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Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This banana layer cake with smooth cream-cheese icing is dressed with shaved chocolate. Make the cream-cheese frosting first so it can chill while the cake is being prepared.

  • Yield: Makes three 8-inch layers

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 1997


  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for coating pans
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
  • 3 large whole eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup pureed ripe bananas (about 3)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, or more to taste
  • 3 cups sour cream
  • Chocolate Glaze and Curls
  • Sauteed Banana Filling
  • Shiny Cream-Cheese Frosting


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange two racks in the center of oven. Line the bottom of two 8-by-2-inch buttered cake pans. Dust the bottom and sides with flour, tap out any excess. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; reserve.

  2. Cream butter and shortening on medium low until very soft, 1 minute. Gradually add sugar until mixture is fluffy, about 3 minutes; scrape down sides twice. Gradually drizzle in eggs on lowest speed, beating after each addition until batter is no longer slick, 3 to 5 minutes; scrape down bowl three times. Add bananas and vanilla to buttermilk. On low speed, slowly add flour mixture, to egg mixture, alternating with buttermilk mixture, a little of each at a time, starting and ending with flour; scrape down sides twice.

  3. Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pans after 25 to 30 minutes for even browning, until a cake tester inserted into center of each comes out clean.

  4. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool, about 15 minutes. Remove cakes from pans; return to cool completely on racks, tops up.

  5. Meanwhile, sift the confectioners' sugar over the sour cream in a medium mixing bowl. Gently fold together with a rubber spatula. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill, and reserve to use for filling.

  6. To assemble cake, remove parchment paper from bottoms of cakes. Split each layer in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Set aside the prettiest dome for the final layer. Place another domed layer, dome-side down, on the serving platter. Spread chocolate glaze on the three remaining layers. Set aside to let the chocolate dry slightly. Arrange one-third of sautéed banana filling over the chocolate-covered cake layer. Fill in between bananas with sweetened sour cream. Repeat filling and spreading process with the remaining two layers, topping with the reserved domed layer. Let cake chill and set one hour before frosting. Frost with creamcheese frosting; top with chocolate curls.


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