Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Banana Cake...maybe

So this post is old.  How old?  Well...we were still living in the apartment.  November and December last year was such a whirlwind of helping out with fundraisers and baking for the holidays, that this post fell by the wayside...forgotten and un-posted.

So today is your lucky day.  Since I am out of town right now and needing to post something, I will dust off this post and give it to you.  Its a good cake that's very tasty during the holidays with or without bananas.  Enjoy!

Banana Cake made for Sean's parents
So...the house guests have left the building.  The house is slowly being put back together and now I have to ramp up and bake for a charity kick-off at work.  I thought it would be easy...the banana cake I had made last week was a total success (thank you Ina...if you haven't gotten the recipe book, "Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That", you should)...so I will just make that.  I had perfect bananas; Sean's parents had left them for the cake to be made.  So my thinking;  I will make the cake for work on Thursday night, brilliant...or so I thought.

I walked home for lunch on Tuesday and my perfect bananas were gone...I was pretty sure we had been robbed.  After checking the rest of the apartment, nothing else was missing...so, there must have been a zoo escape and a primate came into my home and took the coveted fruit.  As I was about ready to call the zoo to let them know that they owed me more ripe bananas...I had gone to throw away a tear soaked tissue (yes...I had a shed a few tears for my missing bananas) to find that my bananas had been THROWN AWAY!!!!  HOW COULD THIS BE!?!?!?!?  Who would do such a thing!?!?!?!?!?!?  

I looked to the dogs...they weren't talking.  The cats...well, they were napping.  I then made the phone call..."Sean...Did you throw away my bananas?" ,  "Yep, they were bad" , "No, they were brown" , "Well, they were too ripe to eat" , "They weren't too ripe for banana cake?!?!?" ,  "Oh! *silence*  I'll buy you some more." , "*sigh*  That's OK." *click* (this was on a cell phone, so there was no click,  that was dramatized to show that we both hung up, in case you weren't aware and had thought that I just left him on the phone while I made myself soup...which I may or may not have).

So, that evening Cheryl (my sister) and I made our way to TJs in search of ripe bananas only to find that they were all green. *joy*  She imparted the wisdom of throwing the bananas in a brown paper bag in order to ripen them faster.  Well, that didn't work...by Thursday they were eating bananas not baking bananas. *sigh*

So I made a chef-xecutive decision to make pumpkin cake using Ina's recipe.  Here is the result via my iphone (since in all my agony of not having my bananas I forgot to put my SD card back in my camera *sigh*).

Pumpkin Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting 
(adapted from Ina Garten's Banana Cake recipe)
For printable recipe, please click here 

1 c pumpkin puree 
¾ c granulated sugar
½ c light brown sugar, lightly packed
½ c vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
½ c sour cream
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ c coarsely chopped pecans (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9x2 in. round cake pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the pumpkin, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on low speed until combined. With the mixer still on low, add the oil, eggs, sour cream, and orange zest. Mix until smooth.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in the chopped pecans, if using. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, turn out onto a cooling rack, and cool completely.
Spread the frosting thickly on the top of the cake.

Ina's Cream Cheese Frosting:
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 Tbsp (¾ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2½ c sifted confectioners' sugar (½ pound)

Mix the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed until just combined. Don't whip! Add the sugar and mix until smooth. Yield: frosting for one 9 in. cake.

For Ina Garten's "Old-Fashioned Banana Cake" recipe just click on the link, here

This cake is as perfect for dessert as it is for breakfast.  It will end up being a holiday favorite and your go to, for work pot-lucks and for unexpected guests that stop by...it is that easy to make.

Enjoy the foods of your labor. :-) 

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