Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Peanut Post: Annalyn's First Birthday Banana Cake

This past week, I decided to take Annalyn's cake smash pictures for her first birthday.  I've always loved the pics of the chubby little babies playing in their birthday cakes with icing all over their hands, feet, and faces.  But with all our little family celebrations coming up, I really wanted to be able to sit back and celebrate our little lady's first year instead of scrambling to take pictures and hoping she'd cooperate.  To make all our lives a little easier, I made the executive decision to devote a morning to just playing in cake. 

First order of business was to make the cake!  Since this one was all for Peanut, I decided to make her a banana flavored cake.  Never having made one before, I figured I would use someone else's tried and true recipe.  So, after work on Wednesday, after Annalyn was asleep, I made this recipe.  It turned out so good, I decided to share.  (Think banana bread meets cake!)
Banana Cake

- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda (add to pureed bananas)
- 3 pureed bananas, very ripe
- Crisco & flour to grease the pan
for the icing:
(Recipe author suggested a cream cheese icing, but I used a simple buttercream)

- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 t. vanilla
- 4 c. powdered sugar
- 2-4 T. milk, to adjust consistency


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x13" baking pan or two 9" round pans (I used two 6" round pans to make a smaller little smash cake).

 best way I've found is to use a paper towel to coat with Crisco
then lightly flour (there should be no shiny spots when you look at it)

2.  Cream butter, sugar and eggs. Add the salt and baking powder to the flour.

3.  To the creamed butter mixture, add the milk and flour (alternating, beginning and ending with flour).

birthday themed spatula optional
but recommended!


4.  Add vanilla and mashed bananas (with the baking soda added to the bananas) to this mixture.

at this point, add baking soda and mash to combine

5.  Bake layer cakes (6-9" rounds) for 25-30 minutes, oblong (9x13") for 35-40 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

divide evenly between the pans
(with the 6" pans, I had a little bit leftover)

6.  Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes, then turn the cake over and gently remove pans.  Allow to cool completely before icing.

7.  For the icing, cream the butter, then add vanilla.  Gradually beat in powdered sugar (will be fairly stiff).  Add milk a little at a time until desired consistency is acheived.  (Another great secret to cake decorating is to add a little white corn syrup to the icing to make it spread more smoothly... love this one!)

8.  Color icing as desired, decorate, and prepare for the smash!

Here's the set up...
this part of my house gets the prettiest natural light

I used a 3 yard length of light gray vinyl fabric as my backdrop (you can find this with the home decor fabrics at your local fabric store).  It laid smoothly and cleaned up easily.  I used twine and curtain clips (like the kind used for cafe curtains) to string it up against my fireplace (using the same hooks that were in place from Christmas stockings).   Add in a pretty cake pedastal, a fluffy homemade tutu, and a curious little baby and you've got yourself a photo shoot! 

 to be continued...

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