I know, I know. No posts during the week of Thanksgiving, which is probably the single most important holiday for food bloggers – or, as I overheard a woman telling her mother in the grocery store last Wednesday night, "This is the Black Friday of grocery store shopping". But the fact is, I didn't make anything for Thanksgiving this year, and so I didn't have anything to share. We went to a friend's house, and brought pie (and it was store-bought! But only because it had a croissant (!) crust and was from the best bakery in Brooklyn.)
If you're not on a post-Thanksgiving cleanse (and let's be honest, I'm not) then you should definitely make this cake. It was my birthday last weekend and, not being content with store-bought cake (blasphemy) I decided to try out a couple of new recipes. I combined this banana cake recipe (the two-layer recipe makes about 20 cupcakes + one mini cake) from Smitten Kitchen with the best cream cheese frosting recipe I have ever found (the secret: use cream cheese and mascarpone for icing that's not too sweet or tart). These would also make great cupcakes to bring to a party should you find yourself tired of Christmas cookies.
Happy belated Thanksgiving to you all, and hope you're all enjoying this happiest of seasons.
Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Makes about 24 cupcakes, or one 2-layer cake)
Cake (modified from Smitten Kitchen):
3 1/2 cups cake flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup sugar 1 cup packed golden brown sugar 4 large eggs 2 cups mashed or pureed very ripe bananas (5 to 6 large) 6 tablespoons sour cream or (weight will vary) plain yogurt 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottoms of 2 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper, then coat the paper and sides of pans with butter and flour, or a nonstick spray OR line 2 12-cup muffin tins with muffin cups.
Whisk cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl and set aside. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until blended. Beat in eggs one at a time, then bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients in two additions just until combined. Divide batter among two pans; you’ll want approximately 5 cups of batter per pan.
Bake cake until tester inserted into center of each layer comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. [Muffin cups should bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Please watch them carefully.] Cool each layer in its pan for 15 minutes before flipping out onto a rack to cool the rest of the way.
Frosting (modified from Food & Wine):
8 ounces mascarpone, at room temperature 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone and cream cheese until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar and beat until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. Cover and refrigerate the frosting until it is firm enough to spread, about 1 hour.