Banana Bourbon Bread

Have I *ever* got a treat for you. It's a recipe courtesy of Tracey Ceurvels, author of The NYC Kitchen Cookbook.

It's a recipe for a little something called banana bourbon bread. Because if, like me, you've ever found yourself eating a boring, G-rated banana bread and found yourself wishing for it to be at least PG-13, this is the solution. 

This recipe doesn't mess around. It's simple and to the point, letting the sweet banana and the bracing bourbon flavors come together and caramelize while they bake, yielding a delicious and sophisticated banana bread for your anytime-eating delight. As Tracey says in her headnote, "The scent of this cake baking in the oven is intoxicating. I often make two and keep one in the freezer for when friends visit. Serve this cake as is or with ice cream, whipped cream, or icing." 

Let's not be silly, Tracey, we're always going to serve it with one or all of the three latter suggestions. :-) 

As for the book--Tracey has done something very cool here, not necessarily offering recipes for NYC classic dishes only, but celebrating the ingredients and resources in her NYC home and creating thoughtful dishes based on her favorite vendors and shops. It's a great volume with lots of tasty-sounding recipes; check it out here

Banana Bourbon Bread

Makes 1 loaf

  • 1⁄3 cup melted butter, plus extra to grease pan
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (I recommend Four Roses Bourbon)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 11⁄2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons cardamom or Cake Spice from Penzeys Spices
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt

Butter a loaf pan and preheat oven to 350°F. Combine bananas, egg, bourbon, and vanilla in a bowl and mash together. Add the melted butter and mash until combined. Then, add the remaining ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake Pie

In case you hadn't heard the word, CakeSpy is 10 years old. As such, I've been revisiting some of my all time favorite recipes. Today? COOKIE CAKE PIE.

OK, so the Cookie Cake Pie I made in 2009 really kind of went viral, you guys. It was featured all over the interwebz and believe it or not, it even has its own Wikipedia entry (yes, proud moment). 

I mean, it was a brilliant idea. The basic premise was "cookies? cake? pie? why decide?". Genius might not be quite the right word, but it's the first one that comes to mind.

I decided the other day it was about time that I make it again. I didn't refer back to the old recipe, but instead just kind of winged it and kept it simple, with a construction punctuated with plenty of chocolate chips. It tasted just as good as I remembered.

The nice thing about this recipe is that you can make it using whatever components you like. Use your favorite pie crust, cookie dough, cake batter, and frosting. It can all be store bought or homemade. The bake time can vary but just keep an eye on the thing and you'll be fine.

Give this baby a try, if you never have! It's a little naughty, incredibly high carb, and intensely delicious. 


Makes 1 pie

  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  • Cookie dough 
  • 1 box cake mix, batter mixed to package specifications 
  • A big ol batch of frosting (I used a can of Funfetti Frosting, but sadly I had poached the sprinkles from it so I had to use edible glitter to garnish)

Start by preheating the oven. I preheated to 350, because that's just always a good moderate place to start.

Place your cookie dough in the pie crust. Me, I happened to have about 10 portions of this "egg free" cookie dough so I just plopped them right in the crust. There were two types, whole wheat and all purpose flour cookie dough, I figured a little extra health couldn't hurt, right? 

On top of the cookie dough, pour a big ole bunch of the cake batter. Me, I used vanilla cake batter but stirred in a handful of chocolate chips to help it match the cookie dough. Now, this is important: you probably will not need the entire batch of batter, particularly depending on how full the crust is after the cookie dough. Basically, don't overfill. You can use that extra to bake some cupcakes or make pancakes, you know? 

Put your pie unit into the oven. Bake until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For me, this took about 30 minutes, but depending on the type of cake batter and cookie dough you use, plus your oven, this could vary. Use your senses. 

Remove from the oven, let cool, then frost (generously). Garnish with sprinkles, edible glitter, whatever feels great to you. 

Serve in big fat slices. Thank your lucky stars that you've tasted this and can die happy now.

What kind of cookie cake pie flavor combo would you like to make?


Guess what, my sweet friends? As a Happy 10 Years of CakeSpy anniversary present to me, you, and the world, I've been hired to do something VERY VERY SPECIAL YES ALL CAPS NEEDED. Please watch: 

OMG, right? I am writing the book I was born to write and illustrate, about UNICORNS! It's very hard to not die right now. Of happiness.

Now, this book is going to be a little different from what I usually do. It has a few recipes, but it's NOT a recipe book. It is an illustrated humor book that is basically a unicorn's guide to life. While intended for adults, it's totally appropriate for kids, too.

Here's a preview of the cover.

And guess what? It's already available for pre-order. LUCKY YOU! 

Pre-order Stuff Unicorns Love here.