EXTREME BANANA CAKE (adapted from "Best Ever Banana Cake")
For the cake~
1 1/2 cups ripe bananas, mashed (about 4 medium)
2 tsp lemon juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 275°. (Yes, you read that correctly. The low temp keeps the cake from drying out).
- Grease and flour two 9-inch round pan. Note: I also like to add a round of wax or parchment paper to the bottom of my pan to help with removal later. Here's the trick: Place your pan on the paper, trace around the bottom, cut out. Lightly grease the bottom of the pan, place the paper cut out in, then grease and flour as usual. This little step will keep the bottom of your cake nice and smooth which will help with decorating later.
- In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with lemon juice; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, & salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 tsp vanilla.
- Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
- Stir in the banana mixture.
- Pour batter into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for one hour, 15 minutes; or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out with slightly moist crumbs. This may take anywhere from 1 hour to 1 hour, 30 minutes, depending on your oven.
- Remove pans from oven and place on cooling racks for 15 -20 minutes.
- Hold rack on top of pan and flip them over to get the cake out of the pan and onto the cooling rack. It will be upside down at this point. If you lined your pan with wax/parchment paper, peel it off at this point.
- Allow cakes to cool completely before assembling with frosting. You can also let cool, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, put in a zipper freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months.
For The Frosting~
1/4 cup butter, browned
1/4 cup butter, softened
8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- See the link above on browning butter. Let the butter cool completely before you make this!
- Cream the butters, cream cheese, & vanilla together until smooth.
- Slowly add powdered sugar, beating well between additions until frosting is smooth and creamy. (You may need to add a little--1-2 tsp.--milk to get the correct consistency.)
- Chill until ready to frost cake.
For the Nut Garnish~
1 cup chopped pecans
2 TBS butter
1 TBS brown sugar
- In small skillet, on medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar together until sugar is mostly dissolved.
- Add pecans and cook, stirring constantly, until pecans are shiny and start to smell toasty (about 2-3 minutes).
- Remove pecans from pan, spread out in a single layer onto a sheet of wax or parchment paper to cool completely.
How to Assemble the Cake~
- Place one cooled layer onto a cake plate or stand. Gently spread about 3-4 TBS frosting onto the top. You want about a 1/8" thick layer of frosting.
- Top with 2nd cooled cake layer. Frost sides and top of layered cake.
- Press cooled candied pecans onto the sides. This step is messy. I found that holding a paper plate under the edge of my cake stand while I pressed in to pecans was helpful for catching the ones that inevitably fell off.
- Chilling the cake for a few hours will really help firm up the layers and make cutting easier.
- Warning! This is a VERY rich cake. Think, small slices!!! It will easily feed 15-20.