Sunday, June 03, 2012

Banana Cake with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting


I grew up enjoying the simple sweet breads: zucchini, pumpkin, and banana - either my grandmother was always baking or she froze a few loaves in anticipation of the arrival of her grandkids. Banana bread was one of the staples that felt a bit 'more' than a bread - a legitimate splurge that took the cake, so to speak. To hint back at my childhood and make a rendition of a dessert standard in my family, I made this double-layer Banana Cake iced with an Almond Cream Cheese Frosting. The use of brown and white sugar with the natural sweetness of the banana actually created a lightness pairing well with the richness of the frosting. This cake was claimed by and distributed to friends and their tummies within 24 hours!

Servings: 12 Slices
Prep Time: Up to 1hr 15min
(including frosting time)

Banana Cake
3 Bananas, crushed
1/2 Cup Almond Oil (or 1 Cup Vegetable Oil)
1/3 Cup Butter, Unsalted
1/2 Cup Sugar, Granulated
3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar, Packed
3 eggs, room temperature
2/3 Cup Nonfat Milk
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon 
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder 
2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

Almond Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8oz package Cream Cheese, room temperature
4 Tablespoons Butter, Unsalted, room temperature
1 Tablespoon Almond Oil
1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
2 Cups Confectioners Sugar 

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.

Mix all wet ingredients together with a mixer and sift dry ingredients into the batter. Mix thoroughly and pour batter into two greased and flour-coated 9" round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes or until golden brown and an inserted knife comes out clean. 

Let the cooked cakes sit for approximately 10 minutes. Loosen up the sides with a butter knife and transfer each cake to a cooling rack.

Almond Cream Cheese Frosting - Simply mix all of the ingredients until smooth. If not frosting immediately, set aside in the fridge to chill (will thicken slightly).

I didn't go into extreme detail with the 'How-Tos' of frosting a cake in the Homemade Yellow Cake recipe, but I added in a few pictures of the process in this recipe to further clarify. Chill the cake layers in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Remove and cut off the rounded top with a serrated knife.

Frost each layer using 2/3 to 3/4 cup of frosting, until evenly spread to the outer edges of the cake. Place the second cake, cut side facing down, directly on top of the frosted layer. The cake should sit parallel.

Frost the top and sides of the layered cake with a very thin coat of frosting until smooth. Set cake aside in the fridge for 15 minutes to harden.

Once chilled, frost the decorative layer over the crumb coat and set aside in fridge until ready to serve. I added a bit of almonds for the aesthetic, but of course it is not necessary. This is a very simple looking but tasty cake made with that hint of a grandmother's love!

Nutrition Info (Banana Cake: 1 slice)
Calories 420, Total Fat 15.9g, Sat. Fat 4.3g, Cholest. 49.2mg, Sodium 218.4mg, Carb. 63.7g, Fiber 1.9g, Sugars 25.2g, Protein 6.6g

Nutrition Info (Almond Cream Cheese Frosting: 1 serving)
Calories 198, Total Fat 12.8g, Sat. Fat 6.3g, Cholest. 31.4mg, Sodium 63mg, Carb. 20.7g, Fiber 0g, Sugars 20.2g, Protein 1.2g

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