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Banana Cream Layer Cake
2 h 30 m
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“Here we layer delicate banana-buttermilk cake with a fluffy Bavarian-style cream that's made low-fat by combining nonfat milk with a reasonable amount of whipping cream. The rich taste makes it hard to believe that this cake has only 300 calories and 3 grams of saturated fat per slice.”
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup canola oil
1½ cups mashed very ripe bananas, (about 3), plus 2 whole bananas, divided
½ cup nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Ingredient Note)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup low-fat milk
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup whipping cream
1To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with wax paper or parchment paper.
2Whisk eggs, 1 cup sugar and oil in a large bowl. Stir in mashed bananas, buttermilk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add to the banana mixture and fold in just until blended. Divide the batter between the pans.
3Bake the cake until the tops spring back when touched lightly, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
4To prepare Bavarian cream: Place milk in a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over the milk and let stand for 1 minute to soften. Stir in 2 tablespoons sugar and heat over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the gelatin. Stir in ½ teaspoon vanilla and transfer to a medium bowl. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of raw egg whites, 40 to 45 minutes.
5Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Whisk one-third of the whipped cream into the milk mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate until set and thickened to the consistency of whipped cream again, about 1 hour.
6To assemble cake: Shortly before serving, place 1 cake layer on a serving plate and spread half the Bavarian cream over it. Peel and slice the remaining bananas; arrange half the slices evenly over the cream. Top with the second cake layer. Spread the remaining cream over the cake and arrange the remaining banana slices decoratively over the top.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3. Wrap the cooled layers in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.
Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.
Ingredient Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Available in large supermarkets and in natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.