May 19, 2013

Banana Cake with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

I've been on a mission. I wanted to bake something with bananas. I've done muffins, I've done multiple breads, I wanted something new. I thought about it for 2 weeks, and eventually decided on banana cake. I've never had banana cake, actually. I envisioned something a bit sweeter than banana bread, definitely fluffier, hopefully lighter and prettier. Plenty of banana flavor, but not just banana bread in a cake pan with frosting on top. I searched through dozens of recipes, found one (of many) claiming to be the best, and messed with it, of course! The result is one of my new favorite cakes, a recipe I am head over heels in love with and want to share with EVERYONE!!



Banana Cake with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting
Printable Recipe

about 3/4 cup ripe bananas, mashed, (2 bananas)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
6 Tb butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk

Frosting:
4 Tb butter at room temperature
1/2 package (4 oz) cream cheese at room temperature
1 tsp almond extract
1 Tb milk or heavy cream
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Sliced almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Grease and flour an 8x8 baking pan. (Or 9 inch cake pan)

In a small bowl (or 2 cup glass measuring cup), mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl down between each. Mix in vanilla. Mix in the flour mixture in three portions, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in banana mixture until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool on rack completely before frosting.

Frosting:
Cream the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and milk until light and fluffy. It will look crumbly at first, just give it a few minutes. Add the powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add more sugar or milk if your frosting is too thin/thick. Spread over cooled cake and sprinkle sliced almonds on top.
Sliced almonds are so pretty! I don't know why, but I thought that almonds and bananas would go well together. And you know what? They absolutely do!!
This cake is perfect. Exactly what I was hoping for!! You could easily double this, use two round pans, and make a lovely layered cake, for a birthday or special occasion.
It's lightly moist, soft and fluffy, with plenty of banana and a bit of warm spice from the nutmeg, my surprise ingredient. So scrumptious, you will NOT be able to eat just one piece!
And smooth, creamy, almondy frosting, and you have an irresistible snack cake. Luckily mine is pretty small, so when I ate most of it myself over the next few days, I didn't pack on too many pounds. Oh who cares, it's worth it!! I love creating new recipes! I hope you like this one. :)

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