It's super important to make sure the whipped cream cheese is truly at room temperature before you use it. If not, it chills the softened butter and makes for lumpy frosting. —Jeanne Ambrose, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 large)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup chopped unsalted pistachios, toasted
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 2 containers (8 ounces each) whipped cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup baking cocoa
- 4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Additional chopped unsalted pistachios, toasted, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in bananas and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Fold in 3/4 cup pistachios.
- Transfer to two greased and floured 8-in. round baking pans. Bake 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add cocoa; mix until blended. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until creamy.
- Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread top with 1 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake. Spread top and sides with 2 cups frosting. Press pistachios into sides of cake if desired.
- Cut a small hole in the corner of a large pastry or plastic bag; insert #127 petal pastry tip. Fill the bag with remaining frosting. Pipe concentric circles of frosting over top of cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until frosting is set. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting in Taste of Home February/March 2012, p71
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