Banana cake. Banana bread. Banana bliss.
I don't really care/know what to call this delicious thing.
It's supposed to be a cake. But really it's just a big pan of the best banana bread you've ever tasted that's been slathered with cream cheese icing. Doesn't sound too shabby does it?
I made this "cake/bread" hybrid the other day for a friend's birthday. I actually had no idea what kind of dessert he liked so I went out on a limb and decided on banana. I will admit that I did have a little help from the 8 million bananas that are always piled on top of his microwave. But still, banana bread is a classic. Heck, I might even throw it in with chocolate and vanilla. Is that allowed?
Well, if not...it should be. Because, umm, this cake...is really good. It sits at the perfect crossroads between an incredibly dense bread and a super spongy cake. It's not too sweet, but the ripe bananas and buttermilk make for a super rich flavor that is complemented by the thin layer of frosting that's slathered all over the top. And did I mention that all it takes is a little mixing, a greased pan, and an oven? Yep, that's it. So wonderfully simple.
banana cake...with cream cheese frosting
Makes: 1 9x13 pan Prep Time: 10 minutes Bake Time: 35-40 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes
for the cake-
- 2 2/3 cups pastry flour (or 2 2/3 cups minus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour)
- 2 2/3 cups sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 large or 4 small very ripe bananas
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 350° and grease a 9x13 pan.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, mash the bananas. Beat in eggs one at a time, until each is incorporated. Then mix in the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Lastly, add the dry ingredients to the batter just until combined.
- Pour batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a rack.
- While the cake is cooling, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and no lumps remain. Add the vanilla or almond extract and beat until incorporated. Slowly add powdered sugar.
- Frost the cake, slice, serve, enjoy!