Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Double Banana Cake

     My first foray into layer cakes was for The Wife's birthday a couple years ago. I found the recipe in an issue of Bon Appetit and figured I'd give it a whirl. I would consider it a fair first effort. The thing looked pretty rough and weighed a damned ton. However, it tasted fantastic. There's just something about a layer cake that impresses me. I'd like to think that it all started with some guy saying, "I like cake so damned much, I'm going to just start stacking them on each other and frosting the whole thing. Pancreas be damned!" Fair warning, I consider all layer cakes to be PITAs, so be ready to put in some work. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Double Banana Cake
via Bon Appetit

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter plus more for pans, room temperature (since I never have actual butter on hand, margarine was used)
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups coarsely mashed very ripe bananas (about 6 large)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (still using margarine)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (good lord, I hope you have a strong pancreas)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ripe but not mushy bananas, cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Butter two 8"-diameter cake pans with sides 2" high. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper rounds (I left my parchment square shaped. I didn't have a compass handy and didn't feel the difference in shape would alter the flavor). Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 1/2 cups butter and sugar in another large bowl until light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. With mixer on low, gradually beat in flour mixture, scraping sides of bowl. Mix in bananas, then sour cream. Divide batter between pans.
  2. Bake cakes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–55 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes in pans on wire racks.
  3. Invert cakes onto wire racks; let cool completely. Remove parchment. Using a serrated knife, trim off rounded tops (Nope. I went ahead and stacked those sumbitches as is).
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat first 5 ingredients in a large bowl until light and fluffy, 6–7 minutes.
  2. Place 1 cake on a plate. Spread 1 cup frosting over. Arrange banana slices on top. Top with second cake. Spread a thin layer of frosting over top and sides of cake; chill for 30 minutes. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cakes (Protip: Maybe wait a while for the cakes to cool off before putting on the frosting. I didn't, which explains why my cake looks like it has eczema).
Here's an alternate cake recipe if you prefer rhubarb
Good times!

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