"Let's have a merry journey, and shout about how light is good and dark is not. What we should do is not future ourselves so much. We should now ourselves. "NOW thyself" is more important than "Know thyself." Reason is what tells us to ignore the present and live in the future. So all we do is make plans. We think that somewhere there are going to be green pastures. It's crazy. Heaven is nothing but a grand, monumental instance of future. Listen, now is good. Now is wonderful." ~ Mel Brooks

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Our favorite Birthday Cake

Birthday cake! It's a happy ending to a lovely day full of surprises, warm hugs, visits from friends and family. We seem to have a bit of a traditional cake in our home......quite by accident. It began in 2006 when my DH challenged me to make a peanut butter frosting. He loves peanut butter and would (and will) eat it with most things. I remember seeing a bunch of bananas hanging in our kitchen that had gone past their raw consumption stage and thought "Hmm, banana cake and peanut butter frosting! Perfect!!" And it is. It's divine on so many levels. The cake is so moist and not overly sweet. Walnuts (or pecans, your choice) add a wonderful texture and earthiness.

Now, for the frosting......I am typically not a fan of frosting. My sweet tooth has seemed to wane as I age so I tend to think about ways to decorate a cake that doesn't necessarily mean slathering it with a thick, sugar sludge! I've experimented with whipped cream "frosting" and cream cheese frosting. Both have a gentle sweetness, one that won't hurt your teeth. A light dusting of powdered sugar suffices sometimes or a dainty drizzle of melted chocolate or lemon glaze. Anyway, I however, couldn't manage to think of eating this cake without it's counterpart, it's partner in crime, it's soul mate! Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting....... since 2006 it's been a birthday staple in our home. You won't be sorry to try this for a celebration cake in your home!

Singing "Happy Birthday" to each other xo
Make a wish......

Banana Cake Recipe
2 cups of AP flour (I substitute a gluten free AP flour)
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 stick of unsalted room temp. butter
(VEGAN:: sub. same amount, if you choose)
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 eggs
(VEGAN:: sub. 2 tbsp of cornstarch w/ 1 tbsp of water per egg
OR the bananas should be enough as this recipe calls for extra)
4-5 ripe bananas
1 tbsp. vanilla
1/2 c. buttermilk
(VEGAN:: sub. same amount of soy/rice/almond milk with 1 tsp. of lemon juice
and let set for 5 minutes OR use equal amount of vegan sour cream)
1 cup chopped nuts
(I generally prefer pecans or walnuts)
~ Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
~ Grease the bottoms and sides of 2-8 inch round pans
~ Put all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together (that's how I sift)
~ Cream together the butter and sugar. Add your eggs (vegan option, too), bananas and
vanilla and beat for a few minutes.
~ Alternately add your dry ingredients and your buttermilk, mixing after each addition.
~ Fold in nuts if your using them.
~ Pour batter equally into each pan and bake for about 30 minutes or when tooth pick inserted
(or tip of knife) comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes or so and then turn them out
on a wire rack to cool completely.
Peanut Butter Frosting
6 oz. of room temperature cream cheese
(Vegan: use vegan cream cheese)
1/2 stick butter
(Vegan:: use vegan butter)
1 lb. of confectioners' sugar
(I don't use all of it, sweeten to your taste)
3/4 c. of peanut butter
1 tbsp. of vanilla
1 tbsp. of milk
(as needed and sub. soy/rice/almond milk for Vegan option)
~ Cream together the cream cheese and butter
~ Gradually add your sugar and continue beating after each addition
~ Add your peanut butter and vanilla
~ If the frosting becomes too thick, add your milk (at any point)
Frost and decorate your cake and Enjoy!!!! I promise you won't be disappointed!
Does your family have any birthday traditions? I would love to hear them!!!

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