Tomorrow is the last day our landscape architecture studio is meeting (hopefully!). Its finals week here on campus, so classes are finishing up and projects are being completed. I decided to make a cake and take it to our studio since I’m always looking for a reason to try new baking recipes.
Today I made a banana cake with whipped cream icing topped with coconut. I have tons of frozen bananas in my freezer, so it gave me a good reason to make this recipe out of my Modern Baker book (I love this book!) He has all kinds of recipes for baking sweets and savory dishes.
Yes, you can freeze bananas. It’s a great way to use them when they’ve gone past their prime for regular eating. I usually buy bananas every week, but sometimes they go brown before I get to eat all of them. To freeze bananas, simply put them in the freezer as is, with peel and all. When you want to use them, just defrost them.
Mashed bananas from the freezer
I’ve found a good way to do this. Simply cut off the stem part of the bananas and defrost them in the microwave 1-2 minutes, depending on how many you have. I had three. Then I take a cutting knife and split the skin down the middle on one side. Then I peel back the skin. That’s it! They’re perfectly good. I like thawing them this way because they seem to become less watery, which is what happens when you thaw them in the refrigerator. It is still okay to do this. You can use the liquid in your baking, but you can also drain it if you want to.
Bananas have a high fat content, which is why they freeze well. If you want to use them in baking, make sure you let the bananas get really brown before you freeze them. This creates more of the banana flavor in the baked good. You can also use frozen bananas in smoothies.
BANANA COCONUT CAKE
- 2-1/3 C all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1-1/2sticks butter
- 2/3 C sugar
- 1/3 C dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 C mashed bananas (about 3)
- 2/3 C milk
WHIPPED CREAM ICING
- 2 C whipping cream (1 pint)
- a little less than 1/4 C sugar
- shredded coconut
TO MAKE CAKE:
- In one bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In another bowl, combine butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla.
- Beat until light in color.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- In another bowl, combine milk and bananas.
- Add 1/3 of flour mixture to the mix of butter, sugars, and eggs.
- Add in half of the banana mixture, and alternate 1/3 flour, 1/2 banana, and then 1/3 flour.
- Prepare baking dishes to your liking.
- Either butter, spray with oil, and/or line with parchment in bottoms.
- Bake cake in two 9 inch round pans, or one large square 9X13 baking dish.
- Bake 25-30 minutes at 350.
- Cool the cake in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely (so icing won’t melt).
TO MAKE WHIPPING CREAM
- Combine heavy whipping cream and sugar.
- Whisk until thick, about 10 minutes by hand (or let a mixer do it for you!).
*To stabilize the whipping cream, use a chilled metal bowl for the mixing. You may also purchase a whipping cream stabilizer packet at the store, or add in a teaspoon of cream of tartar. I used a packet of whipping cream stabilizer. This prevents the whipping cream from getting watery while sitting.
Frost the cake and sprinkle with the shredded coconut.
I like icing the bottom of the cake because it is rougher in texture and allows the icing to stay on better.
*For an even more sophisticated cake, add in a tablespoon of dark rum to both the cake and icing mixtures. This is called for in the original recipe.