Sing it with me: "This cake is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. This cake is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S."
It's also chocolate. And cream cheese. And caramel. But mainly it's bananas. And it's delicious.
I had a bunch of ripe bananas hanging out in the fridge the other day, and I decided that they needed to be made into a cake. I found a well-rated banana cake recipe on Epicurious, and decided to amp it up with the addition of chocolate chips and a chocolate cream cheese frosting that is still a bit tangy, not too sweet. And I added some caramel on top too, just because I could. The result is a decadent, flavorful cake that puts banana bread to shame.
Ingredients for the cake:
2 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon plus pinch of salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large or 3 small/medium)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup chocolate chips
+ 2 more large bananas, sliced (for filling)
Directions for the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides; dust pans with flour.. Combine cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Mix mashed bananas, buttermilk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in another medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and the sugar in large bowl until blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Add dry ingredients alternately with banana mixture in 3 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients and beating just until blended after each addition. Mix in the chocolate chips. Divide batter equally among prepared pans.
Bake cakes until tops are just beginning to color and tester inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 20 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 10 minutes. Using small knife, cut around cakes to loosen; turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting.
Ingredients for frosting:
12 oz. cream cheese (about 1.5 sticks), at room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
Directions for chocolate cream cheese frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 tablespoon vanilla and a pinch of salt. Add in the chocolate powder. Gradually beat in the confectioner's sugar. (The frosting should still be tangy and cream-cheesy, but with a slightly sweet edge. If you like the frosting sweeter, you can add up to 3 cups of confectioner's sugar.) Put in fridge for 15-20 mins. until frosting is firm enough to spread.
Now fill the cake: Spread a thin layer of frosting on the top of one layer of the cake. Place the sliced bananas in an even layer over the frosting. Then spread a thin layer of frosting on the bottom of the other layer of cake. Put this layer over the first layer, so that the two cake layers are sandwiching the frosting/banana filling.
Next, frost the rest of the cake. Add, if desired, a thin layer of homemade or store-bought caramel (I used Trader Joe's salted caramel spread). Cover and chill. Let stand at room temperature for one hour before serving.
Consume cake for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Be very, very happy.