My daughter’s first birthday was yesterday. At 7:45 on the morning of January 13th, my sweet little girlie, Elizabeth, was born. Her birthday not only marks her turning one year old. The celebration of Elizabeth’s first birthday is also a time to honor my survival as a mother. I made it. I entered the world of atomic poopy diapers, endless feedings and sleepless nights and exited through the final months of ear infections and tortuous-for-everyone teething, but I am still alive and even sane. So, naturally I was not going to miss the opportunity to punctuate my endurance with a delicious birthday cake for all. I was determined to make my first daughter’s first birthday cake. And I did.
I even practiced. I made one layer of this tasty cake and even frosted the trial dish.
And it turned out okay. The dry run gave me the confidence to actually make the real dish.
I did have a few new tools for this cake. #1: An 8 inch Wilton performance pan. #2 A CAKE LEVELER! which let me cut the top of the cake, giving me a flat surface to work with. This is the coolest thing ever. It was something like $3 at Walmart. I am in love with my cake leveler.
Now on to the making of the actual cake:
I decided on a banana cake because I hoped it would get most of the flavor from the banana and have less sugar, thus being easier for little baby tummies. Unfortunately the cream cheese frosting had a lot, I mean a lot, of sugar in it.
Once I decided the flavor, I needed to decide the style. I went with a two-layer cake, which I had never done before.
Then I started working.
First I had to mash bananas. I don’t have a proper banana mashing tool, whatever that is. So, I used an egg slicer to get the party started.
Unconventional, I know, but it worked. And because I doubled my recipe, to make the two layers, I needed two cups of mashed bananas. By the way, if you don’t know mashed banana goo is very sticky and messy.
Then you must cream the sugar and margarine or butter. The amount of butter and sugar is somewhat frightening, so I will spare you that information, for now.Then add eggs, sticky banana mess, and some scrumptious smelling vanilla extract. Blend that up. Then you are going to alternate adding the dry ingredients with the sour milk. (note: sour milk is not sold in stores. don’t ask. you can make it by mixing 1 cup of milk with1 tablespoon lemon juice or white distilled vinegar and let it sit for 15 minutes) Once you blend everything together you should have a nice batter to pour into your pan. The 8-inch pan calls for 3 cups of cake batter. To grease your pan: spread oil or shortening inside and then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over the oil or shortening. This should help keep your cake from sticking to the pan.
Hopefully after 40-50 minutes at 350°F the cake will come out of the oven looking something like this.
Repeat to make second layer and then let both cakes cool completely. I cooled mine overnight in the fridge. Once they are cooled you can level them and start the frosting process.
Making the frosting is pretty easy. You beat the cream cheese and butter together and then add powdered sugar to taste. The less powdered sugar you use, the more the frosting will taste like cream cheese. If you are going for a healthier option, less powdered sugar is the way to go.
If you want color don’t forget the food coloring. I thought the cream cheese gave the frosting and food coloring a nice earthy tone. I really liked the pink I ended up with.
Now it is time to start putting the cake together. Starting with a leveled layer, add a dam by piping a circle of icing around the edge of your cake.
Then just fill in the middle with frosting, like so.
Once you have covered the first layer, it is time to put the next layer on. Put the second layer with the bottom facing up. Scary, I know. I was so afraid I would drop the cake or make it uneven. But I managed to get that second layer up there without any major disaster.
See! It is possible. Now for the fun part: Actually icing the cake. Start by putting a giant glob on top and work that away from the center. As you push the icing off the top, don’t worry, you will use that to frost the sides. Keep pulling from the center glob, adding more icing if you need to, which you will. Once the top was covered I added more frosting to the center of the cake and pulled it down off the top to ice the sides. If you pull up from the sides or toward the middle, you will end up with crumbs in your frosting.
Keep pulling the frosting off the middle and down the sides until, voila, the cake is frosted and you can add any decorations or personal touches. I used a cheap cake decorating set from Walmart to decorate mine. Here is the finished product on location at Elizabeth’s party.
Here are the details up close.I was so afraid I would mess up that “E”!
Yummy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
The original recipe is one I got off of Recipezaar.com and I tweaked the recipe until I was satisfied and it became my own. I hope you enjoy!
1 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups mashed banana
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of salt
1 cup sour milk
16 oz cream cheese
1 cup butter or margarine
mash bananas, set aside
sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside
cream margarine and sugar
add bananas, eggs, and vanilla extract
add 1/3 of dry ingredients to banana mixture, then 1/2 cup of sour milk , then 1/3 of dry ingredients, 1/2 cup of sour milk, then the rest of the dry ingredient, blending after each addition
spread oil or shortening on the pan then sprinkle with flour until the oil or shortening is covered
once mixture is well blended, pour 3 cups of cake batter into an 8 inch circular pan
bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes, until toothpick or fork pulls out clean
frosting: beat cream cheese and butter
add powdered sugar to taste
-Sarah, One Curly Mama