Baked In America

Baked In America

David Muniz and David Lesniak, founders of the award-winning cafe and bake shop Outsider Tart, in Chiswick, London are really spoiling us Brits with their latest addition of a delightful hardback cookery book Outsider Tart baked in America.

It contains an irresistible collection of over 120 family recipes handed down through the generations. Each chapter is dedicated to a selection of sweet treats, from a range of brownies, bars, muffins, cupcakes to an outstanding array of whoopie pies and sky-high layer cakes.

The book gives a wonderful insight into American Baking, starting with a brief introduction from the boys about how this unlikely partnership all began.

Then they include a chapter covering important information: a full explanation of ingredients - why we use them in baking and alternative suggestions and a comprehensive tour of our kitchen cupboards explaining why we have such a selection of pots and pans and what to use them for.

All the recipes are clear and easy to follow, each with a personal note from the chefs about that particular creation.

With full colour photography throughout and a stunning design this book will be every baker’s dream.

Outsider Tart is published by Ebury press and retails at £16.99.

Due to the size, ingredients (bananas being my favourite) and the luxuriousness of Mom’s Banana Layer Cake I thought I would share this one with you:

Mom’s Banana Layers


21oz/600g/4 cups All-purpose or plain flour
4 teaspoons Baking powder
1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
8oz/225g/1 cup Unsalted butter, softened
20oz/550g/2½ cups Granulated sugar
4 Large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
4oz/115g/½ cup Sour cream
160oz/450g/about 2 cups Mashed banana (about 4)

Serves 12 - 16

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Butter three 9in/23cm round cake pans, line the bottoms with baking parchment, dust with flour and tap out any excess.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside.

In an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Scrape the bowl as you go. On low speed, add the vanilla followed by the sour cream, mixing until just combined. Alternately add the flour mixture and bananas in 3 to 4 portions, mixing only until just combined. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and smooth with a small offset spatula.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. It’s best to rotate the pans front to back, top to bottom about ⅔ of the way through to ensure even baking. Let the layers cool in the pans for about 15 minutes before releasing them. Let them cool completely on wire racks.

Frosting - Vanilla Buttercream

For a lemon or orange buttercream, substitute freshly squeezed juice for the milk and add 1 tablespoon freshly grated zest to the butter and sugar before creaming.


36-48oz/1050-1400g/6-8 cups Confectioner’s or icing sugar
6fl oz/180 ml/¾ cup Whole milk
1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
Just a pinch of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon Food color for pastels (optional)
1-2 tablespoons Food color for bolder colors (optional)
12oz/350g/1½ cups Unsalted butter, softened

In a mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, milk, vanilla, salt and food color, if using, and mix on a low speed until almost combined. This will help reduce the mess of powdered sugar exploding from the bowl, as well as incorporate the color more evenly. Bit by bit, add the softened butter and increase the speed to medium-high.  Beat for about 5 - 6 minutes or until light and fluffy. If you’re tinting this frosting be sure to scrape the bowl up from the bottom to reduce/eliminate streak of color.  Often we finish mixing by hand using a rubber spatula. Once you achieve the desired consistency, spread the frosting with a metal spatula or palette knife. This can be made ahead of time, but if you do, it may be necessary to beat it for 1 to 2 minutes to loosen it up again to a spreadable consistency.

Poppy Watt


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