My 50th post and Pete’s Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Birthday Cake

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It’s my 50th post!!! Thank you to everyone who reads my nerdy foodie babble each week. I’ve loved doing the first 50 posts and hopefully I’ll love the next 50 even more.

I really wanted to do something special for my 50th recipe, and lucky for me it lined up perfectly with Peter’s 24th birthday. He requested some of his favorite things we had lots of lovely people over to enjoy them with us. The cake was wonderful, but I also made caramel corn (sriracha flavor) and dulce de leche cheesecake bars. Who would have thought rooster sauce and caramel corn would work so well? Maybe I’ll include it in the market this summer!

This cake is a combination of flavors that everyone loves; banana, peanut butter and chocolate. The size was perfect for what we needed, but you could easily double the recipes to make a taller cake or make lots and lots of cupcakes. Also, the filling is extremely thick and fudge-like. If you like a thinner, creamier peanut butter frosting just add milk or cream until your desired consistency is achieved. The chocolate buttercream, on the other hand, is from Ina Garten – it is pure bliss and should never, ever, be altered, believe me.

Pete’s Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Cake

For the cake (Joy of Cooking)

  • 2 1/4 cup AP flour 
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 heaping cup white sugar
  • 2-3 medium ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the peanut butter filling

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

For the chocolate buttercream (Ina Garten)

  • 14 oz. semi sweet chocolate, I used chocolate chips, but a bar would be even better 
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 lb. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 Tbsp rum, optional

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two 8″ cake pans (9″ for a thinner/shorter cake) with parchment and spray them. First combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl, set aside. Then begin to cream together your butter and sugar, add the bananas a couple minutes in. Then add the buttermilk/yogurt, eggs and vanilla, then the dry mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix until just combined.

DSC_0008Split the batter between the two pans and bake for about 30-35 minutes until golden brown and the cakes spring back when touched lightly. Allow them to cool and make your frostings.

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The peanut butter frosting is super easy – just put everything in a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, start the mixer on low and increase speed as the frosting begins to smooth out. Add milk or cream if you feel the frosting is too thick.

For the chocolate frosting, the first thing you need to do is melt your chocolate and allow it to cool completely. Fotor0421114757

Then combine your egg whites and sugar over the double boiler and whisk continuously until the egg whites are warm to the touch and the sugar has dissolved.

DSC_0028Add the cream of tartar and whip the egg white mixture on medium high until it has cooled completely and holds stiff peaks. Then add your butter a tablespoon at a time and mix until smooth (if it looks curdley just keep mixing!). Add the vanilla, instant espresso, rum and melted chocolate, then mix, scrape down the sides and mix again until completely combined, smooth and delicious.

DSC_0034Now its time to assemble! Level the cakes if they are domed on the top, and make sure they are completely cool – I like to work with cakes when they have been refrigerated for at least a half an hour.

Put a dollop of frosting on your cake board to keep your bottom layer from sliding around. Top that layer with the peanut butter frosting, then the next cake layer then crumb coat your cake with the chocolate frosting. That link, and the link coming up, will take you to one of my new favorite youtube baking teachers – The Boy Who Bakes, he is fantastic.

After the crumb coat, refrigerate your cake for about a half an hour so that the frosting can solidify and lock in any cake crumbs. Then use the rest of your frosting to decorate the cake in any way you choose, I did this swirl technique, but if you don’t have a spinning cake decorating stand some pretty piped techniques, or a rustic slathering of frosting might work better for you.

Fotor0421102133I made a little “Happy Birthday” garland that I was pretty proud of, but you can always finish the cake with piped writing or chocolate decorations as well.

DSC_0080And there’s the birthday boy with all his treats.

But there we’re a couple other boys in the house that were pretty upset that they couldn’t have any cake…

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