Tag Archives: Birthday

Birthday Banana Whipped Cream Filled Banana Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

22 May

It seems like a brother of mine just had a birthday, right?  It seems like just yesterday I was concocting the impossible birthday cake request of one brother and here I am blabbing on about another brother birthday already!  I know I only have two older brothers, but most days it seems like I have more.  Like 10 more.  And all of them like to “challenge” their sister with feats of birthday cake prowess worthy of a Just Desserts episode.  Probably not just any episode either, more like the finale minus that whole dramatic centerpiece thingy.  You know what I’m talking about.


Now, I know I’ve professed my undying love for Johnny Iuzzini on more than one occasion, but the last thing I want to be doing most days is competing, reality tv style, against myself, no less, for a reward that has nothing to do with a 5 page spread in Food & Wine magazine, or any amount of money furnished by Kitchenaid or whoever.  I think I was being a bit generous when I implied my cake baking adventures could possibly result in anything remotely close to what could be construed as a reward, but I suppose it should be reward enough for me to see a birthday boy’s face light up with happiness and joy, right?


Meh, I could go either way.


Kiddingggg…There’s so much birthday love floating around here, it’s ridiculous! =)


While no snack-cake or hostess knock-off recipes were harmed in the making of this cake, it was still a fairly lofty request, as far as my cake making skills are concerned.  I heard banana cake and was ok.  Chocolate frosting, do-able.  Whipped cream infused with banana flavor, with a thousand layers and made to look totally edible?  Debatable.  Wheels.  Turning.


For some reason whenever I think bananas and whipped cream, I immediately imagine Southern-Style banana pudding, layered up with vanilla wafers and banana pudding in a pretty glass trifle!  I’m no Southern Belle, nor will I ever qualify as such, but I have it in my head and heart that someday I may live in Louisiana at some point in my life just to take in the culture and atmosphere.  Sweet tea?  Absolutely!  Whippy, dreamy banana desserts while getting lost in the Jazz-filled streets of New Orleans?  Yes, please!


Snap back to reality, got it.  But, I ran with that inspiration on this one, and added traditional vanilla wafers to the cake, yummy banana to pillowy whipped cream, and marshmallow dreaminess to rich chocolate buttercream frosting.  I realize there’s a very real possibility that I’m horribly misrepresenting the South and Southern culture with all of this, in which case, infinite apologies!   I’m pretty much basing all of my imaginations on a few episodes of Hart of Dixie and a single visit to Georgia. =p

Banana Cake Recipe

(This turned out to be a dense, flavorful cake that I’m sure would make amazing banana bread, too!  Layered up with lots of sweet, lightly banana flavored whipped cream, and topped with smooth, rich & creamy chocolate marshmallow buttercream frosting.  Summer cake?  Totally!)


* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 Tbsp baking soda
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1/2 cup butter or margarine
* 1 cup white sugar
* 3/4 cup brown sugar
* 4 bananas
* 2 large eggs
* 2/3 cup heavy cream mixed with 1 tsp white vinegar
* 20 vanilla wafers


Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease or line a 9×13″ casserole pan.

Mix 2/3 cup heavy cream with 1 tsp white vinegar and set aside.  Cream together the butter, brown, and white sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the bananas and eggs, mixing well between each addition.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the cream and vinegar mixture to wet mixture.   Mix until batter comes together.

Place a layer of vanilla wafers on half the bottom of the prepared casserole pan.  Pour batter into the pan and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cover with foil if the cake is browning too quickly.  Allow to cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan and flip onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.







Banana Whipped Cream Recipe


* 2 cups heavy cream
* 1/2 cup powdered sugar
* 1 banana, pureed
* 1 Tbsp vanilla extract


Add 2 cups of cream to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high until a soft whipped cream texture forms. Add the powdered sugar and mix until incorporated.

Puree the banana (I used a blender, but a food processor would work, too) and add it to the whipped cream along with the vanilla extract. Beat about a minute more on high until a thick whipped cream forms. Store in the fridge until ready to use.


 Once the whipped cream is made, cut the cake in half the short way using a serrated knife, so that each half measures 9×6.5″.  Filet the cake horizontally to make 4 pieces of cake.  Square off all 4 outside edges.  I wanted a rectangular cake, so I trimmed some length off each end, resulting in 4 pieces like those below, measuring 9×4″.

