Banana Cake with Light Almond Butter Cream Frosting

or a little for me, a little for you, a sweet treat for all

Some may say that the least stressful way to celebrate a birthday is with a store bought cake, and in some cases that may be true, but in my family not so much.  When you are dealing with a myriad of food allergies and restrictions, including a (heaven forbid) chocolate allergy, sometimes it really is just easier to make it yourself.  So this cake was inspired by necessity for my sister's birthday, that and a couple ripe bananas that were about to go bad.  I personally find butter cream frosting a bit too sweet as a pure flavor sometimes so I used a bit of almond extract to give it a little more depth.  And not too shabby a result if you ask me.

I used a separate pan and made a "mini cake" in order to test it and make sure it was good since it was my first try with this recipe, and my husband agreed that this could be a valuable tool on a regular basis even on tried and true recipes, you can never be too sure!  Needless to say, he was quite pleased with how it turned out.  You can, of course, put it all in the round cake pan and cook it a bit longer, but why would you?  No one even missed it...  It's good to treat yourself once in a while.

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
2 lg ripe bananas
2 eggs, or egg substitute equivalent
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup 2% milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and use crisco to grease a round cake pan and a bread loaf pan.

1. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
2. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer for about four minutes. Add eggs and beat for 2 min.  Add the bananas and vanilla and mix until combined.  .
3. Add half the dry mix alternating with milk in two separate additions. Pour into the two pans so they are about equal thickness, though the round can be a bit thicker if you are feeling generous.
4. Bake for about 25-35 minutes or until done (a toothpick comes out clean). Cool completely before frosting

2+ cups confectioners' sugar

1/2 cup light butter
½ tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 to 2 tbsp heavy cream

1. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and softened butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

2. Add vanilla, almond extract, and heavy cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

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