This weekend, one of my brothers was visiting, and I was making sugar cookies (his favorite). He sat in the bar chair on the other side of the kitchen island, and I was barely visible through a cloud of flour and sugar that made the air around me taste sweet.
In that almost loud silence that you can hear after turning the mixer off, my brother came to my side and said, “I wasn’t paying attention. Are there raw eggs in this batter?”
“Yes,” I answered.
“Okay, I just won’t eat that much.” He dipped a spoon into the mixing bowl.
I ended up giving him ¼ of the uncooked dough to snack on in the car.
Generations of kids have been making that decision over and over again, ever since kids hovered around while someone else made cookies. I know I did. I knew I was supposed to be vaguely afraid of raw eggs, but those misgivings always melted away in the face of the clouds of dough piling up in the bowl. I still associate the metallic smell of silver with eating cookie dough straight out of the bowl at my friend’s house, where they used the good silver teaspoons all year long.
And while there are ways nowadays to eat raw dough without too much guilt (think: cookie dough ice cream, cake batter ice cream, etc.), no one ever looks back at the last 20 minutes of their life and says, “I sure am glad I just ate 2 dozen cookies’ worth of raw dough. I feel splendid.”
This shake gets me around that little hangup.
In Tara Stiles’s new book, there’s a recipe for a strawberry shortcake smoothie with oats in it. Oats, I kept thinking to myself, in a smoothie?? So weird! But I kept thinking about it. I don’t really like eating oatmeal, but I eat it if I know I won’t get a chance to grab a midmorning snack. Nothing else seems to keep me full till lunchtime. Maybe this smoothie could solve my problems…
A few hours later I fell asleep to the sweet, sweet thought of waking up to another round of strawberry shortcake smoothie. Oats in smoothies? It’s actually excellent. If you purée the oats with the milk before you add in the fruit, it’s not crunchy or chewy at all, and it smells and tastes starchy and doughy, just like cake batter.
Of course I can’t leave well enough alone, so the strawberry shortcake smoothie sparked a drive in me to turn many more cakes into smoothies, and to also redub them “shakes.” “Smoothie” just doesn’t do it. “Smoothie” implies green. It implies swamp. It implies flaxseed powder.
These shakes might be good for you, but they’re all dessert. I mean they have vanilla extract in them. They have cinnamon. That’s why you feel like such a ninja slurping one for breakfast. No one around you even knows that it tastes like dessert!!!
For my first go, I went with a rich banana cake flavor. Frozen bananas purée into an ice cream texture without much fuss, and the warm cinnamon and boozy vanilla transported me to afternoons spent sitting on my best friend’s formica counter in cutoffs and licking cake batter right off the beaters.
Other banana recipes on Crandlecakes:
- Vegan Zucchini-Banana Bread with Walnuts
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Coconut Oil
- Banana Dream Ice Cream
- Banana Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
Banana Cupcake Shake
Note: Almond milk works in these smoothies, but a homemade walnut or pecan milk would really finish off the banana cake flavor profile.
Nut milk: Soak 1 cup of walnuts or pecans in a bowl of room-temperature water overnight. Drain water and rinse nuts. Purée in a food processor or blender with 3 cups of filtered water. Pour through cheesecloths or a nut milk bag, and store in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup almond milk
2 cups sliced, frozen banana (or 1 ½ cups sliced fresh banana and ½ cup ice)
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a blender, purée oats and almond milk until smooth.
- Add banana, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon, and purée until smooth.
- Serve immediately.