Categorized | Cooking

Buttery, Beautiful Banana Cake

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When my husband and I moved into our house 20 years ago this month, our next door neighbors welcomed us with a short visit and a frosted banana cake. The cake was very good, and the friendship has lasted through the years though the neighbors, Don and Ruth Frantz, purchased a house a few blocks away some time ago.

When we met, the two were about to have their first and only child. Now 20, Brad is studying accounting at the University of the Incarnate Word.

Ruth was over last night to catch up, have some wine and Mediterranean food and watch a movie. During the evening she got a text from her son who now watches over his mom. He was checking to see if she’d taken care of the flat tire she’d had earlier in the day on her car, and if she needed a ride.  That was worth a smile.

Today, I thought of that banana cake as I looked at two very, very ripe bananas in my kitchen and argued with myself whether it would be: banana smoothies or banana cake? You see here which won out!

The recipe is from Southern Living’s “Our Best-Ever Cakes & Pies.” I had to cut this recipe in half and substitute half-and-half for buttermilk. I added a teaspoon of lemon juice to the half-and-half and used a teaspoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of baking powder. The single-layer cake turned out just fine.  I’m going to whip up the Luscious Lemon Frosting for the cake as soon as it has cooled.

Decadent Banana Cake

2 1/2 cups plus 5 1/2 tablespoons cake flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
4 large very ripe bananas, mashed
2/3 cup buttermilk
Luscious Lemon Frosting (recipe below) or frosting of your choice
Banana chips for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat unsalted butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add granulated sugar and light brown sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Beat in mashed bananas at low speed. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at medium speed until just blended after each addition. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks and let cool 1 hour before frosting.  Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.

(Cake, in photo above, has sifted powdered sugar over the top.)

Luscious Lemon Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 (32-ounce package) powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons half-and-half

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Stir in lemon zest and juice. (Mixture will appear curdled.) Gradually add sugar; beat at high speed 4 minutes or until spreading consistency. Gradually beat in up to 2 tablespoons half-and-half, if necessary, for desired consistency.

Makes 1 two-layer cake and frosting for a 2-layer cake.

From Southern Living’s “Our Best-Ever Cakes & Pies”

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