Sunday, May 24, 2009

Banana Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I don't usually make something twice. Unless it is really, really good.

So, when my friend asked me to make a couple of cakes for a family celebration, I thuoght back to this delicious banana cake with chocolate frosting. I made it for my son's 6th birthday and I remember how good it was. The cake is super moist, studded with delicious pecans, and the chocolate frosting is divine. The actual monkey was very difficult to decorate because although this frosting is delicious, it is very hard to spread or decorate with, but the taste makes it worth trying.
The second time I made the cake, we decided the monkey wasn't necessary and just made a double layer cake. I still made the yellow buttercream, just so there would be a splash of color to make it more interesting.
They loved it. If you need a party cake, this one tastes delicious and can please kids or adults and usually ends up doing both!

Monkey Cake from Martha Stewart
An animal theme can really get things swinging at a kid's birthday party. Indulge your child's penchant for monkey business with a fanciful banana cake with chocolate buttercream icing shaped and decorated to look like a curious friend.
Serves 10 to 12.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 very ripe, large bananas, mashed (about 1 1/3 cups)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup chopped pecans, optional
Fluffy Chocolate and Yellow Buttercreams
2 black-licorice drop candies
Black-licorice rope, for decorating
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8 1/2-inch-diameter 3-quart stainless-steel or ovenproof bowl and 1 cup of a large (1-cup capacity) muffin tin; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and brown sugar; mix on medium-high until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to medium; mix in flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with banana mixture. Stir in pecans.
Fill prepared muffin cup three-quarters full. Transfer remaining batter to prepared baking bowl. Transfer to oven, side by side. Bake cupcake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Let cool in tin on a wire rack. Continue baking large cake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes more (1 hour and 40 minutes total). Let cool in bowl on a wire rack 30 minutes. Invert bowl to remove cake; let cool completely.
Trim flat side of cake to be level. Trim away top of cupcake to be level. Cut cupcake in half vertically for the two monkey ears. Cut bowl cake in half horizontally to make 2 layers. Spread 3/4 cup chocolate buttercream on top of flat layer. Top with domed layer. Transfer to a cake plate. Spread a thick layer of chocolate buttercream over entire monkey head. Spread buttercream over cupcake ears. Attach ears to sides of head, top of cupcake facing forward, securing with toothpicks.
Place remaining chocolate frosting in a piping bag fitted with a small plain round tip (such as Ateco #5). Pipe dots around bottom edge of cake in a continuous line. Switch to a small multi-opening tip (such as Ateco #233); pipe hair on top of head.
Fill another piping bag fitted with a large plain round tip (such as Ateco #11) with yellow buttercream. Pipe an oval near the front base of cake. Fill in with frosting, and smooth. Place 2 small pieces of licorice rope inside for nose. Add a long piece of rope for mouth. Place licorice drops above oval for eyes. Pipe yellow half-circles in centers of ears; fill in with frosting, and smooth. Decorated cake can be refrigerated up to 3 hours.

Fluffy Chocolate and Yellow Buttercreams
Makes 3 3/4 cups chocolate frosting and 1 1/4 cups yellow frosting.
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
Yellow food coloring
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 stick butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 1/2 cups sugar; mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in food coloring to make pale yellow. Transfer to a small bowl; cover.
Put remaining 3 sticks butter in mixing bowl. Beat on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; add cocoa. Mix until smooth. With mixer running, add remaining 3 3/4 cups sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; mix on high speed until incorporated, 10 to 20 seconds more.

Up Next- TWD- Chipster Topped Brownies


Marie Rayner said...

Wonderful Mary Ann! Just wonderful. I love the expression on your little fella's face!

Risa said...

I love the Monkey Cake! It is so cute.

Steph said...

Your son is sooo cute! You did such an amazing job with the monkey cake.

Prudy said...

That monkey is just too perfect for the banana cake. It looks adorable. Your little monkey looks adorable too!

Engineer Baker said...

Too freaking adorable. I totally need to make more banana flavored things, and this might get added to my baking list...

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Oh, so cute!

Kerstin said...

I'm so impressed - that monkey cake is ADORABLE! And it looks so yummy too, I can see why you made it again!

J.L. Danger said...

soo cute! The cake sounds good too.

Heidi said...

What an adorable monkey cake! I love it.

Pamela said...

Yum to both versions!

TeaLady said...

How cute is THAT????

Cake's not bad either..... HaHA

Unknown said...

I loved that cake! Thanks for making it for me!

Sophie said...

That is the cutest cake :).

Unknown said...

ok, thank you! I feel like I am the only one that like Banana. Everyone lately seems to hate it.

The Food Librarian said...

Sooo cute! Great job.

Anonymous said...

Very nice recipe. I tried it out for thanksgiving and it was a big hit. Two changes: I used a little extra buttermilk (heavy cream and cream of tartar, actually) to make up for less-than-ripe bananas, and chocolate chips instead of nuts.

I always manage to dry out banana things, but this was moist and perfect. Oh, and I agree with everyone else who said it, your cake and kid are adorable.

Lesli Neilson said...

Dear Mary Ann,

Could I please have your permission to run your
recipe for the banana cake with buttercream frosting for a story I'm doing in The Salt Lake Tribune?

Originally I wanted to attempt to track down ZCMI bakery recipes. Since that was a bust, I was hoping to use local bloggers' recipes that were similar, yet updated, to readers' requests for ZCMI baked

The story is running a week from today, Dec. 8 in The Mix section.

Many thanks,

Lesli Neilson

natstam said...

How long can u store this for and what. Is the best way to store it?