Other “mini” things from the kitchen: mason jar pies (pecan and apple or strawberry banana pie), handheld apple pie or use this mini cake recipe to make 6-8 mason jar versions. Just fill your mini mason jars to about 1/2, bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until the cake springs back when touched and toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean. Follow the cooling and frosting instructions below.
You ever have one of those days when you stare out the window on a perfect, 75 degree sunny day, realize you work way too much, get on an old motorcycle and go buy some mini cake pans? Yeah..me too. I just couldn’t work. We waited roughly ten million rainy days for summer to make its way to Seattle and I’m a super responsible guy that puts in a lot of hours. So, when I saw the sunlight and heard the advert for the Sur La Table sale, I figured a couple hours to myself was fair. Besides, I’ve been looking for some smaller cake pans.
I’m getting tired of freezing and giving away cake. Ok, not true on that last part…I love to give away cake, but I think I’m getting a nickname in our building. Originally, I was on the hunt for 2, good quality, 6″ cake pans. Unfortunately, they weren’t in stock. I did however find two, springform 4.5″ cake pans, a spreader and a new 18″ pastry bag. I know, I know. Give me a few hours to myself and I’m a complete animal. To celebrate my new found mini cake abilities, I put together the absolute favorite family cake and had just enough to feed everyone that breezed through the house on Sunday. On top of that, I lived out a bit of my growing “mini” obsession with a a dozen cupcakes and 1 mason jar cake on top of this 2 layer, banana cake with chocolate butter cream frosting. So, yes…I had to freeze the cupcakes. The recipe below is unadapted so it yields 2, 9″ cakes. If you happen to have 4.5″ mini cake pans, just divide it in half. Otherwise, the batter freezes well for 30 days or so, as do cupcakes. Banana cake is perfect for summer, moves well if you want to take it to a party or the beach but frost it when you get there and keep the frosting on ice or in the cooler if you do.
- 1/2 Cup of organic unsalted butter softened
- 1 1/2 Cups organic sugar
- 2 Eggs beaten (vegetarian fed, cage free)
- 1 1/2 Cups mashed bananas (about 3 of them) mixed with 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups organic, all-purpose flour, sifted*
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 Cup organic milk (whole, fat free, 1%-doesn’t matter-I use fat free)
- 1 Cup semi-sweet chocolate Chips
This is a “dip and sweep” then sift recipe: aerate your flour in the container or bag by stirring it briefly with a butter knife or large spoon. Dip your measuring cup into the flour, level the flour even to the top with a straight edge (flat edge of a butter knife, a ruler or similar), then sift. Some recipes will call for a sifted Cup, which means sifting as you measure. You can learn more about that here.
American-Style Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
- 1/3 Cup + 1 Tbsp unsalted (organic preferred) butter, room temperature
- 1/3 Cup cocoa powder (I used a basic less expensive than Dutch Process powder and it turned out great. I save the Dutch process cocoa for cake batters)
- 3 1/2 Cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 tsp Kosher salt
- 2-3 Tbsp heavy (40%) whipping cream (organic)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (not imitation)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the middle. Butter the bottom and sides of two, 4.5″ round cake pans or spray with a good quality, non-stick spray made of canola oil. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper and butter or spray the paper. See the “Basics” category for tips on how to prep your pans.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until fluffy and slightly lighter in color (about 4 minutes). You might want to start off slow to avoid chunks of butter flying out of the bowl and onto the floor (unless you’re talking to my basset hound Blue…she says “let it fly”). Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides as necessary.
- Mix the beaten eggs in a small bowl with the mashed bananas/baking soda mixture and vanilla. Add this to the butter and sugar in your mixing bowl and set to stir (low) for about 2 minutes or until the ingredients are combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides as necessary.
- Begin adding the flour mixture and milk alternately in three turns, beginning and ending with the flour, letting each incorporate completely before adding the next.
- Pour the batter in even portions into the prepared cake pans, about 1/2 way up the pan.
- Bake until the tops of the layers are firm and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in to the center comes away clean. Baking time is between 30-35 mintes.
For the frosting, cream the butter, salt and sugar until smooth on medium high. Reduce mixer speed to medium, add cocoa powder until completely incorporated and smooth, then add the vanilla. Add the whipping cream as needed to reach a spreadable consistency. Make sure your cake is completely cool before frosting.