Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting

I baked a cake today during the baby’s nap — she’s still a baby, even if she’s almost two and is picking up more and more words every day; still a baby for at least another six months, please — and it was a luxurious 15 minutes of assembling the batter. Though I did realize I forgot to add the sugar just after I’d slid the pan of batter into the oven (groan). Fortunately was able to rescue it and quickly stir it in before the cake had really started baking. I do love to have the little ones help but sometimes it’s nice to just do it myself. This is a banana cake destined for a party tomorrow, a recipe I haven’t made in awhile but one which I first used almost four years ago in Casablanca when bananas ripened on my counter seemingly in seconds. The original recipe I’ve made as muffins or a loaf but today I decided to do it as a 9-inch cake round and topped it with (unfortunately a bit too sweet) chocolate frosting. I cheaped out and bought the Woolworth’s brand dark chocolate chips instead of the Lindt 78% dark chocolate and I regret it, but I’m hoping a stint in the fridge overnight will mellow the sweetness a bit.

Oh. I see the last time I posted here I also wrote about a banana loaf — I guess bananas are in heavy rotation around here. This time, and I’ll be perfectly honest, the reason I made a banana cake is because Elsie got her hands on the lovely fresh banana bunch I’d just bought and somehow managed to partially open each one (perhaps she’s a baby no longer …). Not being one to waste food I mashed them into this sturdy, brown butter, cardamom-scented cake.

We went to Maine two weeks ago, with a few extra-hot days in Washington before that, and I was finally able to introduce my girls to the land of Burt Dow, Sal, her blueberries, and that one lovely morning. We splashed in the chilly Atlantic at Reid State Park and sat by the Kennebec River. It was a brief trip, too brief, really, as we do truly love Maine. We arrived home to rain and wintry weather, just in time to pack up our house and mentally prepare for our move back to California in a month. (Yep, we’re moving again, to Northern California. One last epic plane flight, a serious house hunting endeavor, and we are grounding ourselves for the near-term and possibly long-term future.)

So with yet another move on the horizon I’m whittling down the pantry. Trying to use up the spices and flour and such. I’m making progress and I imagine more cakes like this one will be forthcoming as the days slip by. We’ll miss Australia but it will be good to be home, too.

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