18 January 2013

Bumblebee Cake and a Happy Birthday

I have to start out wishing a happy, happy birthday to by son, Sam.  He's 6 today!  My, oh my, how the time flies.    I really can't believe he;s so big already.  We had a little party for him this week with some family and our closest friends.  It was lots of fun.  His cake is the subject of this post and received lots of raves.

The name for the cake comes from Bumblebee.  Not a bumblebee, like a buzz, buzz bee, but the Transformer of the same name.  Sam is obsessed with Transformers.  This is the second year in a row he has requested a Transformers cake.  Last year I went all out and made him that looked like Optimus Prime.  This year he wanted Bumblebee, but I couldn't bring myself to pump out a cake with all the dreadful yellow and black icing that never really tastes all that great and stains your teeth thanks to all the coloring.  I went for Bumblebee in spirit by making a banana chocolate chip cake (banana for yellow and chocolate for black, see?) with cream cheese frosting.  My husband decorated the top of the cake with some of Sam's Transformers and Legos.  He liked it and that's what counts.

All decorations aside, this is a truly scrumptious cake, chock full of bananas and chocolate chips.  There is also a little ginger in there to add some depth of flavor.  Not enough ginger to make it spicy, but just enough to make it interesting.  It's also heavenly moist and even better on the second and third days,  The frosting is a straightforward cream cheese.  Well, straightforward the way I like to make it.  There's not too much sugar because I really don't like sweet, sweet icing and I love the tang of the cream cheese.  Add more sugar if you like.  By all means, adjust it to your tastes.

Bumblebee Cake
makes one 9x13" cake or a three layer 8" round cake

Print me, Please!!!

for the cake:
3 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups mashed banana (5 or 6 bananas)
1 cup applesauce
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

for the frosting:
16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
16 Tbsp (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°.  Lightly grease your pan(s); set aside.

Stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.  In a separate bowl, stir together the eggs, mashed banana, applesauce, oil, and vanilla.  Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 23-27 minutes or until a tester comes out clean and the cake is lightly browned around the edges.  Cool in the pan(s) on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto the wire racks to cool completely.

To make the frosting, put the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl.  Whisk on medium high speed until very light and fluffy and the mixture is completely smooth.  Lower the mixer speed to low; add the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, until it each addition is completely incorporated.  Add the vanilla.  Increase the mixer speed to medium high and beat for 2-3 minutes, or until the frosting is very light and fluffy. 

Frost the cooled cake(s) on the top and sides as desired.

The cake will keep up to one week covered in the refrigerator.


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