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Chocolate Banana Bread Cake

Banana bread cake treated like a layer cake had been dancing around my mind for a while now. For some reason I wanted to turn a well known homey treat into a birthday extravaganza. I figured dulce di leche would be a great addition and that a layer of chocolate ganache would pull it all together in true birthday fashion. I am happy to report that it turned out to the be a very decadent and surprising birthday surprise.

Chocolate Banana Bread Cake with Dulce de Leche
prep time
cook time
total time
Serves 8Ingredients
  • (Feel free to use store-bought dulce de leche)
  • 2 cans (about 395g) of sweetened condensed milk
  • FOR THE BANANA BREAD CAKE (makes 3 nine inch layers)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 280g (10oz) good quality chocolate (I chose 70% Lindt)
  • 400ml (14fl) oz double cream
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place the condensed milk in an ovenproof baking dish. Press a piece of parchment paper on top of the condensed milk. Cover baking dish tightly with aluminum foil. Place the baking dish in a larger deep-sided baking tray and fill with boiling water until it reaches two thirds of the way up the sides of the dish.
  3. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until caramel in colour. Spoon the caramel into a bowl and whisk until smooth. Spoon into sterilized glass jars. Keep in the fridge for up to 1 month. Makes 2 cups.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 3 nine (9) inch cake pans and add a piece of cut-to-size parchment paper at the bottom of each pan; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat until combined.
  6. In a medium bowl, quickly mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and stir until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Fold in chocolate chips, and pour into prepared pans.
  7. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.
  8. Once cooled, place one layer of banana cake on plate. Smear with about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of dulce di lece. Add second layer. Top with more dulce di lece and cover with last layer of cake. Since the caramel is slippery, you might want to add a skewer to avoid layers sliding around. Avoid having caramel drip onto the sides of the cake since the chocolate ganache won't adhere very well.
  9. Once assembled, follow ganache instructions below and pour the icing onto the middle of the cake. Gently spread it over the top and sides of the cake and let it set. You might want use half of your chocolate for a thin coat and then add a second coat once the first coat sets. This will result in less waste of ganache and a thicker coating.
  11. Break the chocolate into pieces. Heat the cream until very hot but not boiling, remove from heat and add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted, then cool a bit until you have coating consistency. Pour the icing on to the centre of the cake. Spread it gently over the top and down the sides, and leave to set.

Photography: Audrey's | Recipe: Audrey's

Giulia Doyle

Contributing Editor: Food + Recipes
La La Lovely Home Tour

Welcome to the home of La La Lovely! Where kids and design collide into a wonderful, beautiful, magical place. Truth be told, Trina may be the only person in the world who can not only make her place fun and kid-friendly (indoor swings included), but also maintain the chic aesthetic we all know and love her for. With photos from Yazy Jo, let’s take a peek, shall we? 

From Trina… The living room has always been a bit of a catchall for random pieces, but recently I decided it needed to really come together.  It’s always been a tricky room for me in that the layout is very long (and spacious).  A sectional sofa was the best way to fill the space and allow for a good amount of seating.   The swing and the disco ball add an element of fun in a room that is supposed to be the most serious in the house.  I love the juxtaposition.  

This room is one of my favorites.  Since this is my childhood home, this used to be my parent’s bedroom.  It was part of addition they made to the home in the mid-90’s.  My main goal was to make it look like my own and to have it be a relaxing retreat.  I like to keep things as neutral as possible (light colored walls, white bedding) to a sense of calm and simplicity.  The biggest change we made (and my favorite) was ripping out the carpet and putting in wood floors.  I’ve always wanted white painted floors and this was the best place to try them.  I love the way they turned out (even though my parents were not so sure, at first).  We used a knotty pine and white porch paint.

It’s fun and wild decorating a room that used to be yours when you were a kid.  It’s not a big room so bunk beds were the way to go for this shared space.  I kept the color pattern simple with white paint (same as used throughout the house) and a chalkboard wall.  Kids seem to like to draw on walls, so why not give them a place to do it.  The favorite element of the room is the mouse hole that connects to another bedroom.   The boys also love the floating shelves from IKEA where they like to display their favorite superheroes.

