Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Banana Pudding Cake

Hi.  I have something that I need to admit.  I love baking cakes.  I may have mentioned this here in my Chocolate lavender cake, and here in my Nana's carrot cake  They are so much fun!  Once you have the base recipe down, you can change things up any way you want!  A couple of weeks ago, my sister tagged me on Facebook about a banana pudding cake, and, as a good Southern girl, I knew this had to be in my life.  

Unfortunately, I could not find the tag again, but the idea just sat in my brain.  Teased me.  All I could think about was making a banana pudding cake.
So, I made one!

Do you need this in your life, too?  Yeah, you do.  
Here's your grocery list for this delightful cake:
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
3 C All purpose flour
2 (1.34 oz) boxes of banana pudding mix, divided
1 3/4 C granulated sugar
3 whole eggs
2 egg whites
3 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 C milk + 1 TBS extra
2 tubs Cool Whip (softened in the refrigerator overnight)
1 TBS sweetened condensed milk
3-4 ripe bananas
1 box of Nilla wafers
Got it?  Good!  Lets get started!  As I generally start, lets preheat the oven to 350*, and cream together the softened butter with the sugar. 

Add in your egg whites, and whole eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.  The first time I saw a recipe (it was for a cheesecake) say "add eggs one at a time", I thought that was the most ridiculous thing I'd ever read.  How else are you supposed to add eggs?  So I turned my mixer off, added in all of the eggs that the recipe called for, and then mixed them in, all together.  The cheesecake did not turn out well.  So, just so you know, when a recipe says to add eggs "one at a time", it means to add an egg and let it mix into the other ingredients before adding another.
Now then, back to your regularly scheduled blog post!

Once your eggs are mixed in, add in your vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and one of the pudding mixes.  No need to sift, but do whisk the dry ingredients together, just to make sure everything is evenly mixed together.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, a little at a time, letting the batter develop as you add in the dry ingredients.

This is not a runny cake batter!  This batter actually reminded me a lot of a pound cake batter.  It is very thick.

Once your batter is finished, dish it up into three 8 inch cake pans, greased, and lined with parchment paper.  You can see here just how thick this batter is.  However, just smooth it out with a knife, until the batter touches the edge of the cake pans.  

Once you're ready, bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes pull away from the pan, or a toothpick comes out clean.  

Let the cakes sit in the pan, while cooling, for about 10 minutes.  Then, take them out of the pan, and allow to cool completely, for at least a couple of hours.  While these are cooling, mix together 1 TBS of sweetened condensed milk, and the 1 TBS of milk.  
Like in my Patriotic potato salad, I like to mix this up in a little mason jar.  This makes quick work of anything like this, it's great for making homemade dressings, too!  Now then, set this aside, and lets focus on making the filling for the cakes!

Take 1 C of the CoolWhip, the other box of banana pudding, and 1 1/4 C of milk, and mix them in a medium sized bowl.  To start off, the CoolWhip looks like it may not come together, but I had to work with it for about a minute only, and ended up with this lovely, smooth and creamy filling.  
Now, lets turn our attention to the Nilla wafers.  Puree 15-20 wafers in a food processor until they are fine crumbs; or just beat the mess out of them with a baggie and a mallet.  

We're almost to the homestretch, folks!  I promise!  Level off your cakes (I showed how to do this in this blog post), and brush the tops of the cakes with the sweetened condensed milk mixture.  Once they are brushed, lay the banana slices down over the tops, sprinkle the tops of the bananas with the wafer crumbs, and then squirt some of the filling on top, and smooth it out.

I put my filling into a zip top bag, cut off the corner, and then squeeze the filling over the tops of the banana slice/crumb topping.

Now that you see how to assemble this cake, do this for all of the layers of the cake. Once your cake layers are all together, take the rest of the CoolWhip, and frost the outside of the cake.  Take the rest of the Nilla wafers, and press them against the sides of the cake, and sprinkle the top with rest of the wafer crumbs.

A quick note about the spray whipped cream, do this as last minute as possible.  I only did it like this for the pictures.