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Cooking With Lisa Loeb: Banana Layer Cake

My kid has been listening to Lisa Loeb’s Catch the Moon [1] album since birth. When he was about 2.5 years old he’d request “Big Rock Candy Mountain” over and over again. Imagine my delight when my husband told me he’d bumped into Lisa’s husband and learned that Lisa makes a killer version of Gourmet’s Fresh Banana Layer [2] cake.

I’d never met Lisa but knew she had a little one and wondered aloud if she’d consider cooking that very cake with me. My sweet husband reached out to hers and arrangements were made. !!!!!

We had the best intentions of getting to Lisa’s house early in the afternoon but the baby had other plans. She demanded to be fed right as we were walking out the door. (Isn’t that always the way?) Lisa smartly started prepping for our arrival and didn’t bat an eye when we were a full hour late! When I walked into Lisa’s big, bright kitchen, the first thing to catch my eye was a Hello Kitty toaster. I squealed and Lisa revealed her obsession with Hello Kitty. She even has an album cover (Hello Lisa [3]) that features Hello Kitty. Awesome.

Although she’d made this cake several times, Lisa has never once used white flour or the full amount of sugar. (Impressive will power!) As Lisa layered up the cake, I asked her about its significance. That’s when I learned that her daughter’s first word was actually banana. Too cute.

I loved watching Lisa frost the cake while we chatted about our kids. One of the things I love most about parenthood is how it brings us all together. Oh! And during the course of the conversation Lisa scooped me about her brand new line of eye wear [4]. (Genius, right?)

Thanks, Lisa. You are so lovely. My kid and I had a great time getting to know you and witnessing your mad cakery skills. Now for the recipe…

Fresh Banana Layer Cake Recipe
adapted from Gourmet [2]

Ingredients for Cake
2 1/4 cups sifted whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 2 large)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup organic sugar
2 large eggs
Ingredients for Frosting & Layering
2 1/2 to 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 to 3 large firm-ripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, knocking out excess flour. Into a bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl whisk together mashed banana, yogurt and vanilla. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy and beat in eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour and banana mixtures alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture and stirring after each addition until just combined. (Do not overmix.) Divide batter evenly among pans, smoothing tops, and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of pans halfway through baking, about 15 to 18 minutes total, or until layers are springy to the touch and a tester comes out clean. Cool layers in pans on racks 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks to cool completely. (Cake layers will look very thin. Don’t worry, it looks nice once the banana layer is in!)

Into a large bowl sift confectioners’ sugar. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy and beat in vanilla and a pinch salt. Beat in confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time, and beat frosting until smooth.

Cut 2 firm-ripe bananas diagonally into thin slices. Put a cake layer on a serving plate and spread with a thin coating of frosting. Arrange one layer of banana slices on frosting, overlapping them slightly, and top with second cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. (Cake may be made 8 hours ahead and kept in a cake keeper at cool room temperature.)

Later that night Lisa decorated the cake for her adorable daughter, Lyla. I don’t know what’s cuter, the cake, Lisa or that pink Kitchen Aid in the background!

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URL to article: https://cookingwithmykid.com/desserts/cooking-with-lisa-loeb-banana-layer-cake/

URLs in this post:

[1] Catch the Moon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000L22WZ8?ie=UTF8&tag=mookd-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000L22WZ8

[2] Gourmet’s Fresh Banana Layer: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Fresh-Banana-Layer-Cake-14502

[3] Hello Lisa: http://www.lisaloeb.com/music2/hello-lisa.html

[4] new line of eye wear: http://www.lisaloebeyewear.com/

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