Monday, April 18, 2011

Blueberry Banana Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting



















3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juiced and zested (the zest is for the frosting)
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups blueberries, washed and picked over
extra blueberries and sliced almonds for garnish

For the cream cheese frosting:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package light cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
Pinch salt

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper, with enough paper that paper hangs over the two long sides. Grease lightly with baking spray or butter.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer) cream the butter with the sugars. Blend in the eggs one at a time, and whip until creamy. Add the vanilla as well as the bananas. Mix until creamy.

3. Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir the mixture roughly, but do not combine completely.

4. In a large measuring cup, mix the lemon juice with the milk. (Reserve the lemon zest for the frosting.) With the mixer running, slowly pour the milk into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Mix until smooth. Fold in the blueberries. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

5. Bake the cake for 75 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. (Start checking after 60 minutes, but mine took more like 80 minutes.)

6. When the cake is firm and a tester comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in pan for 10-15 minutes.

7. Run a knife between the cake and the short edges of the pan to help release the cake. Lift up on the parchment paper to remove the whole cake from the pan, and place the cake, parchment and all, on a cooling rack. Place the rack in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and let the cake cool completely before icing.

For the icing: In a large bowl, whip the butter and cream cheese together until very smooth, with no lumps remaining. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add the confectioners’ sugar, reserved lemon zest, and salt and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth. Spread on cooled cake. Garnish with blueberries and sliced almonds if desired.