Friday, March 20, 2015

Almost Like A Banana Split

It's almost spring! Yesterday I planted the first seedlings...snap peas...out in the garden and the rest of the seedlings are getting so big that I may just cross my fingers and hope there isn't a late frost and put them into the garden soon.

Another fun thing I did yesterday was to bake a cake for the month with the Cake Slice Bakers. My first plan was to make the Cinderella Cheesecake for Sweetie's birthday because he loves cheesecake and who can hate chocolate and peanut butter together? Unfortunately first I got sick and then he got sick and no cakes were made. The one that I made today, Banana Split Cake, had a lot of ingredients but it was much easier to put together than the cheesecake, plus I had all the ingredients.

This sweet little cake has all the flavors of a banana split...coconut and pineapple and nuts and the dairy flavor from cream cheese in the frosting, plus, of course, banana. I used dried cherries instead of the neon red ones in the jar because I'm not happy with eating all those chemicals, but otherwise kept to the recipe. I baked half the recipe in a small Bundt pan and gave half to the firemen next door who had been training so hard today, kept a piece for myself and gave the rest to neighbors. Sweetie is still feeling poorly so he didn't want any.

This is a moist cake with a loose crumb and it's very flavorful with all those yummy add-ins. You don't even need a mixer because the cake batter gets stirred together by hand. The frosting called for using a mixer but I went with a small whisk instead and it worked fine. That cream cheese frosting with the flavor of pineapple really goes well with the cake and looks pretty, too. I decided to top the cake simply with just chopped pecans, but you could go wild and use coconut, chocolate syrup or hot fudge, those neon cherries or anything else you like.

Do check out the other Cake Slice Bakers to see which of the recipes they chose to bake. There is a really nice assortment this month!

Small Banana Split Cake
based on recipe in The Southern Cake Book by Southern Living magazine
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries (the original recipe calls for an 8 oz jar maraschino cherries, drained)
10 oz crushed pineapple in juice (7 oz when drained)
4 oz. packaged cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Garnishes: grated milk chocolate, chopped pecans, hot fudge sauce, maraschino cherries with stems, toasted sweetened flaked coconut

Note: I used dried cherries instead of the maraschino and added them with the pecans and coconut instead of with the pineapple. I added the vanilla to the egg mixture instead of after the bananas.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 6-cup Bundt pan. (If using a full size Bundt pan, double the ingredients.)
Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl combine eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir well with a fork to combine. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in mashed bananas, pecans, coconut and dried cherries.
Drain pineapple, reserving the juice. Gently press the pineapple between layers of paper towels. Stir pineapple into banana mixture. Spoon into prepared Bundt pan. Even the top and rap pan on counter or table twice to settle ingredients into Bundt grooves.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on wire rack until completely cool, about 1 hour.

Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add sifted powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in  1 tablespoon of the reserved pineapple juice (and use rest of juice for another purpose). Pour frosting over cake and garnish as desired. 


tanita✿davis said...

The Cake Slice folk sound like fun - we're going to try a Hummingbird Cake, after seeing the recipe repeatedly in the King Arthur catalogs - banana really does lend itself to cake so easily - yum!

Hope Sweetie feels better soon - it's just the pits to be sick when things are so bright and colorful out.

Sandra Lee said...

I'm no fan of the neon cherries either. Your cake looks like lots of fun and that glaze looks divine. Hope you and hubby are feeling better! said...

Elle...that cake looks amazing! So full of flavor! I'm kicking myself for not making this. And that luscious icing...I just love how it drapes the cake! : )

EmilyC said...

Alrightie! I remember your pointers on this cake the next time I bake it again. It was rather nice actually, should be better the 2nd time round. Yours looks wonderful and thanks for baking along with us even though you gave away most of the cake!

The Ninja Baker said...

Your almost like a banana split cake looks like cause for celebration! Your adaptation looks yummy!

Emily said...

Smart of you to go half on the cake size. Don't you just love the cream cheese icing? I was surprised that the 'chemical' cherries tasted fine not too sweet in the cake. Will remember your tips on reducing the amount for the 'wet' fruits. We did enjoyed it!

Laura@Baking in Pyjamas said...

Elle, this cake looks wonderful and that crumb simply divine. The icing looks so luscious oozing down the sides, how wonderful!!

Katie said...

That looks a delicious cake. Love all the textures and flavours. So pleased you are now feeling better. Yay for the arrival of spring. I want to grow more veg this year too. I only did tomatoes last year

OvenDelights said...

I love the flavor of marachino cherries! I've always wanted to test out a recipe using them! I'm going to have to make this recipe sometime in the future, it really looks delicious!

Stacie said...

I'm not a banana fan but I'd eat just about anything with a cream cheese drizzle like that! Yum!