Tag Archives: banana

Double Banana Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Double Banana Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Icing
Photo courtesy: Bon Appetit Magazine

If you love warm banana bread and rich buttercream icing, this banana cake is your dessert dream come true. Just like everything is said to be “better with bacon,” I’d argue that the same rule applies to frosting. Especially when that frosting is a homemade vanilla buttercream. Think sweet (but not sugary) and decadent (but not dense), this icing is a creamy finish to an already dreamy cake.

Speaking of cake, the addition of ripened, mashed bananas make it perfectly moist while giving the cake a beautiful flecked appearance. Just add some sliced fresh banana to the top and you’ll have yourself a stunning dessert centerpiece. Unfortunately, you won’t have much time to admire it because after one bite, you’ll be hooked. Which is good, because the cake is meant to serve 16 of your nearest and dearest friends, family, or simply banana-cake crazed acquaintances.

Homemade Banana Cake with Buttercream Icing
Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit Magazine
Makes: 16 servings

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter plus more for pans, room temperature
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups coarsely mashed very ripe bananas (about 6 large)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ripe but not mushy bananas, cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices

Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 325°. Butter two 8-inch diameter cake pans with sides 2 inches high. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper rounds.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 1/2 cups butter and sugar in another large bowl until light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. With mixer on low, gradually beat in flour mixture, scraping sides of bowl. Mix in bananas, then sour cream.

Divide batter between pans. Bake cakes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–55 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes in pans on wire racks. Invert cakes onto wire racks; let cool completely. Remove parchment. Using a serrated knife, trim off rounded tops.

Make the Frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat first 5 ingredients in a large bowl until light and fluffy, 6–7 minutes.
Place 1 cake on a plate. Spread 1 cup frosting over. Arrange banana slices on top. Top with second cake. Spread a thin layer of frosting over top and sides of cake; chill for 30 minutes. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cakes.

Trifle Serving

Hot Weather? Cool Dessert? Try a Trifle!

Hot weather’s coming. I’m ready for it. I’m tired of the cool, rainy spring we’ve had. I’m planning ahead for all the fun things I’m going to do in the hot sunshine of the summer days that will soon be here! Antique shopping. Hammock testing. Barbecuing. Working on the Sailboat. Iced Tea Sipping. You can see, I’ve got a list going already!

When the temperatures go higher and I’m looking for a cool dessert, I usually think: light, fruity, cool, creamy. A trifle is all of those things and can be even more. The version I made today is light and fruity. I’ve made other versions in the past that are rich and chocolaty. The trifle is an entirely flexible dessert.

This version capitalizes on fresh fruit, cool pudding and tropical flavors. Pour a tall glass of iced tea, serve a helping of the trifle, and your patio may turn into a seaside resort. Add a CD of Hawaiian music and a couple of Tiki torches to help the atmosphere. You may have use your imagination to achieve the full effect.  I know central Ohio doesn’t feel like a tropical beach, until the humidity of July gets here!

Tropical Trifle

1 Pound Cake
1 container (16 oz.) of Strawberries, sliced
1 can (11 oz.) Mandarin Orange slices, drained
1 can (20 oz.) Pineapple chunks, drained
1 Banana, sliced
1 package (3 oz.) French Vanilla pudding mix, prepared
Maraschino Cherries
Coconut Flakes

Slice the pound cake into 1-inch pieces. Find a pretty glass bowl or several tall dessert glasses. Using the ingredients, you will layer alternating cake, fruit and pudding. There is no set pattern to this process. The goal is to make it look pretty! Top with toasted coconut flakes and Maraschino cherries.

Approximate Nutritional Information: Servings Per Recipe: 16, Amount Per Serving: Calories: 245, Total Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 213mg, Total Carbs: 37g, Dietary Fiber: 1g, Protein: 4g.

Make it a Meal: Serve as dessert after a sandwich or salad. A trifle could pass for breakfast, but you have to convince yourself the benefits of the fruit outweigh the guilt of the pudding before 9 a.m.

This dessert is a family favorite. My husband (who isn’t bashful about telling me if he likes a particular food) loves this dish! He’s not alone. I’ll be making it often this summer. I’m even looking for a way to pack it on the sail boat. Hot weather? No worries. We’ve got dessert covered!

