Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Ingredient note)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 large egg white
1 large egg, separated
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1½ cups sugar, divided
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas, (2 large)
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
⅓ cup unsweetened coconut chips, or flaked
12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
½ cup confectioners' sugar
½ teaspoon coconut extract
To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Dust lightly with flour, shaking out the excess (or use cooking spray with flour).
Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, swirling, until it turns a nutty brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add ½ cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry (this can take up to 5 minutes).
Combine the melted butter, egg yolk, remaining 1 cup sugar, bananas, oil and vanilla in a large bowl. With mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk; beat until just blended. Beat in a heaping spoonful of the whites. Using a whisk, fold in the remaining whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake the cake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto the racks and let cool completely.
To prepare frosting & assemble cake: Toast coconut in a pie pan at 350°F until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.
Combine cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and coconut extract in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
Frost the cake, using a little less than half the frosting between layers and the rest on the top. Garnish with the toasted coconut.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through step 6. Wrap cake layers in plastic wrap, then foil and freeze for up to 3 months.
Equipment: Two 9-inch round cake pans
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.