I was in the mood for a banana cake last week. Why? I'm not so sure. The feeling just struck me. This was the first time I had baked anything in WEEKS. Yes, you read that read. Very bizarre for me! I had remembered a great cake that my cousin Jane had made a couple of years ago but wasn't able to get the recipe in time. So, I found one. Gosh, you type in "banana cake cream cheese frosting" in Google and wham! this recipe is the first on the list: "Best Ever Banana Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting".
It was really easy to make and tasted quite good. I made it twice in the last few days. The first time I made it into a two-layer cake. The second time I made it into patriotic cupcakes for a party that I went to yesterday. I'm not sure which I prefer. Maybe it depends on the occasion. The cupcakes were definitely a good move for a party with lots of people; they're easy to eat and there aren't any knives involved, which is probably a good thing when there are inebriated people around. The two-layer cake would be great for special occasions or even a dinner party. You can pipe the cream cheese frosting with fancy tips to elevate the sophistication of the cake. Either way you decide, the flavors will rock.
The interesting thing is that the recipe says to place the cake into the freezer for 45 minutes after you remove it from the oven. I wondered about melting my shelves or them getting affected somehow so I let the cakes cool on a rack for a good while, at least an hour, but then I put them into the freezer. I didn't do it for 45 minutes--I actually left them overnight. So, the next day they were completely frozen and I had to let them thaw for quite a few hours. The whole point of freezing is to keep the cake moist. I'm not sure if I will freeze again. I wonder if it contributed to the cake's dense nature. It was moist but perhaps the same effect could me made by simply refrigerating the cake. I leave the decision in your hands.
Kathleen and I had the first slice after we got back from walking four miles. Yup, I know that sounds totally counter-productive but hey, at least there's banana in it, right? It was good and really, you don't need a lot of it to be happy. Hmm, perhaps this is another point to the cupcake size. Obviously, this cake freezes really well. At the end of the night last night, I placed the rest of the cupcakes in Nichole's freezer in a single layer to be frozen solid. Then, later today, she can place them into a large freezer safe baggie and have a cupcake whenever her heart desires :-) I'd give it about a 30 to 45 minute thawing time.
I think the only thing I'd change from the original recipe is decreasing the amount of sugar used. So, the recipe below is my adaptation. I found that the cake was a touch too sweet. I also didn't follow their cream cheese frosting recipe because I always like my own which has much less sugar. But I do highly recommend trying this cake out. You won't be sorry!
Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Food.com
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup or 12 tablespoons), softened
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 ripened bananas (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Cream cheese frosting:
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1. Preheat the oven to 275F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt in a bowl and set aside.
3. Mash up your bananas really well, add the lemon juice, and mix well. Set aside.
4. Cream together the butter and sugar until very smooth and mixed. Add the eggs one at a time. Then, add the vanilla extract.
*A good tip: spray your measuring cup with cooking spray before measuring out your buttermilk. This ensures that none will stick to the measuring cup.*
5. Alternate adding in the flour and the buttermilk to the wet mixture. Do not overdo it on the mixing.
6. Fold in the mashed bananas with a spatula. Split the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake in the oven for 60 minutes. After one hour, insert a toothpick into a few different spots to ensure the cake is cooked; the toothpicks should come out clean with no batter sticking to them.
7. When cakes are done, transfer them from the oven to wire racks to cool. Cool completely, remove from pan, place on a plate and place in freezer or refrigerator. Let the cakes cool for a couple of hours or freeze for about 30 minutes.
8. While the cakes are getting cold, make the cream cheese frosting by creaming together the cream cheese and the butter. Then, add the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and then slowly mix in your sifted powdered sugar. Add more or less sugar depending on how sweet you want your frosting. Chill for about one hour before frosting the cake.
9. Frost the cake however you would like: with a piping bag, with a spatula, with a knife, whatever your heart desires and for whatever look you want to create. You can also split up the frosting into separate bowls and add different colorings to them to get colored frostings.
|Mix bananas and lemon juice together and set aside.|
|Butter and sugar... you know this won't be bad.|
|Add your eggs in one at a time.|
|I always get excited when it becomes all fluffy. Don't forget the vanilla extract!|
|Alternate your dry mix with the buttermilk. Do not over mix!|
|Time to get manual.|
|Fold in the bananas.|
|Spread batter evenly between your two cake pans.|
|The color from one hour of baking at 275F was really lovely.|
|Do NOT do like I did and freeze your cake in the pans! That's why my instructions above are different. I had to use a rubber spatula to help lift the cakes out from the pans because they were stuck due to the freezing.|
|Another boo-boo I made was to not insert little sheets of wax paper at the bottom of the cake. This will help you keep your cake plate clean from frosting and crumbs as you frost. Oh well. Please learn from my mistakes :-)|
|See what I mean? Oh well. This was a test cake, anyway.|
|It tastes delicious!|
For the cupcakes, make the cake batter the same way and line your muffin pan with liners. Add enough batter to about 3/4 of the way up. Bake in a preheated 325F oven for about 26-28 minutes until golden brown and the toothpick comes out clean. Cool them completely and then frost.
|Great for a party!|
I made the above cupcakes for the July 4th party at Nichole's. Nichole and I went to middle school together. Would you believe this was the first time I'd be seeing her in 11 years? Holy cow! It was such great fun to catch up with her and other classmates from back in the day. I hope you had a great Independence Day, too!
|Happy Fourth of July from a few students from Vista View's Class of 2001!|