June 11, 2012

Pink Banana Layer Cake

The design of this cake was certainly unexpected. I was supposed to pipe pink buttercream flowers to decorate the top of the cake, but I changed the plan when the flowers started to melt and my wrist started to ache when I tried piping again. The colour of the outside of the cake wasn't supposed to be pink too. It just happened to be that the pink buttercream flowers didn't work out, so I had to coat the cake with pink frosting. Then an idea suddenly popped in my mind when I was trying to figure out on how to decorate the top of the cake: Marshmallow flowers. Why not? I know the flowers don't look  right, but they do resemble them a little. It may also look a little childish and silly, but in the end I was happy with it, except when some of the marshmallow petals decided not to stick together anymore.

I didn't intend on making a banana cake too. I was setting out a plan on baking a red velvet cake this week, which is something I have never made before. But the overripe bananas in the fruit bowl had my mother asking me to make something with it before they turn into black, mouldy fruit. The banana cake with cream cheese frosting recipe from Taste.com.au was one of the first cakes I made a few years ago when I was a beginner in baking. I wanted to change the basic recipe a little and turn it into a layer cake by increasing the amount of ingredients by 1.5 times. This ensured that I had three nice, slightly tall layers instead of just one large layer. I rarely bake cakes that have one layer anymore.

The pictures in this post look a little different and 'unnatural' because when I made the cake, it was a dark, cloudy day. What I don't like about cloudy days is that they make me sad and lazy and they aren't so good when it comes to providing natural light for taking photos. So I had no choice but to use bright artifical light, which in the end turned out better than I thought. This cake also reminds me of the Brown Butter Pink Ombre Daisy Cake with Strawberry Jam from Raspberri Cupcakes. Although I didn't attempt at making an ombre icing, the pink colour and the flowers on top make it look similar to her cake (but it is so much better than mine).

The cake tasted pretty good with a great banana flavour. It is slightly dense and on the heavy side, but since it is a banana cake, it isn't fluffy and light like a vanilla cake would. And it was a bit too sweet for me since the frosting and marshmallows were already quite sweet themselves. Hence, I recommend reducing the amount of sugar in the cake to 1 cup instead of 1 and a half. I'll leave it up to you if you decide to make this banana cake. The flavour is great and the cake is moist but if you're looking for one with a lighter crumb, I'd say this cake isn't for you. Anyway, I'll be back soon with another post next week!

Banana Layer Cake adapted from Taste.com.au


187.5 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup of sugar
3 large mashed bananas
3 eggs
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
150 ml of milk
337 grams (2 and 1/4 cups) of self-raising flour (or add about 2 teaspoons of baking powder to plain flour)
1 teaspoon of baking soda


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (356 degrees F). Grease and line three 8 inch cake tins with baking/parchment paper.
2. Beat butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until combined. Mix in the vanilla extract, mashed bananas and milk and stir to incorporate.
3. Sift the flour and baking soda into the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter or the cake will come out tough and dry.

4. Divide the batter evenly into three cake pans and bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in tins for 10 minutes, before allowing them to cool completely on a wire rack.
5. Make the best-ever-frosting, which is the cooked flour frosting with the cream cheese added (or you can use any type of frosting you like, cream cheese frosting is another good one).
6. Assemble the cake by spreading 3/4 cups of frosting on each layer, working your way up to the final third layer. Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of frosting and put it in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, make the marshmallow flowers by taking a few marshmallows and cutting them horizontally into two or three halves (it depends on the size of the marshmallows). Press the sticky side of the marshmallow halves in sprinkles and pinch five pieces together to make a flower. Repeat with the rest of the marshmallows.
8. Colour the rest of the frosting pink with a little pink food gel colouring. Frost the outside of the whole cake with the remaining frosting evenly and smooth it out. Top with the marshmallow flowers. Best served at room temperature.

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