Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 cups ripe bananas (3-4)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups flour (I used 3 1/2 cups fresh whole-wheat flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
2 1/8 cups sugar (1/8 cup = 2 tablespoons)
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup butter, softened
12 oz. cream cheese (1 1/2 packages), softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups + 1/4 cup (or so) powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Grease two pans: 8" or 9" rounds or squares (I used 9" squares in the photos). Lay a piece of parchment paper (I also use waxed paper) on the bottom of each pan, then grease the paper and flour both pans. (You'll really want to take the time to do this step; otherwise, the cake will come out of the pans in clumps, because it is so moist!) Set the pans aside.
In a small bowl, mash the bananas with the lemon juice. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the 3/4 cup butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in the banana mixture.
Measure all the ingredients beforehand so they're ready to go into the mixing bowl!
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and let cool at least 10-15 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks. Carefully peel the parchment paper off. Cool completely.
For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth; beat in the one teaspoon vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Can add more powdered sugar (or more milk if too thick) until desired consistency is achieved. Spread on top of the first layer, then place the second layer upside down on top of the first. Frost top layer and sides of both layers.
If desired, sprinkle walnuts over the top (or however you want!)
Of course, you must serve this cake with vanilla ice cream!
The perfect marriage of sweetness and creaminess!
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