Thursday, June 26, 2014

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting ( and pecan nuts ) by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

If you're looking for an easy and foolproof banana cake recipe then you'll love this. I made this cake for my stepfather's birthday and we LOVED it. Even my picky 7-year-old couldn't get enough of it.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting ( and pecan nuts ) by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

I found the banana cake recipe on cooks.com, and I'm so glad I tried it. It was so moist and delicious, and you'd never guess it wasn't made from scratch.

The cream cheese frosting recipe is from one of my favorite bloggers, I am baker. She used this frosting for her zucchini cupcakes and she was absolutely right, this is the best cream cheese frosting I've ever had. But I did use less sugar though. Maybe next time I'll try not to chicken out and use the exact amount of sugar on her recipe. :)

And since I like A LOT of frosting on my cakes I doubled the cream cheese frosting recipe. Now I know, I couldn't use all of that frosting on the cake, but here's what I did. You know how you get rid of the cake dome by cutting off the top part of the cake? I slathered my leftover frosting on that and sprinkled some toasted pecan nuts. Waste not, want not. :)

So without further ado, here's how I made this Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. I hope you guys love it just like my family and I did. :)

BANANA CAKE

Ingredients:
1 package yellow cake mix ( I used Betty Crocker)
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
2-3 medium size ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chopped pecan nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour cake pans ( I used two 8 inch rounds ). Stir 1/8 teaspoon baking soda into the cake mix. Beat cake mix, water, butter and eggs on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in the mashed bananas and nuts. Pour into the cake pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Ingredients:
1 package cream cheese ( 8 oz. ), softened
1 stick butter ( 8 tablespoons ), softened
4 cups confectioner's sugar ( I used 3 cups, but next time I'll try 4 )
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place room temperature butter, cream cheese, and vanilla into mixer and blend for 1-2 minutes on medium until fully incorporated. Add confectioner's sugar one cup at a time, until frosting is light and creamy.

If you're a newbie at making cakes like me, you might want to watch this video on how to assemble and frost cakes. You can also decorate the sides of the cake with chopped pecan nuts. Not only does it hide imperfections, but I also love the taste of toasted nuts.

I linked this post to these wonderful parties:


Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Gift Bag

Mother's Day Gift Bag by chengand3kids.blogspot.com #mothersday #paperbag #giftbag

I just love personalizing gift bags. So for Mother's Day this year, I transformed a humble brown paper bag into this cute gift bag, just like I saw here.

I know it looks like I wrote on it with a Sharpie, but I actually ran it through the printer. I wasn't successful at first (the paper bag got stuck inside the printer a few times), but after making sure that the printer setting is on envelope and I adjusted the size to 6.127 inches x 12.377 inches - just like Mickey of Thirty Handmade Days recommended - it came out great!

Next, I used my Fiskars border punch to punch the upper edge, to give it that pretty scallop design. Then I folded it and punched two holes with my Crop-A-Dile for the ribbons.

I was planning on making a banana cake with cream cheese frosting for my mom, but she's not really a big fan of frosting. So I ended up making these Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins instead (click here for the recipe).

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

After the muffins were cooled, I placed them in a Ziploc bag first before putting them inside the gift bag, to avoid getting grease spots on it.

Mother's Day Gift Bag by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

Pretty cute, right? :)

And being a mom myself, I got pampered by my kids as well. My day started out with this breakfast that my two girls made.

Mother's Day 2014 by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

Bacon, eggs, and pancake with maple syrup - my kids know me so well. :)

And this one's from my little boy. He painted the flowerpot in school and it says I love you mama. So sweet!

Mother's Day 2014 by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

Did you do anything special for Mother's Day? Share with me!

I linked this post to these wonderful parties: