I struggled a bit with the title for this post. I wanted to title it “Amazing Banana Cake…” or “Delicious Banana Cake…” or “Amazingly Delicious..” In the end, I left the title simple and to the point, but let me add here… this banana cake is amazing, it’s delicious, and it’s quite easy to make! Go now and put your bananas in a paper bag- so they’ll ripen faster, and then you can make this cake!
I experimented with several recipes before settling on the ingredients and proportions listed below. I was so happy when I tasted the first slice of this cake! Then I “sampled” a couple more slices, just to make sure they were equally good! This cake is sweet, fluffy, moist and flavorful.
To answer the question… “what’s the difference between banana cake and banana bread?”, this cake is similar in flavor to a wonderful banana bread, but lighter and fluffier. And certainly, the addition of delicious cream cheese frosting makes this recipe sweeter, and more decadent than banana bread.
Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This cake is easy to prepare and is a delicious way to use over ripe bananas.
Yield: 9 moderate sized slices
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons melted Challenge butter
2 mashed (over ripe) bananas (about 3/4 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extact
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 block (4 oz.) cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons milk or cream, if needed to thin frosting for easy spreading.
1/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 375*F.
Grease an 8"x8" pan (with butter or non-stick cooking spray).
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, sour cream, eggs, melted butter, mashed banana and vanilla. Whisk (can be done by hand, or with electic mixer) until fully combined.
Add flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder, and stir with whisk or spoon until fully combined and smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake at 375*F for about 30 mintues (check after 25 minutes). Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no wet batter.
Cool (in pan) on wire rack.
Make the frosting-
In the bowl of an electic mixer, or with an electic hand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar, then add vanilla. Add milk or cream, if needed to thin frosting for easy spreading.
Spread frosting onto cooled cake (make sure the cake is cool, or the frosting will melt).
Top cake with chopped, toasted nuts, if desired.
Recipes Source- Glorious Treats
This recipe as is makes an 8"x8" cake. I'm sure you could use a 9"x9" pan if desired, but you will likely need to reduce the baking time a bit. If you'd like to make an 9"x13" cake, I'd recommend increasing the recipe by 1.5 or doubling the recipe. You will have to adjust the baking time accordingly. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no wet batter.
This cake comes together quite easily, and would be perfect to prepare and pop in the oven right before dinner, then it can bake and cool during dinner, and be frosted and enjoyed for dessert. If you’re lucky, there may be a piece or two left over to enjoy in the morning!
I guess I need to start with the title of this post, Perfect Homemade Brownies… yes, I know the word “perfect” is quite presumptuous. Certainly tastes and opinions will vary quite a bit from person to person…. so it would be impossible for everyone to agree on what is “perfect”. I guess that’s one of the luxuries of being the author of a blog… I can pick what is perfect to me! =)
I recently asked the question on my Glorious Treats Facebook page, “…what make a brownie perfect to you?” Although there was quite a range of descriptions (and I love how passionate you all are about brownies!), the vast majority included the word “fudgy” in your description. If you are one of those “fudgy” brownie lovers, these are for you! If you like ”cakey” brownies, you may still want to give these a try… they may have just enough (flavor/texture) balance to win you over!
These brownies are rich, full of chocolate flavor, fudgy and moist (without being overly dense or oily). I would describe them as “better than a boxed mix” brownies. They have very similar qualities to a great boxed mix, but a deeper flavor.
I’ve made (and eaten) quite a few brownies in my life. They are one of my favorite desserts. I’ve been searching for a perfect homemade brownie recipe for a while, and I believe I’ve found it!
Perfect Homemade Brownies
Rich, moist and fudgy, without being overly dense.
Yield: 24 (2 inch) brownies
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
1 Tablespoon (3 teaspoons) vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) Challenge butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (semi sweet)
Preheat oven to 350*F and lightly grease a 9"x13" pan. If desired, line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, add 4 eggs, and beat with cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder and vanilla. Stir until fully combined and smooth.
In a medium sized bowl, melt butter in the microwave (or melt in a small sauce pan on the stove). When melted, add sugar, and stir to combine.
Add warm butter/sugar mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture, stiring until smooth. Make sure the butter mixture is warm, but not too hot, or it will scramble your eggs.
Add the flour and chocolate chips to batter and stir until fully incorporated.
Spread batter into prepared pan, and smooth as needed.
Bake brownies about 30 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the brownies and making a little divit so you can see the center a bit. You should find moist crumbs, but no wet batter.
Cool pan on wire cooling rack.
Notes- For the best flavor, use the best quality cocoa powder you can. The original recipe calls for dutch cocoa, I used natural (not dutch) cocoa with great results, so I imagine you could use either.
The addition of the small amount of espresso powder will not impart any coffee flavor in the final brownies, it simply enhances the chocolate flavor.
If you'd like the choocolate chips to remain intact in the baked brownies, allow the batter to cool before adding chips.
Certainly, if you like nuts in your brownies, free free to add them at the same time as the chocolate chips.
Enjoy these delicious brownies with a glass of milk, or scoop of vanilla ice cream. They are sure to be a family favorite!
