Friday, January 14, 2011

Frosting on Top

The snow on the hay bales looked like frosting on a cake to me.

And I'm somewhat of an expert on frosting after Randy and I sampled sweet treats at a shop called Cupcake in downtown Columbia.

I ordered the red velvet with cream cheese icing.

Randy ordered the Death by Chocolate. It had chocolate ganache AND chocolate chips. YUM: There are no other words.

These creations reminded me of the confections on one of my new favorite Food Network shows, Cupcake Wars.

We split them down the middle and shared. I come from a long line of frosting lovers so the sky-high toppings were especially heavenly.

But they don't have anything on the frosting job that God does in nature.

And God's version has fewer calories. After the holidays and time on the road, I am in serious need of the low-calorie version.

BUT, if you're looking to make cake this weekend - or any other time - I have one for you to try. I made it for a ladies' brunch before Christmas, but I've made it many times when I've had ripe bananas to use.

Banana Spice Cake can be used as a coffee cake or as a dessert cake. I like making it in a Bundt cake to make it pretty, but I've also made it in a 13- by 9-inch pan.

And speaking of frosting, the ripe bananas in the icing give it a whole other layer of banana flavor. It is mighty good frosting!

Banana Spice Cake
with Cinnamon Banana Frosting
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1 cup water
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Banana Butter Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened (no substitutes)
1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp. light cream
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Cake: In large mixer bowl, combine cake mix, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, water, mashed bananas and oil. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth. Put batter half of batter into a Bundt pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with half of streusel mixture. Pour remaining batter on top of streusel. Sprinkle remaining streusel on top of the batter. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 50-55 minutes or until the cake tests done. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Loosen sides and center with a knife. Turn onto serving platter. Put platter on a cooling rack to continue cooling. Frost when cool.

Streusel: Combine all ingredients using a pastry blender. Mix well.

Frosting: In a large bowl, cream butter, mashed bananas and half of powdered sugar. Add cream. Add remaining powdered sugar and cinnamon, beating until smooth and creamy.

For a Bundt cake, I only make half of the icing recipe. The original recipe was used to frost a two-layer, 8-inch-round cake. For that, you'll need all 3 cups of the frosting. If you make a regular layer cake, you may want to skip the streusel as well. That was an addition I made to my Bundt cake version.

Drizzle the cooled cake with the icing. Sprinkle with chopped nuts (I used walnuts this time, but I've also used pecans.)


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