Chocolate Banana Pudding Pie

Chocolate Banana Pudding Pie

The Chiquita Banana Jingle. Chances are, you can sing, or at least hum, a few bars of the famous Chiquita Banana jingle. The song first hit the airwaves in 1944 when Miss Chiquita made her debut. It was written to help teach Americans how to ripen and use bananas, which were, at the time, an exotic tropical fruit. At its peak, the jingle was played 376 times a day on radio stations across the United States. It was one of the most successful commercial jingles of all time.

“I’m Chiquita banana and I’ve come to say – Bananas have to ripen in a certain way – When they are fleck’d with brown and have a golden hue – Bananas taste the best and are best for you – You can put them in a salad – You can put them in a pie-aye – Any way you want to eat them – It’s impossible to beat them – But, bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator – So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator.”

I made my dessert into parfaits, because I needed to feed more people. But I highly recommend you try the pie, because in addition to tasting dreamy it also presents beautifully.

Ingredients:
4 squares Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 prepared graham cracker crust
2 medium bananas, sliced
2-3/4 cups cold milk
2 packages (4 serving size) vanilla or banana instant pudding
1-1/2 cups thawed Cool Whip (I used real whipped cream)

Slice of Banana Pudding PieDirections:
Microwave chocolate, milk and butter in medium microwavable bowl On HIGH 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Spread evenly in crust. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm. Arrange banana slices over chocolate.

Pour milk into large bowl. Add pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 1 minute. Let stand 5 minutes. Spoon over bananas in crust. Spread with whipped topping.

Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.

Makes 8 servings. Prep time: 20 minutes. Refrigerating time: 4-1/2 hours.

Three Nut Banana Muffins

If you are anything like me, you go to the grocery store with wonderful intentions.  You try to spend the majority of your time on the outside perimeter of the store (the “food-group” aisles), avoiding the rows of canned, boxed and processed foods in the middle of the store.  I try to keep the pantry and refrigerator stocked with healthy food options and more often than not, I’m pretty successful.

This is why I buy three pounds of apples, two bunches of grapes and ten bananas at a time.  I figure if they’re in the kitchen, we’ll eat them.  After all, it’s easy to grab a piece of fruit on your way out the door and voila – healthy snack.

But then, we have a crazy week sneak up on us.  We’re hardly home, we eat dinner somewhere else, or we just don’t have time to cook.  Those ten bananas start to develop spots, then turn brown, and finally get thrown away.  And then, I feel guilty.  Wasted food makes me feel awful.  Not only are there people out there who don’t have easy access to food, but it’s expensive and irresponsible.

Now, I know that overripe bananas are great to bake with.  However, making time to bake with them before they go from overripe to just plain rotten — that’s another thing.  Then I read that you can freeze bananas and thaw them for cooking.  It made my day.  Just peel them, cut them into chunks or puree them, and freeze until you need them.  My wasted banana guilt problem was solved.

And, since I now have a nice supply of frozen banana in my refrigerator, I can bake treats like these anytime I get the urge…which is fantastic, because these are quick, easy and delicious.  They’re chock-full of nuts, have a moist banana flavor with just a hint of warm cinnamon and a slightly crunchy sugar coating on the top.

I doubled this recipe and made jumbo muffins, but otherwise this will make 12 standard-size treats.  I would definitely recommend a cupcake liner because it will make cleanup easier and the papers help to keep the muffins moist during storage.

Don’t forget to come see me over at Lemon Sugar!  I’d love to hear from you!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into pieces
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
4 ripe, small bananas
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Approximately 1/2 cup white sugar, for topping
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line 12 muffin cups with high-quality, greaseproof liners.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Add butter, and using a pastry cutter, combine until butter is coarsely crumbled.  Stir in walnuts and pecans.

In another bowl, combine bananas, milk, eggs and vanilla until bananas are mashed and all ingredients are combined.  Add wet mixture to dry mixture and mix until just combined.  Batter will be lumpy.

Liberally sprinkle the top of each muffin with about a teaspoon (or two) of sugar, followed by a sprinkle of sliced almonds. Very lightly press the almonds into the top of the muffins so they adhere while baking.

Evenly distribute the batter between the muffin cups, but fill no more than 2/3 full.  Bake until a cake tester comes out almost clean, about 25 minutes.  Immediately remove from muffin pan and cool on a wire rack or serve warm.