The Fruity Ingredient That Can Change Your Chocolate Cake For The Better

Chocolate cake needs no introduction. Its rich, chocolatey decadence is beloved by many people around the world, which also means they look a little different in other countries.

One example of this is the sachertorte in Austria, which highlights apricot jam and a chocolate glaze in each slice, per Matador Network. Or, if you're a fan of layered cakes, Hungary should take the top spot on your travel list thanks to their dobos torte. Underneath the caramel glaze lies layers upon layers of chocolate buttercream and cake that almost look paper-thin. (Props if you're able to count the number of layers in a slice).

But no matter where you are in the world, all kinds of chocolate cake are susceptible to the same fate: potential dryness. As King Arthur Baking explains, some of the most common causes of this include an overload of flour, an overly hot oven, or axing vegetable oil for butter. Now, these should all rightfully be addressed, but what if we add something else to the batter — something to increase the moisture levels of the cake? To that, Taste of Home has a fruity ingredient in mind.

Got bananas?

While bananas are typically associated with banana bread, Taste of Home recommends mixing a ripe one into the batter (Shugary Sweets recommends three mashed bananas).

So with that, let's talk about benefit number one, which is more moisture in the cake. ARPN Journals states that ripe bananas are filled with lots of moisture, nearly 80%, so it makes sense why these fruits would help with dryness. Shugary Sweets also adds that mashed bananas, thankfully, won't impart any fat or liquid. This is a good thing because an overload of liquid may cause curdling within the batter, per Baking Kneads, while a high-fat content may cause a collapsed batter with a greasy feel, via Bakels.

The second benefit involves a boost of flavor, as Taste of Home mentions. Shugary Sweets emphasizes that the cake will likely take on a banana flavor, though there's an implication that you can incorporate extra cocoa powder to make those chocolate flavors more pronounced. For reference, they use a half cup of unsweetened baking cocoa, which should be high-quality.

So next time a chocolate cake is on your baking list, reach for the bananas to help combat dryness and increase the flavor profiles of the cake.