Place the vanilla wafer studded layer on the bottom of a plate or cake stand.  Layer with banana whipped cream.

Add the second layer, and banana whipped cream again!

Repeat steps 1 or 2 for layer 3…you get the idea by now!

Add the top layer, and voila!  Sort of.  Not quite done, but ready to be covered with plastic wrap or a cake container top and thrown in the fridge to firm up for about an hour.


In the mean time…

Chocolate Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting Recipe


* 1/2 cup butter or margarine
* 3 cups powdered sugar
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1/2 cup marshmallow cream
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* dash of salt


Add butter or margarine to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until soft and whippy.  Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing between additions and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary.

Add the vanilla extract and the cocoa, and then mix until combined, and gravely looking.  Add in the marshmallow cream along with the salt and beat on high until fluffy.  If the frosting seems too thick, add a bit more vanilla or a splash of milk.  If it seems to thin for your taste, throw in a little more powdered sugar.


Once the cake is sufficiently chilly, frost away!  I started on the top, but any way you feel is necessary to get frosting on that cake, I say go for it.


 I’m just throwing this out there.  I hate to be the one to tell you this, but I’ve always been pretty honest, so there’s no going back now.  These matches are a hoax.  Strike anywhere?  How about strike anywhere but the actual strike slip!  Not a chance this was working.  Ugh.  Had to dig out the lighter for the candles on this puppy!

Dressed up and birthday ready.  Awww =)

Served with Extraaaaaaa banana whipped cream and banana slices.  Banana never looked so good.  Except for the other times I used bananas and made awesome things, I mean! =D

Ok, so it wasn’t as “eventful” making this cake as the Hostess Cupcake Birthday cake, but I guess the birthday boy was sorta pleased or whatever with the result of his request because he raved about it for days.  Literally.  Anyone who touched leftovers was practically eligible for punishment by death or dismemberment.


Happy Birthday, oldest of older brothers!

Birthday Cake Batter Biscotti

31 Jul

To this day, I can’t be sure how old my mom actually is. Moms like it that way. A long-time proponent of the “29 Forever Club,” and notoriously ambiguous about her exact birth year, she continues to tout a seemingly timeless outward appearance that also provides no hints.

Against better judgment, namely the fact that she’d now be only a few years older than myself if her 29 year old claims held true, I would think she might in fact have magically stopped aging altogether. I don’t know how she does it.

I guess only time will tell. Or, NOT tell, as the case may be.

See, yesterday was my mom’s birthday, and I’m still no closer to figuring out her real age than I am to figuring out why I wasted an hour and 44 minutes of my life watching Tokyo Drift when it had absolutely nothing to do with Paul Walker.

All I can say is Fast Five is already infinitely better for including him, and I haven’t even seen it yet. Anyway, all tangents aside, I may never know my mom’s real age, but that won’t stop me from baking things for her every year!

Birthdays always call for things with sprinkles. But, since my mom decided to embark on a day trip yesterday where carrying a giant cake around would potentially be entirely inappropriate, I decided on something a little more portable.

Cupcakes were a possibility, but still not as resilient as is necessary to hold up on a road trip. Not to mention the idea of buttercream melting all over the car interior left a little to be desired.

So, I got it in my head that I could make something cute, cake flavored AND sturdy.

Cake batter biscotti! Imagine my surprise when I searched and there were no recipes to be found.  Well, there’s a recipe to be found now!

One of the many awesome things about moms is that they will smile happily and tell you they like your experimental recipes even if they don’t.

Unfortunately, that also means that you will have to ask my mom personally if these are good or not if you want a truthful response!

Happy Birthday, mom!

Cake Batter Biscotti
These definitely aren’t a typical break-your-tooth-off biscotti…they’re a little softer, which means they’re perfect even if you don’t have coffee on-hand for dunking!


* 1 1/2 Cups Flour
* 1 Cup Yellow Cake Mix
* 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
* 1/4 tsp Salt
* 1/4 Cup Sugar
* 3 Tbsp Butter, melted
* 1 Egg
* 1 Tbsp Butter Flavored Extract
* 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
* 1/8 Cup Sprinkles + extra for sprinkling


* 2 Tbsp Yellow Cake Mix
* 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
* 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
* Enough milk to make a frosting or drizzle,
whichever you prefer (I used about a Tbsp of non-dairy milk)

Preheat oven to 350* F. Line or grease a cookie sheet.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the melted butter and sugar. Add in the egg, butter extract, and vanilla extract, and mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add in the cake mix.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture with the mixer on low. Scrape down the sides in between additions. The dough should be fairly thick.