Today’s recipe is pretty, pink, and delicious! If you like cheesecake (even a little), you are likely going to love this! This Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse is light and fluffy, sweet (but not overwhelming), and has a deliciously light cream cheese flavor. I’ve made several similar recipes in the past… first Cherries on a Cloud, then Candy Corn Cheesecake Mousse, then Strawberry Blueberry Mini Cheesecake Trifles.
I made a few little changes this time, adding fresh fruit puree to the mixture, (instead of just laying fruit on top as with some of the previous recipes) and also, I used real whipped cream (in place of cool whip). Both adjustments were deliciously successful. I’m sure as spring and summer roll in, I’ll try other fruit purees as well.
I like the addition of the crust (the graham cracker crumble) for a little texture, but it is not necessary.
Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse
This dessert is fluffy and delicious, with a light cream cheese flavor.
Yield: 6 moderate sized servings
Graham Cracker Crumble
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (from about 5 full sized crackers)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup strawberry puree (made from about 1 cup fresh or frozen whole strawberries)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 (8oz) block cream cheese
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-5 fresh strawberries, for garnish
Prepare the graham cracker crumble-
Crush graham crackers in a plastic bag. Crush crackers until the mixture still has some pea sized pieces (you do not need it to be all fine crumbs).
Put cracker crumbs in a bowl and pour melted butter on top. Add 1 teaspoon sugar, and stir mixture until crumbs are moist.
Spread mixture into a baking dish (such as a 9"x9" dish) and bake at 350*F for about 12 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Make strawberry puree-
In a food processor, or blender, chop/blend fresh or frozen (and slighly thawed) strawberries. Process until the berries are chopped, juicy, and no piece is larger than a pea.
Make whipped cream-
In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), whip heavy cream until it begins to thicken. Add powdered sugar, and continue to whip until thick and holds stiff peaks. Move whipped cream to a separate bowl (if using bowl of elecric mixer).
Make cheesecake mixture-
In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar, and continue to beat. Add vanilla, then add strawberry puree, a little at a time. Continue mixing, and beat until fully incorporated.
Fold cheesecake mixture into the whipped cream, and stir gently until fully combined. Taste to check for sweetness. If needed, add an additional tablespoon or so of powdered sugar, and fold in gently.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of graham cracker crumble into the bottom of 6 serving dishes.
Spoon or pipe (with a large piping bag, or large ziplock bag with a corner cut off) strawberry cheesecake mixture into dishes.
Top with fresh strawberries if desired.
Chill in refigerator for 15 minutes, or until ready to serve
Best when eaten the day it was made.
Recipe Source- Glorious Treats
This recipe can be made sugar free by omiting the graham cracker crumble, and using splenda, (or similar) in place of the powdered sugar.
If desired, Cool whip may be used in place of the whipped cream (I would suggest about 1 or 1 1/2 cups).
I used full fat (regular) cream cheese. Reduced fat cream cheese has a higher water content, and I have not experimented with it for this recipe.
If using fresh strawberries, make sure they are nice and ripe. If ripe strawberries are not available, use frozen. I used frozen strawberries in this recipe, and fresh berries just for garnish.
If you use frozen strawberries, make sure they are just strawberries, with no additional sweetener.
If desired, you may want to add a drop of pink food coloring to add to the pink hue. I did not add any this time, and you can see the color is very pale pink.
This Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse would be perfect as a Valentine’s treat, or delicious as a light spring or summer dessert.
Looking for more Valentine’s ideas? Browse all my Valentine’s Day posts, or find lots of sweet and pretty ideas from around the web on my Valentine’s Day Pinterest board.
It’s a new year. Many of us have big plans and aspirations for the year in front of us. Certainly, I am no expert on diet or health… but I wholeheartedly believe that life without an occasional treat is no life at all!
Throughout the year, as I am busy making cookies, cupcakes and other sweets, I enjoy sharing those treats with family and friends. A batch of cupcakes disappears quite quickly when my husband takes them to work! And then, I can continue doing what I love… baking and creating, without a full batch of treats sitting around the house.
If you are working on adjusting your eating habits a bit, beautiful presentation can add to the appeal of healthy food choices. A beautiful table setting, pretty dishes, or a fancy little garnish can add to the enjoyment of any meal.
Recently, I’ve been enjoying simple yogurt parfaits for breakfast, or as an afternoon snack. The combination of creamy yogurt, fresh fruit, and crunchy toppings, come together to create an easy, and delicious “treat”.
Simple Yogurt Parfait
Creamy yogurt, layered with fresh fruit and crunchy toppings create a delicious and healthy treat.
granola (storebought or homemade)
raw nuts (sliced almonds or walnuts are my favorites)
Fill a bowl with yogurt and top with fresh fruit of your choice, granola, and/or nuts.
If you'd like to prepare the parfaits ahead of time, layer the fruit and yogurt and refrigerate (up to one day), then add the granola (and/or nuts) right before serving.
Note- I like to mix plain greek yogurt with (sweetened) vanilla yogurt to reduce the sugar a bit.
Experiment with different combinations of fruits, nuts and granola.
