Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting



These banana bars are so simple, so moist and with a little effort (not much) they transform into beautiful, elegant treats. I love how a little swirl of frosting here, a carefully placed walnut there and ... tada... the humble banana bar is transformed!



I like this recipe because it only uses 2 bananas so it is perfect for those times when you only have a couple overripe bananas which isn't quite enough for a loaf of banana bread. The crunchy walnut, smooth cream cheese frosting and moist bar are an amazing combination. In my opinion, a splash of maple flavoring to the frosting truly elevates the taste by adding another dimension of flavor. Yum!



Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
9 x 13 pan | adapted from Betty Crocker

1 cup sugar
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 medium)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 brick cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp maple flavoring (or vanilla)
1 cup powdered sugar (may need more to achieve desired consistency)
walnuts, for decoration

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of rectangular pan, 9 x 13 pan with shortening. In large bowl, mix granulated sugar, bananas, oil and eggs with spoon. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Spread in pan.
2. Bake bars 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, with a hand mixer, mix cream cheese, butter and maple flavoring (or vanilla) on medium speed until blended. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, scraping bowl occasionally, until smooth and spreadable.
4. Cut cooled bars before frosting them. Put frosting in a piping bag and pipe a robust cream cheese frosting rosette on each bar. There is a fair bit of frosting, so you can be generous. Top with a walnut and serve.

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