Stir in the sprinkles with a spoon.

With your hands, form the dough into a log shape along the length of the cookie sheet, and about 3 inches wide.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes on the cookie sheet. Once cool to the touch, use a serrated knife to slice the log of dough into slightly diagonal, 1/2 inch pieces.

Turn each slice on its side and lay back on the cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Flip the slices and bake 5 minutes more.

To make the glaze, add the cake mix and powdered sugar to a bowl. Add the vanilla and milk, and stir until you reach the desired consistency.

Once the biscotti cools, drizzle with the glaze, and sprinkle extra sprinkles over the top before it sets.

If you don’t eat them all first, you can wrap them up, add a pretty bow or twisty tie and give them as a gift 🙂 Or figure out a way to put candles on them that doesn’t involve power tools or drill bits. Your choice!

Soften the Blow Cream Puffs

27 Mar

My spring break is quickly wrapping up, and in just a few short days I’ll be knee-deep in textbooks once again, anxiously counting down the days until summer break. 

You really don’t know me all that well yet, so I’ll just go ahead and let you know that I’m a stress baker.  Some people turn to the drink.  Others cocoon themselves up in the fetal position and wait for the storm to pass.  Uhh, I sorta do that second one, but that’s not the point. 

Most often when I start to have a panic attack about reading deadlines, midterms, and the like, I hit the kitchen and do some hard-core, flour in your face, therapeutic mixing and stirring.  I’m just pointing this out in case you start to notice a back-up of new posts in about 3 weeks.  Give or take.  Oh spring break, sweet, sweet spring break.  Though you’ve been cloudy and rainy, and stressful in your own way, I will miss you. 

So let’s live it up ’til then!

Speaking of living it up, the very day I lose my freedom return to classes is the day my older bro turns the big 3-0.  I’m pretty sure he’s wanting to ride out his late 20s as long as possible. 

You can still wear Spongebob underpants when you’re 29.  From what I gather, you can even still proudly display your “Brewmaster” certificate and eat cheez-its for dinner when you’re 29.  You obviously aren’t allowed to do those things anymore when you’re 30.

I don’t make the rules.  Needless to say, it seems we could both use some live-it-up time this weekend.  If you have to bid farewell to your sanity spring breaky-break, or you have to turn 30, there’s probably no better way to soften the blow than with cream puffs.

I give you birthday cream puffs.

Cream Puffs

Adapted from Betty Crocker’s All-Time Favorites
Makes about 12 puffs

* 1 cup water
* 1/2 cup butter
* 2 cups all purpose flour
* 4 eggs
* 1 box vanilla pudding
* chocolate frosting of your choice
* Sprinkles


Heat your water and butter in a saucepan until boiling. Reduce heat and quickly stir in the flour using a wooden spoon. For some reason, this making stirring easier! Continue stirring over low heat until the mixture forms a ball that pulls away from the side of the pan (This should take about 1 minute). Take your pan off the heat and beat eggs into your mixture all at once, and continue stirring until super smooth. Now, you can either drop the dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet, or you can do what I did and pipe them out onto your pan to make cute shapes. Just remember they puff! So they need at least an inch or two of room between them, depending on size.
Bake 35-40 min at 400 degrees.
While your puffs are baking, make vanilla pudding according to pie filling directions on the box. Whip up some of your favorite chocolate frosting (or make life a little easier and use the stuff from the can. I won’t tell!)
Just make sure you let the puffs cool completely on a wire rack before slicing them, laying the pudding in the middle, and topping with chocolate frosting. Sprinkles aren’t optional, so lay ’em on! 😀

Exhibit A: Fluffy, yummy, cloud-in-your-mouth pastry.  I just forgot about 9am neuro.
Exhibit B: Frosting is key.  30 is probably looking like the new 23

It’s still totally acceptable to eat these for breakfast when you’re 30, though.  That’s what I’ve heard.

Happy birthday, bro!