This room was originally the master bedroom of the house, (before the mid-90’s addition)  I had the most fun decorating this space as I’m a girly girl at heart.  I wanted to design a room that my daughter could grow with.  The painting on the wall was inspired by a Julia Kostreva journal.  The bed is an Ikea bed that is painted white.   

The playroom is actually the dining room.  The dining room wasn’t getting much use and having small children who always want to be close by, I thought it would be a fun idea to convert the room into a playroom.  I left some of the main elements like the chandelier and the hutch  (which now stores toys) so it’s an easy switch back.  The main update is the light green paint that only cover three quarters of the wall and a few shelves for books.  I love looking into that room and seeing the mix of toys and a crystal chandelier.

For years the master bath  was covered in 90’s floral wallpaper.  I knew I wanted to tone down the room with a neutral paint color and gray seemed like the right choice against the white cabinets.  I found a chandelier in the basement storage that used to hang in the dining room and thought it would make such a great statement and be the focal point of the room.

I’m not sure how many different ways I’ve seen this room over the years (picture blue shag carpet or southwestern indian motif), but it has looked a lot of different ways.  This room, unfortunately, does not get a lot of natural light, so it was my goal to brighten things up as much as possible.  White paint and putting in wood floors was our best decision for this room.  It gets a lot of traffic as it is the way out to the patio and pool and hardwoods have kept things looking more streamlined and clean.


Photography: Yazy Jo | Design: Lala Lovely Things

Bed: Z Gallerie | Dresser:  Vintage from The Painted Lady | Chandelier : Antique from Euro Trash | Settee:  Antique from Euro Trash | Sconce Lighting: One Forty Three | Linen Duvet: Pottery Barn | Desk: West Elm | Desk Lamp: Ikea | Plant Stand: Urban Outfitters | Blue Chair:  Vintage | Side Table: Euro Style Lighting | Blanket on headboard: fashionABLE

Rug: Lulu & Georgia  Paint: Sherwin Williams ‘Requisite Gray’

Daybed:  Adams and August  | sofa: IKEA | Lamp:  Anthropologie | Rug: Rugs USA | Pink Pillow : Artsy Modern | Chair : Euro Style Lighting | Striped Blanket & Pillows: Nine Space | Coffee Table: Euro Style Lighting | Art: Trina McNeilly | Sconce Lighting: West Elm | Gold Planter: Anthropologie

Paint Top Half: Benjamin Moore ‘Winter Wheat’ | Paint Bottom Half: Sherwin Williams ‘Filmy Green’ | Hutch: Vintage | Light Fixture: Antique | Playtable: The Land of Nod | Chairs : The Land of Nod | Rocking Chair: The Land of Nod | Rug: The Land of Nod | Polka Dot Bin: The Land of Nod | Airplane Light: The Land of Nod | Kitchen Set: Pottery Barn Kids | Cloud Pillow: The Land of Nod

Paint: Benjamin Moore ‘Winter Wheat’ | Paint Above Fireplace:  Sherwin Williams ‘Inner Child’ |  Sectional Sofa: Smart Furniture | Floor Lamp: The Land of Nod | Coffee Table: Euro Style Lighting | Pouf: Lulu & Georgia | Artwork: DIY | Chair: High Fashion Home | Chests: The Land of Nod | Hanging Shelf: DIY | Mirror: The Mirror Lady | Swing: Custom Made | Tree Stump Side Table: Made by artist Drew Weldon | Art: Trina McNeilly | Yarn Wall Art: DIY

Paint: Benjamin Moore ‘Winter Wheat’ + Chalkboard Paint | Light Fixture: The Land of Nod | Bunk Beds:  Pottery Barn Kids | | Desk: The Land of Nod | Desk Chair: The Land of Nod | Rug: The Land of Nod | Window Shade: The Home Depot | Wire Wall Baskets: The Land of Nod

