir the chocolate. Pie in the Woods

Now I don’t need powdered sugar often, so I’ve been trying to find ways around it.  The first time I wanted to make frosting and was missing the key ingredient I tried whirling some granulated sugar in the blender.  While this method works when you have the super fancy $400 blender, the $30 blender provides less than perfect results.  We still ate the cake of course, but the frosting was grainy, which was not what I was going for.

My second way around the problem (which I’ve used several times now) was to make ganache – a smooth chocolate glaze. I discovered ganache relatively recently, and it’s become a preferred frosting method because it’s less sweet, super easy, and uses no powdered sugar.  And as a bonus, it sounds fancy!

Melted! Pie in the Woods

Recently I made some lovely cakes using this Chocolate Banana Cupcake recipe from Love & Olive Oil.  When it came to time to frost, I once again had no powdered sugar, but I also had no cream!  What was I to do?  Certainly not go shopping.  So I decided to use some of the coconut milk and mashed banana left over from the recipe, in place of the cream.  What I got was a pretty tasty ganache!  It set up more slowly than traditional ganache, and was not as smooth (due to bits of banana), but it poured nicely and had a hint of banana flavor   What I didn’t use on the cake I stirred into a cup of milk and heated up to make hot chocolate.

Sweet Hearts. Pie in the Woods.

The recipe below makes enough ganache (with a bit to spare) for a one layer cake.  You can easily scale up the recipe for bigger projects.

I like to use dark chocolate for ganache, it provides a richer chocolate taste which offsets the sweeter cake (as compared to semi-sweet chocolate).  You can use whatever kind of chocolate you like, although I do recommend using a higher-quality chocolate, it will just taste better.

In the picture the ganche is pretty shiny, but when it sets up it has a matte finish.


1/4 cup banana, mashed
1/4 cup coconut milk
6 oz cup (aprox. 1 cup) chocolate, chopped 


Mix the banana and coconut milk in a small sauce pan and bring to a bare simmer.  Add the chocolate and stir.  Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes.

Stir the ganache some more – it should be mostly smooth (the banana prevents it from being completely smooth).  Place your cake on a wire rack over a large pan (to catch the drips) and pour the ganache on.  Allow to set up for at least 30 minutes.  If you don’t have a wire rack you can tuck wax paper under the edges of your cake to catch the excess ganache. Once it’s set up, remove the wax paper. 


4 thoughts on “Who Needs Powdered Sugar? Chocolate Banana Ganache

  1. You can make an Italian meringue buttercream or other buttercreams that don’t use powdered sugar. They are much more stable for decorating, taste delicious, but use a ton of butter. The Italian uses egg whites, while the others use egg yolks. They are a little tricky, but once you get the hang of it, lots of fun to make as the icing can completely fall apart before coming together. And they taste great.

  2. Pingback: Coffee Banana loaf Cake with Coffee ganache frosting | Keli Paan

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