Saturday, March 24, 2012

Banana Cake with Fudge Frosting

This is Liam.

Liam turned 14 recently, and for the past several years, he has asked for the same birthday cake—banana with chocolate frosting. This year was no different. However, I have never been really happy with the banana cakes I've made. There have been a variety of problems. Often, the cakes don't seem to bake through properly and are a little doughy in parts, Or, the cake turns out more like banana bread, which is also not the texture I'm going for. I want it to be more like cake. And finally, I want the cake to have a lot more banana taste.

I checked out a cookbook from the library, All Cakes Considered. In addition to the banana cake,  I've tried several of the other recipes. They've all turned out really well, and I think I need to buy this book. The banana cake recipe is finally the one I've been looking for—great taste and texture. My only deviation from the recipe in the cookbook was that I used my own frosting recipe, which everyone in my family loves.

Here is the result. I had to include a birthday card Liam received from his grandparents. Liam is a HUGE Beatles fan. The song, "Birthday," was sung or blasted several times throughout the day.

I almost forgot to photograph a slice of the cake before the entire thing was devoured. I did it in such a hurry, so I apologize the photo is not totally sharp. But, you can still get an idea of what it's like.

I thought I'd include this photo, too. The hole in the middle of the cake from the tube pan was the perfect size for a tea light candle. Tomas added the clowns to the cake for his big brother. But, you can see that Liam thought they were pretty creepy.

Banana Cake with Fudge Frosting
  • ⅔ cup shortening
  • 1 ⅔ cups sugar
  • 2 ½ cake flour
  • 1 ¼ tsps. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 ¼ cups ripe bananas, mashed
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a 10-in. tube pan by greasing it. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and grease again and flour.

With mixer on medium speed, cream shortening and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add to the creamed mixture, beating until blended. Add bananas and ½ the buttermilk and mix until just moistened. Increase mixer speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the buttermilk and the eggs and beat for 2 more minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cool cake for 10 minutes and then unmold to cool completely. Frost with fudge frosting.

Fudge Frosting
  • 8 Tbsps. butter, melted
  • 6 Tbsps. cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 ½ tsps. vanilla
  • 4 ½ to 4 ¾ cups powdered sugar
Mix melted butter and cocoa powder in a bowl or stand mixer. Mix in milk and vanilla. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Once all sugar is incorporated, mix on high for 30 seconds.

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