I love surprises. And I love Banana Cake. I was pleasantly surprised when I made this banana cake that stands out from the rest hands down!
What sets it apart? Well, a few things...It is a dense cake but EXTREMELY moist--- through and through! It's sweet, but not too sweet in that "great-now-my-teeth-hurt" sort of way I often taste with desserts (not that I would ever let that stop me from devouring a good dessert).
This was a treat all around. Beautiful to the eye---I topped my frosting with sliced bananas, walnut pieces and drizzled caramel sauce.
It was the perfect texture-- no crunchy parts-- even the ends of the cake were moist and the frosting was so smooth and tasty.
It was a bit time-consuming to make, but it was worth EVERY minute of prep time.
Something else that set it apart was the baking/cooling method: It bakes in only a 275 degree oven (rather than 350 degrees), for an hour (or more depending on your oven).
THEN, instead of cooling on a rack, the cake STAYS in the baking dish and IMMEDIATELY goes into the freezer for 45 minutes to cool, then frost.
These steps (lower temp/longer baking time and immediate freezing) are KEY to getting the perfect texture and moistness, so don't change it up!
I took this to a ladies meeting at church where there were many desserts to choose from. My dish was returned with one piece, which I ate cold, for breakfast this morning. And I think it was even BETTER today!
Okay, time for you to quit reading, and start baking!
YOU WILL NEED:
Original recipe makes 1 - 9x13 inch pan
3/4 cup butter
2 1/8 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I made my own with reg. milk and 1 1/2 T. white vinegar--then let sit for 5 min.)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (use VERY RIPE--the blacker, the better)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnut pieces
one banana, sliced (dip slices in pineapple juice to keep from turning brown)
Smucker's Caramel Ice Cream Topping (for drizzle)
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. In a small bowl, mix mashed bananas with lemon juice, set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in banana mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (My oven took 1 hour 10 min.) Remove from oven and place directly into freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist.
For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream 1/2 cup butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add confectioners sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth. Spread on cooled cake.
Top with banana slices, walnut pieces and drizzle with caramel sauce.
Store any leftovers in fridge.
I found this recipe, Banana Cake IV, on allrecipes.com, and made a few adaptions to the topping on frosting.