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Banana Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting – our Easter Dinner dessert

Kid with Banana CakeI recently started using Pinterest and came across a link there to some banana cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting that looked good.  So, I decided to make the recipe into a layer cake as our dessert for yesterday’s Easter Dinner.  Several of the comments at the Dash of Sass website thought that the original recipe made too much frosting, so I took their suggestion and halved the frosting.  It still made more than enough to frost the cake.

I used organic unbleached white flour, but I might try whole wheat pastry flour the next time I make this.   I also did not have any buttermilk as the original recipe specified on hand, so used my regular substitute of mixing plain yogurt with whole milk, and that turned out fine.  I may add another egg next time I make this to get some more lift. The cake is similar in texture to banana bread or carrot cake.

For the cream cheese, I was looking for one that did not have a lot of thickeners and preservatives, so I used Nancy’s Organic Cultured Cream Cheese.   Unlike most cream cheese that is thickened by using guar gum and carob bean gum, this one uses probiotic cultures to thicken it and so is more natural and you get a bonus dose of probiotics.  🙂  It’s ingredients are: Organic cream, nonfat dry milk, L. acidophilus, B. bifidum and 4 strains of Lactic cultures, salt.

Mike and the girls all loved this recipe.  While it is definitely a rare treat with all that butter and sugar, I will make it again.  I tried “decorating” it with a star shape made out of cinnamon, but it didn’t come out that well.  🙂  On a positive note, if you are not that great at frosting cakes and occassionally get a bit of crumb in your frosting, the cinnamon flecks in the frosting will help hide that.

Banana Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups white flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder (such as Rumford)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup mashed bananas (about 3-4 bananas, very ripe)
  • 1/8 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 1 -2 Tbsp rum (spiced rum is even better), optional (if you leave out, add a bit more milk instead)
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) real butter
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs

Frosting:

  • 1 8-oz. package of cream cheese
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) real butter
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9″ cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon from the cake recipe. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the mashed bananas, yogurt, milk, vanilla and rum. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl (the big one that fits on your mixer), beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, blending entirely before adding the next egg.
  5. Once the eggs are combined, add the dry and wet ingredients in alternating order. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients, beat on slow to combine. Add 1/3 of the wet ingredients, beat on slow to combine. Repeat until all of the wet and dry ingredients have been combined.
  6. Scoop batter into prepared cake pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Let cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes before removing from cake pans. Let cakes cool completely on wire racks before applying frosting.
  8. While cakes are baking, prepare the frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add confectioners sugar in 1 cup increments. After 2 cups, check for desired sweetness. Continue adding confectioner’s sugar until you have achieved desired level of sweetness.  Blend in salt, vanilla and cinnamon. 
  9. Once cupcakes are completely cool, frost with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

Banana Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

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Orange Almond Cake – and it is even gluten-free

Sarah and I were watcOrange Almond Cake - slice with whole cake in backgroundhing Laura Calder’s “French Food at Home” show last weekend and she made this as part of her “French Africa” episode.  There are very few ingredients and it looked yummy, so Sarah wanted to make it.  She and Emma helped me in the kitchen today.

This deliciously moist cake really has just four ingredients: oranges, eggs, sugar, and almonds.  Three out of the four are wonderfully healthy. The eggs and almond meal give you some protein and allow you to make a Orange Almond Cake - admiring the cakelight flourless cake.  The oranges provide an intense taste, sweetness, and some Vitamin C.  Sugar… well, it is sugar.  I used a less refined version, but it is still sugar.  Based on 12 servings, each piece will have 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) of sugar in it.  Just plan on it being your treat for the day.

I used packaged almond flour, but you could always just grind up some raw unsalted almonds in your food processor instead.  The reason I specify organic oranges it that you are using the zest and you don’t want there to be pesticides on the skin.

The girls described this cake as: juicy, sweet, orangey, tangy and yummy.

– Stacey

Orange Almond Cake
Yield: 12 slices
Variation on Laura Calder’s recipe
 
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided, (3/4 cup goes in cake & 1/2 cup in the syrup)
  • 3 ORGANIC oranges, separate zest and juice (FYI, my 3 oranges yielded 1 cup juice)
  • 1 1/2 cups ground almonds AKA almond mealOrange Almond Cake - Preparing the ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier, optional (I used peach schnapps, what I had in the cabinet)
  • Candied orange zest or rind, optional for garnish (I pulled a few bits of orange rind out of some orange marmalade)
  • Whipped cream, optional for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and line with parchment a 9-to-10-inch springform pan.
  2. Separate the eggs into two bowls.  Beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cups of the sugar, and the orange zest until bright yellow.  Then, stir in the ground almonds.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.Orange Almond Cake - ready to go into the oven
  4. Stir a few spoonfuls of whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the rest, gently.  Keep it light and fluffy.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until set, about 40-45 minutes.
  6. While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup.  Heat the orange juice and remaining 1/2 cup sugar together in a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and stir in the optional liqueur.
  7. When the cake is done baking, remove it from the oven and spoon the syrup evenly over the cake, letting the syrup soak in as you go; it will absorb all of it.
  8. Let cool, then unmold onto a serving platter. Serve the cake with candied orange zest on top and whipped cream on the side.

Orange Almond Cake - finished cake

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