Bakey Day

Today was bake-y. I don’t like to bake as well as I like to cook, and I’m not as good at it. However, a friend asked me to make my banana cake for her Yom Kippur celebration, so I figured while I was baking I’d just keep on.

banana cake

The recipe is from the Silver Palate Cookbook.

Banana Cake

½ pound (2 sticks) sweet butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ to 2 medium-size, firm but ripe, bananas, sliced
1 ½ cups shelled chopped walnuts

Cream-Cheese Frosting

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
honey to taste (about 2 tablespoons)

For cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour two 9-inch layer cake pans.
  • Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add mashed bananas, mixing thoroughly.
  • Sift dry ingredients and add to butter and egg mixture.  Stir until flour has been incorporated completely.  Add buttermilk and vanilla.  Mix for 1 minute.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pans.  Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool in pans on a rack for 10 minutes.  Unmold and cool on rack for 2 hours.
  • When cooled, place one layer on a serving plate and frost with Cream-Cheese Frosting.  Arrange slices of banana over frosting; cover with second layer and frost top and sides of cake.
  • Cover sides of cake with chopped nuts, holding nuts in palm and pressing firmly to sides of cake.

This cake is really delicious, but the layers are very short, making for a short squat cake. For that reason, I always double the recipe and make four layers, using three for the finished cake and saving one in the freezer for emergency dessert cravings. The amount of frosting in this recipe works for the three layers.

After I made the banana cake, I started thinking about pumpkin, for some reason. Everyone has pumpkin-everything right now, and I have been wanting some. So I broke out my friend Andrea’s Pumpkin Brownie recipe, because…yum.

pumpkin brownies

Pumpkin Brownies

1 cup melted butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup cooked pumpkin
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat eggs well.  Beat in sugar, butter, pumpkin, and vanilla.  Add flour, mixing well; then add spices.  Spread brownie mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 9 inch pan.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.  Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting, if desired.

And this was dinner.  In anticipation of the Pumpkin Brownie orgy to come, I opted not to use the meat in order to save a few calories.  Probably didn’t help much.

pad Thai

Pad Thai

8 ounces rice noodles
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon ketchup
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
8 ounces diced cooked chicken or shrimp (optional)
2 cups bean sprouts
4 sliced green onions
1/3 cup chopped peanuts
chopped peanuts, lime wedges, chopped cilantro

  • Soak rice noodles in boiling water for at least 20 minutes.
  • Mix together fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, ketchup, and red pepper flakes.  Set aside.
  • In a wok, heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil.  Add garlic and stir-fry until brown.  Add eggs and stir-fry until egg is scrambled.  Add meat if using.  Add drained softened noodles and sauce mixture.  Combine well, then stir-fry for at least 3-4 minutes or until noodles are completely soft.  If mixture seems dry, add a little water.
  • Add bean sprouts, green onions, and peanuts; cook until bean sprouts are wilted and everything is heated through.  Garnish with more chopped peanuts, lime wedges, and chopped cilantro.
Okay, I’m off to share some of the pumpkin brownies with the neighbors before I eat them all.
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11 Responses to Bakey Day

  1. I love bakey days, and I especially love banana cake. By the way, those pumpkin brownies look really delicious – but perhaps a more apt name would be pumpkin blondies? After all, they contain no chocolate. I made blondies today as well, they are so yum.

    • sbuent says:

      Good point about the blondie/brownie thing–the recipe was given to me with the “brownie” name and that’s what I always call them. Maybe it’s time to switch!

  2. pat brown says:

    Everything looks delicious. How about taking an order for me for
    when the kids come for their visit? Blond pumpkin brownies, as well?
    I loved the p’ad Tai. Would like to make that, for sure. I love your blog.

  3. Wow! That banana cake look out of this world delicious. Looks like it would make a good birthday cake for banana lovers like me!

  4. huntfortheverybest says:

    pumpkin brownies sound yummy!

  5. Vicki says:

    You mention vanilla when mixing ingredients together for the brownies, but it’s not in the ingredients section. How much vanilla?

    • Susan says:

      Oops, sorry, Vicki. It’s 1 tsp, but to tell the truth I just made these again yesterday and did not add the vanilla at all. Really couldn’t tell much difference.

  6. Mmm…I’ve found my new pumpkin goody recipe for the holiday season!! Looks super simple…and super yummy…can’t wait to try them. I came across your blog, through Facebook – thanks for sharing!! 🙂

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