Cake #3 Banana Cake with Coffee Walnut Buttercream frosting

This cake was very similar to the Banana Friendship Cake Kristina and I had made for Michal’s wedding, the main differences being that this one was made to be three layers rather than two, and it called for regular flour rather than pastry flour.

Since this cake called for three layers, and I had never needed three cake pans, I had to go buy one. I had hoped to get one exactly like my other two, which are 8-inch Wilton pans from Michael’s, but when I went to Michael’s all they had was this weird new brand called “Buff”. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it but apparently it is a male baker who specialized in edible airbrush paint cake decorating. Weird. But I needed the pan right away and it was similar in style to my wilton pans so I went with it. I noticed “Buff” gives some tips on his stuff so I read what they were and one of them was new to me; he says that if a cake calls for baking soda (rather than baking powder), make sure there is an acidic component in the ingredients as well, such as vinegar, citrus juice, or buttermilk. Otherwise the cake may taste like soap. I found this tip very helpful because one of the first cakes Kristina and I tested out was a coconut cake that tasted like soap when it was done, and it also didn’t seem to rise properly. Now I am wondering if we accidentally omitted something like vinegar in the ingredients which caused it to turn out so horribly! It was very eye-opening regarding that cake and we are both determined to try it again.

We have both been on a tea kick since the Downton Abbey premier, so I made us a pot of Rose tea from the Florian café in Venice from April when Ian and I went there. It was made in my happy new Royal Albert teapot set that Mimi & Pa (Kristina and Paul) Elseth bought me for Christmas. Tea is such a happy thing!

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The ingredients:

Cake ingredients

Cake ingredients

(Like below, many of the images are VERY yellow. I think a setting unknowingly got flipped in the middle of picture taking and at the time I was very much ignorant of how to change settings on our camera)

Frosting Ingredients

Frosting Ingredients

Preparing the pans:
Drawing circles around the shape of the pans

Drawing circles around the shape of the pans

Cutting out the traced circles

Cutting out the traced circles

greasing the pans

greasing the pans

Putting the parchment in the greased pans

Putting the parchment in the greased pans

Greasing the pans again

Greasing the pans again

Flour dusting the greased pans

Flour dusting the greased pans

So far these cakes all begin the same way once the pans are prepared; sifting the dry ingredients together, and then creaming the butter with the sugar separately. Then the eggs and the standard dry, wet, dry, wet, dry additions:

Dry ingredients...

Dry ingredients…

Sifting

Sifting

Whisking the sifted

Whisking the sifted

Buttermilk with the banana mush

Buttermilk with the banana mush

Butter

Butter

Sugar

Sugar

Vanilla

Vanilla

After creaming the vanilla, scraping down the bowl before adding eggs

After creaming the vanilla, scraping down the bowl before adding eggs

Eggs, always one at a time

Eggs, always one at a time

Dry

Dry

wet

wet

Scraping the bowl

Scraping the bowl

Final mix

Final mix

I like to make sure the batter in my pans is perfectly even, so I use a measuring scoop to distribute the batter.

Making sure they're all evenly distributed

Making sure they’re all evenly distributed

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Smoothing the tops

Smoothing the tops

Into the oven

Into the oven

Setting the timer

Setting the timer

Done and ready to come out of the oven

Done and ready to come out of the oven

Testing to be sure

Testing to be sureReady for the cooling rack

Cooling

Cooling

Next, the frosting. This is where it got more interesting. Frostings can sometimes be extremely easy and simple (like my German Chocolate Cake frosting), or they can be very complex. The ease of the frosting does not determine the tastiness of it, but sometimes you just need it to be of a certain consistency in order to compliment the cake. As you may have guessed, this one was a bit more complicated.

Getting some ingredients ready

Measuring out some ingredients ahead of time 

Separating eggs

Separating eggs

I had to separate 5 eggs. I know that you can freeze yolks and whites of eggs, so when I made the Harvey Wallbanger cake, I had frozen 5 egg whites. If I had looked in the freezer the day before making this cake, I could have removed the whites from the freezer and made perfect use of them in this cake! Ah well. Now I have 5 eggs, separated, in my freezer.

However, I should get points for thinking to toast the walnuts *almost* first thing in this recipe, since I couldn’t toast them while the cake was baking. I sped up their cooling process by sticking them in a dish and placing them in my freezer.

Making sure I have the right amount of walnuts

Making sure I have the right amount of walnuts

Spreading them onto the pan to toast

Spreading them onto the pan to toast

I made sure to tell the hubby not to finish off the Maker’s 46 (Bourbon Whiskey) before I made this cake so I could use it in the recipe :)

I made sure to tell the hubby not to finish off the Maker’s 46 (Bourbon Whiskey) before I made this cake so I could use it in the recipe 🙂

It is important to get level with liquid ingredients to make sure it’s really lined up with your measuring cup’s line.

It is important to get level with liquid ingredients to make sure it’s really lined up with your measuring cup’s line.

Then came the egg white part. Important to get these egg whites hot, but not too hot. I don’t have a candy thermometer (yet), and a meat thermometer just doesn’t do the trick unfortunately, so I had to go by touch.

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Then to the mixer to get these guys whipped up!

Who needs a fancy kitchen timer when you have an iPhone at your disposal?

Who needs a fancy kitchen timer when you have an iPhone at your disposal?

 

 

This frosting recipe was similar to the frosting we used for the strawberry cake, but that recipe called for cold butter in slices dumped in, and this one called for room temperature butter in cubes one at a time.

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After this my beautiful photographer had to leave so I was on my own for photos. I just had to add a mixture of bourbon, pureed walnuts, and instant coffee grounds to the buttercream mixture, to create a lovely and light frosting for the cake.

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The cakes were a little domed so I used my trusty saw to even off the tops.

You use two hands, but one of mine was holding a camera ;)

You use two hands, but one of mine was holding a camera 😉

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You can see in the corner that I taste-tested the cake top – it was yummy

Plop

Plop

Crumb coat and chill

Crumb coat and chill

All around layer

All around layer

 

Beautify

Beautify

To prevent the frosting from being removed with the parchment, I chill the cake a little to stiffen it up, and then the parchment comes out without ruining the cake. I often forget this tip and then I’m frustrated with the way it turns out.

With just a few slices leftover, this one was a big hit at Community Group this week. It always makes me happy when people like my food 🙂

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2 Responses to Cake #3 Banana Cake with Coffee Walnut Buttercream frosting

  1. Pingback: #46 Black & White Cake and Edible Babies | Sweet Tooth Mama

  2. Pingback: Baby Ultrasound | Sweet Tooth Mama

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