Friday, September 11, 2009

Going Bananas

Another birthday at work. The birthday girl didn't request a particular cake, so I went in search of something different I hadn't made before. I had made a Fresh Banana Cake in the past but this one was a bit different. This recipe is all over the Internet, so I thought it must be a good one. From the comments, I think it might just be a winner. Following is how I made it.


¾ cups butter
2 cups granulated sugar
3 whole eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
1-½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1-½ cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1-½ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3)


1/4 cup butter, softened
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 275 (that’s not a typo, check your oven to be sure it is working properly.) My oven is kind of slow, so I used 300 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan. In a small bowl, mix mashed bananas with lemon juice; set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup softened butter and the 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk. Stir in banana mixture. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour (it took mine 1 hour, 10 minutes), or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove pan from oven and place directly into freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist.

For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream 1/4 cup butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then beat on high until frosting is smooth. Spread on cooled cake. Sprinkle pecans (optional).

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dinosaur Birthday Cake

I had a birthday a few weeks ago. I've been watching my sugar intake recently, so my son baked this sugar-free cheesecake for my birthday. My 3-year-old grandson decided that Gram needed a dinosaur on her cake, so he decorated it. For someone who hasn't had many treats lately, this tasted just great to me!


24 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup extra-fine whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar substitute (he used Splenda)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon no sugar added vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 eggs
3 egg yolks

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8 inch springform pan with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside. In a shallow roasting pan big enough to fit the cake pan, pour about 1-inch of water and place it on the center rack of the oven to preheat. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat softened cream cheese, ricotta, sour cream and sugar substitute on low speed for about 1 minute until well blended. In a separate bowl, using a wire whisk, mix heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, eggs, and egg yolks until blended. Turn the mixer on medium speed and slowly pour the egg mixture into the cream cheese mixture. Beat just until blended and then turn off; be careful not to over-whip. Pour batter into the greased springform pan. Place pan into the heated water bath. Bake for 15 minutes, and then lower the oven temperature to 275 degrees. Continue baking for 1 1/2 hours, or until top is light golden brown and cake is pulling away from the sides of the pan. Turn the oven off when finished cooking and leave the cake in the oven to cool for 3 more hours. (This will keep the cake nice and tall.) Then remove cake and refrigerate before serving. Serve chilled.