I'm currently in a 'old-fashioned cake' state of mind. There was the Easter carrot cake and now a retro banana cake. This moist banana cake overflows with a buttery caramel frosting; sacre blue! Buttermilk is best for this recipe, but feel free to substitute a combination of milk and plain yogurt, or milk alone. I've discovered a handy tip when baking a cake; when pressed for time, don't divide them into layers, but rather make a single thick cake and let the frosting just sit on top. This saves so much time, and before an exam week, is really a life-saver! Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Banana Cake: 'Lucinda's Authentic Jamaican Kitchen' by Lucinda Scala Quinn
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup butter, melted (1 stick)
- ½ cup buttermilk, yogurt, or milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Blend in the melted butter, mixing together until moist. Add ¼ cup of the buttermilk and combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine the other ¼ cup of buttermilk with the eggs and blend into the flour mixture. Add the vanilla and mashed bananas. Beat for 1 minute. Place the batter in a greased 9-inch pan.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. When the cake is done, an inserted toothpick or fork should come out clean from the center.
Caramel Buttercream: Martha Stewart Living
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1/8 cup water
- 1/8 cup heavy cream
- 6 ounces (1,5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Bring 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons sugar and the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Wash sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Cook, undisturbed, until caramel is dark amber. Remove from heat, and slowly add cream, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth. Let cool.
- Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Place whites and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.
- Remove from heat, and attach bowl to a mixer. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add beaten butter, cup at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla.
- Switch to paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, add caramel, and beat until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.