Banana Cake

3 large ripe bananas, mashed (1 1/2 cups)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature *
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature **
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature ***

8 oz. full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature ****
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature *
1/8 tsp. salt
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13" pan.

Mash the bananas and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

Cream the butter with a mixer, on high speed, until smooth and creamy, about a minute.  Add both sugars and beat on high speed for at least two minutes.

Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed until combined. Then, beat in the mashed bananas.

With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, and mixing each addition until incorporated. Do not over-mix. The batter will be slightly thick and a few lumps is OK.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Keep an eye on the cake and if it appears to be browning too quickly, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. After about 45 minutes, you place it in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy using an electric mixer on high speed.

Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes.

Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. This helps set the frosting and makes cutting easier.

Cover left over cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

To make about 2 dozen cupcakes from this recipe, fill cupcake liners halfway and bake for 20-22 minutes at the same oven temperature.

*If you don't have unsalted butter, replace it with salted butter and reduce the amount of salt in the recipe by 1/4 tsp. for every stick (1/2 cup) of butter. 

To soften butter to room temperature, you can microwave refrigerated butter on high for 11 seconds, or you can microwave a ceramic bowl with a little bit of water, then remove the water and place the bowl over the butter and wait 1-2 minutes.

**To bring eggs to room temperature, run very warm, but not hot, water into a bowl. Place your cold eggs into the water gently and wait 5-7 minutes. Hot water can make the cold eggs crack and leak.

***If you don't have butter milk, you can sour whole milk by adding 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to each 1 cup of milk. Be sure to put the juice or vinegar into the cup first and them add enough milk to the measurement required for the recipe.

To bring milk to room temperature, microwave 1 cup, on high, for 40-45 seconds. 

****Two ways to bring cream cheese to room temperature quickly: 1) Place the cream cheese, still in the foil wrapper, into a bowl of warm water and let it sit for about 10 minutes. 2) Remove cream cheese from the foil wrapper and place in a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high in 10 second bursts, flipping the block after each burst. Continue for 30-40 seconds total.

via sally's baking addiction

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