birthday cake, cake, Family Style

3 Birthdays. 1 Baby. ๐Ÿ’œ

We are celebrating my baby girl turning 2 this month. We also said good-bye to my dad for 6 months as he is off to the middle east somewhere to support our country. We also have a fairly large family, on both sides, which makes it…interesting, to say the least, to celebrate birthdays. To prove that, I’ll tell you that I made my 2 year old THREE birthday cakes this month. Yeah. I don’t know what I was thinking. I do have to say that I think this one may have been my favorite of the three. I made a strawberry cake, this amazing banana cake, and a ‘fruit medley’ cake. I’m still not sure what to call that last one. I’ll post it soon and some feedback would be appreciated on what the name should be.

Now…these three cakes were not for just ONE event. We actually celebrated her birthday 3 separate times. So she’s going to be very confused when I tell her again today HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Because today actually IS her birthday. She’s my Harry Potter baby. ๐Ÿ™‚

As I mentioned before, my dad left this month and we had Shiloh’s birthday party several weeks early so that he could be a part of it. I made the strawberry cake for that shindig and it was really beautiful. The reason I’m posting the banana cake first is because it ended up being my favorite. And it wasn’t even that pretty. It was really rich but also kind of light and the cream cheese frosting was so perfect on top. I loved the crumb of the cake and the little bit of chocolate bite you get with the chocolate chips on the inside and the drizzle on top of the cake.

I highly recommend you give this cake a shot if you even like bananas just a little bit. The layer of vanilla pudding in the middle of the cake really made the whole thing just decadent and lovely.

I prefer this cake served cold just because it’s summer and why not? Even though this cake has a pinch of cinnamon doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be enjoyed in the dead heat of summer.

I understand that a lot of people seem to be very passionate about banana pudding and the way that it’s made. My husband is one of those people. I’m sorry to say that this is not actually banana pudding…but it reminds me of it. The flavor of the banana cake and the texture of the creamy pudding really make you feel like you’re eating a decadent banana pudding. The main thing missing is of course the nilla wafers. I didn’t happen to have any so they didn’t end up in the cake.

I truly hope you try this cake and if you do, please let me know what you think!

Banana Pudding Chocolate Chip Cake

For the cake:

1 1/2 sticks softened butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

3 eggs

3 ripe bananas, mashed

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk

3 cups flour

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the filling:

1 package vanilla Jell-O pudding

2 cups cold milk

For the icing:

1 8 oz. package cream cheese

1 1/2 sticks softened butter

4 cups powdered sugar

For the topping:

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

2 tbsp. melted butter

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 and spray a 9X13″ glass dish with baking spray.

Begin by mashing your bananas. Three ripe bananas should produce close to a cup and a half when measured.

Measure out the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl and stir with a whisk to break up any clumps.

Put your softened butter with your sugars in the bowl of your stand mixer and mix on medium to high speed for several minutes while the mixture gets really fluffy. Don’t skimp on this step. I even scrape down the bowl a couple times to make sure it gets all the butter mixed in.

While your sugar and butter are creaming, crack your eggs into a small pitcher and pour your buttermilk into a separate pitcher.

Once the butter and sugar are really creamy, add the eggs one at a time, making sure the batter is mixed well between each.

Then add the bananas and the vanilla extract, mixing well.

After the batter has been mixed well, add half of the flour mixture, mix, all of the buttermilk, mix, the remaining flour mixture, mix, and then scrape down the bowl a final time before mixing again.

Finally, add the chocolate chips and fold those in with a large rubber spatula until thoroughly distributed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 48-50 minutes.
While the cake is baking, mix the vanilla pudding powder with the cold milk and whisk until the mixture has thickened considerably.

Once thick, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the cake has been cooled.

Once the cake cools, use a serrated knife to slice the cake in half horizontally.

Carefully remove the top layer and add the vanilla pudding. Place the top back on and chill in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes.

While the cake is chilling, make your icing and topping.

Put the cream cheese (I keep this cold) and softened butter in a bowl and mix on high speed for several minutes until the mixture is thoroughly whipped. Add the powdered sugar and continue mixing for several more minutes until your desired consistency. Cream cheese softens the more you process it so I usually never add more moisture to my cream cheese icings.

Put the chocolate chips in a small bowl with the butter and microwave for 30 seconds until melted.

Stir the chocolate until it’s silky and completely melted.

To finish the cake, take it out of the refrigerator and scoop the icing on top. Use an offset spatula to smooth it into all the corners and to even out the icing across the cake.

Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate across the top in your desired pattern.

Chill until ready to serve.

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