Whenever I'm in a bakery, there is always one thing my eyes are drawn to and that my heart completely fawns all over: the tall, beautiful layer cakes. Then my brain kicks in and reminds me that being in my apartment with an entire cake in my fridge would probably be a bad, bad thing, so I always end up staring longingly through the glass and going home with a cream cheese croissant. I've thought about making one myself, but the thought of making a layer cake has always intimidated me.
Luckily, my new neighbor just so happens to be a professional cake baker! I brought over 6 really spotty, mushy bananas, and together we made the banana cake that I had at my birthday. Ali walked me through the steps on how to properly cut cakes in half, how to create a crumb coat, and how to end up with smooth frosting over everything. (A video tutorial will be coming shortly!) The cake was incredible and tastes so much like the banana cake at my favorite bakery Icing on the Cake. If you love banana desserts, go get some spotty bananas and make this asap!
Note: The recipe below makes one 8" cake. We doubled the recipe to make two 8" cakes for one 8" 4-layer cake. (Layers are so fun!)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3; the riper/mushier/spottier the better)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup shortening (we substituted shortening for butter because shortening kind of freaks me out)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Allow eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease one 8" round cake pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add bananas, buttermilk, shortening (or butter), and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Add eggs; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cake layers from pans; cool thoroughly on racks. Frost with cream cheese icing.