Bedding: The Land of Nod + Serena & Lily | Bon Soir Pillowcases: Urban Outfitters | Hanging Rattan Chair: Serena & Lily | Bed: Ikea | Nightstands: Vintage |  Dresser: Ikea | Mirror: Ikea | Pendant Lights: Design Within Reach | Desk Lamp: The Land of Nod | Art: A Fine Little Day, Erin McIntyre for Donna Wilson | Cat PIllow: Donna Wilson | Tassel Garland: DIY

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yazy jo

Behind the Blog: La La Lovely

I’m convinced that Trina of La La Lovely is magical. I mean, it’s the only answer! To run one of the best design blogs around, freelance as a writer, art director and beyond, all while raising a brood of children is no easy feat. But this girl does it with style, class and so. much. grace. With photos from Yazy Jo, we’re going behind the blog, and it’s really really good. 

SMP: Tell us a little about La La lovely!
La La Lovely is really my place to share my favorite finds and work out my words. I have a habit of looking for the lovely. Some days I find it in perfectly styled spaces, and other days i find it in the broken places. But simply put, La La Lovely is a lifestyle blog that offers inspiration in the areas of decor, design, style, littles and life.

SMP: What made you decide to start a blog?
I started blogging 6 years ago and I wasn’t even exactly sure what a blog was at that time (aside from my Xanga). I had been thumbing through Domino Magazine and read about a design blog called Absolutely Beautiful Things. I hopped online and was so inspired and excited about what I had stumbled upon. I knew I wanted to start one for myself. It seemed like the perfect place for me to write (which I love most about blogging) and a great way to share things that inspire me. Friends were always asking me where I got this or that or what I would suggest for gifts, etc. Also, it was a great way to digitally keep a file of all of my favorite decorating ideas and anything that was visually inspiring. Today, I blog for the same reason, I started, because I love to write and share inspiration and ideas.

SMP: What’s one thing you’ve learnt along the way?
Trust your gut. I’ve learned that just because an opportunity is there doesn’t always mean you should take it, even it appears to be a good one. When you’re a blogger you are a little bit of everything (especially in the early days), a designer, a photographer, a stylist, a writer, an salesperson, a business owner to name a few. As you get going you’ll find your voice, your style and your message. Once you find that, let it be a filter and guide as to what opportunities best align with you.

SMP: If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?
I don’t know that I would do that much differently It’s been a pretty organic process for me. I suppose I probably would have reached out and went after a few opportunities sooner. And, I would try to find a blogging schedule, earlier on, that didn’t require staying up until the wee hours of the morning. It catches up with you, eventually.

SMP: One piece of advice you’d give to a blogger just starting out?
My greatest advice is simple… yourself. Write about what you love and be true to your own voice. Don’t be concerned about what others are doing. Be concerned about what moves you. There are some basic principles that will work for everyone, like being consistent on how often you post and creating a consistent aesthetic, but I’ve found that if you are consistent with being yourself first, your style will develop and you will have created a brand naturally and authentically.

SMP: What was the tipping point in your business that made you feel your blog was going to thrive?
A few years ago, after I had re-designed my daughter’s room, The Land of Nod reached out to me to collaborate for an upcoming catalog. Three rooms in my home were featured as well as two rooms in a New York City apartment that I designed. It was so fun and extremely inspiring working with such a great brand and such fun and amazingly talented people. After that project I felt more confident and comfortable in my abilities to design spaces and to take on bigger projects and collaborations.

SMP: What color do you think will stand the test of time?
I’d have to say white. You just can’t go wrong with crisp white walls. And, pink. Some shade of pink always seems to be in style. Pink can be sweet, modern, neutral or punk rock.

SMP: One thing you simply can’t live with out?
My family. And, coffee. During this season of life, coffee seems like a means of survival.

SMP: Three things every stylish homeowner should have?
1- A favorite chair.
2- A breathtaking light fixture that makes you always look up (whether glamorous or modern).
3- Comfy Bedding.

SMP: Your favourite online design resource?
Pinterest. What can I say, It always seems to be where I start (online). I love getting lost on different rabbit trails that take me, somehow, to exactly where I need to be.


Photography: Yazy Jo | Design: Lala Lovely Things

yazy jo is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
yazy jo