Before I begin, let me be clear: a creative/design-y/artistic person, I am not. My idea of desktop decor is doodles on post-its of morale-boosting sayings like “I <3 My Job” and a Darth Vader stress ball or two. Most of my wardrobe consists of things my boyfriend has told me I should get, otherwise you’d probably see me in t-shirts and sweatpants all the time. And when it comes to me decorating cakes, well, “decorating” is a term that should be used very loosely.
Case in point. I offered to make a cake for our friend Peter (who, by the by, is a graphic designer by trade and probably one of the most creative people I know)’s 30th birthday- conveniently forgetting that cakes generally involve some sort of dressing up or general pretty stuff on top. Well, as you can see, there is frosting… but pretty stuff… not so much. I sort of ran out of food-coloring-ink-stuff by the middle of “Peter” and clearly my margins/spacing need work. Hey, at least I spelled everything right!
Anyways- I found this recipe simply by Googling “banana cake”, after Peter’s wife informed me that he loves loves loves bananas. The first result was “Best-Ever Banana Cake“- who am I to argue with that?
I don’t particularly like bananas, like, at all- but I have to admit that this cake came out pretty dang good. Mashing the bananas beforehand eliminates what bothers me most about bananas- the consistency. The cream cheese frosting is the perfect touch of sweetness, and as you’ll see, placing the cake in the freezer for 45 minutes straight from the oven really does lock in the flavors and make the cake very moist and delicious.
Confirmed: Best-Ever Banana Cake
- 1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed, ripe
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 1/8 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (pro tip: you can make your own buttermilk by mixing 1 1/2 cups regular milk + 1 1/2 tbsps lemon juice and letting sit for 5 minutes).
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- Preheat oven to 275°.
- Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
- In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the 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 eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 tsp vanilla.
- Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
- Stir in banana mixture.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist.
- For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
- Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- Add icing sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed until frosting is smooth.
- Spread on cooled cake.