If you’d like to make your own granola to add to your parfait, here are a few delicious looking options…
Homemade Granola, from Ina Garten
Apple Cinnamon Granola, from Two Peas and Their Pod
Lemon Ginger Granola, from Haniela’s
Prop note- The dishes (and spoons) shown are a set from Pier 1 (also available from Bed Bath and Beyond, I believe).
2012 has now come to a close. Looking back through a full year of posts reminded me of all the special celebrations I made treats for, all the sweets I’ve shared with family and friends, and all the fun little projects I’ve had the privilege of sharing with you over the past year. Thank you for an amazing year!
This blog has become such a big part of my life. I often stay up very late working on posts, my kitchen almost always shows the signs (the mess) of my current “project”, and my grocery bill is full of more pounds of butter and cream cheese than I care to calculate! This is my passion, my hobby and my job. I take it very seriously, and it is very important to me. I guess it sounds funny to say I take making cupcakes and cookies “very seriously”… but I do. It’s part of who I am. Between planning posts, baking and decorating treats, taking photos, writing posts, replying to e-mails, and lots of other little things that keep this site running, I spend many hours a week on this “little” blog. It is a lot of work… but also very rewarding!
After a long day that may include failed recipes, photos that took much longer than planned, more e-mail questions than I have time to answer, and a family (my sweet family) who somehow needs dinner every night… I will get an e-mail… an e-mail that keeps me going. An e-mail from a 12 year old who is learning to bake using my recipes, an e-mail from a mom who just used my ideas to pull off a beautiful party, an e-mail from someone who took cookies into work that were “a huge hit”, and sometimes an e-mail from someone just saying thanks for all the things I share. What I’m telling you is your words are very important to me… in fact, they are everything.
If you have spent time on my site this year reading posts, thank you! If you “like” me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, thank you! If you have left an occasional sweet comment, thank you! If you have sent me an encouraging e-mail, thank you! Your support and encouragement mean I can continue doing what I love… baking, party styling, crafting… and for that I am very, very grateful!
I chose a few unscientific approach at choosing my “top 10″ posts of the year… I looked at the posts that had been pinned to Pinterest the most, posts that received the most comments, and posts that were personal favorites of mine… and kind of merged them together to create this list.
Without further ado, here are some of your (and my) favorites of the year…
Early in the year I made these sweet, heart cupcakes. Like many projects, this concept (originally from Just Jenn Recipes) had been on my “to bake” list for quite some time. I was so glad to finally get to play with the idea. I liked it so much I made a St. Patrick’s Day version a couple months later.
This baby shower was extra special to me! This was for my younger sister and her very first little baby, a sweet boy. I had a great time planning the details, and then sharing the day celebrating this beautiful occasion with our friends and family. In addition to all the party details (in the link above), I did a full post with the Fabric Bunting Sewing Tutorial.
This one actually surprised me… this post (and this image) was my #1 most pinned post of the year! I guess when you layer homemade pastry cream, whipped cream, bananas and caramel… you really can’t go wrong!
These mini cakes were inspired by my original Pink Ombre Swirl Cake (from August 2011). I saw lots of pretty versions of my larger Ombre Swirl Cake pop up all of the internet this year. I love the colors of these mini cakes, and hope to have time in 2013 to try other color variations. These little cakes were also featured in an August issue of Woman’s World Magazine (one of four features of my work in Woman’s World Magazine this year!)
My oldest daughter, Grace, is a craft loving, art loving, mini baker and requested a cake decorating party for her 8th birthday. We had a great day, and all the little guests really enjoyed decorating their own mini cakes.
These watermelon shaped krispie treats (directly inspired by Dine and Dish) were so fun to make! I made several batches these cute treats over the summer. Later in the year, I made some Candy Corn Krispie Treats, and then Christmas Tree Treats using the same concept.
These cute, simple and delicious treats were based on my Cherries on a Cloud, and Candy Corn Cheesecake Mousse. The basic cheesecake filling is so easy to make, and is delicious with any variety of toppings!
Continuing my love of desserts in jars, I snuck in a couple more this year! One of my favorite (and quite popular) elements of these cupcakes was the use of a cupcake liner as a jar topper. I’ve used this idea several more times, as it’s such a simple and pretty way to finish off a jar of treats.
The idea for these 3-D cookies was born early in the year, and it was hard to wait until fall to share it! It was one of the fun times (and few times!) that an idea I had in my head actually came together the way I had imagined! Later in the year I made some 3-D Christmas Drum Cookies using the same concept.
I made lots of decorated cookies this year! These sweet gingerbread people were certainly the simplest of the bunch… but they represent so much of what I love about baking. They are cute, delicious, and are very likely to make you smile… and for those reasons they are pretty much perfect to me. I made these for a Gingerbread House Decorating Party we hosted for my daughter’s and their friends. It was a beautiful way to kick off the Christmas season and it was a very special day of enjoying sweets, being creative, and spending time with friends.
Did you see your favorites in this post?
Did you make any recipes, or try any ideas from my site this year?
Any special request for things you like to see more of in 2013?
I’d love to hear from you!
Thank you again sweet readers for making 2012 a wonderful year!
Happy New Year!