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There are so many recipes circulating these days, one more decadent and creative than the next. I love to get caught up in watching the latest recipe videos, but when it comes to actual baking, I'm a purist. I love classic cakes, pies and tarts. Nothing is better to me than a classic, moist chocolate layer cake, stuffed and topped with vanilla buttercream.
I've had Ina's old fashioned banana cake bookmarked for ages, so when I had a bunch of overripe bananas and an Oscars party with my mom and sisters, I knew this would be a fun and fairly simple cake to make with Penelope and bring for the festivities. I broke out my stand mixer and my new cookbook holder, and we got to work.
Penelope has become quite a little Masterchef Junior these days. Anytime she sees me in the kitchen, she pulls her step stool over to help and her kitchen skills have been getting better by the day. For the banana cake, she cracked all of the eggs on her own and is learning to separate yolks and whites. Pretty soon she will be baking all of the cakes for our festivities on her own!
I would typically leave the top plain and simple, or garnish with nuts as Ina suggested, but when baking with a 4 year old, it's all about the sprinkles. I do love that Ina leaves the sides bare, similar to this carrot graham cake that I adore. It's rustic and homemade and I love seeing the inside of the cake.
Old Fashioned Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
*Adapted from Ina Garten's How Easy is That?
for the cake:
3 overripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 C light brown sugar
1/2 C vegetable oil
2 eggs, at room temp
1/2 C sour cream or full fat Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
for the cream cheese frosting:
6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 C sifted confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Liberally grease and flour a 9x2" round cake pan and set aside.
In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, mix the bananas and sugars on low until combined. Add the oil, eggs, sour cream/yogurt and vanilla, and mix until smooth.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then let cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in your stand mixer, or in a bowl with a hand mixer on low speed until just combined. Add the sugar, 1/2 C at a time, and mix until smooth.
Frost cake liberally once completely cooled and decorate however you choose! Enjoy!
ps: Penelope's doughnut pajamas (which she would live in, if I let her) from here.