Go B-A-N-A-N-A-S Cake

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We’ve went and gone bananas over this cake!

After my zucchini baking phase, I decided to switch things up a bit. Since I really enjoy fruit in baked goods, I decided to make a banana cake!

This cake tastes exactly like the banana bread that your grandma used to make, except without the hard (almost burnt) outer crust and the thick density of the loaf.
You get the same good ole fashion banana bread taste in a beautiful iced cake!
And lets face it – a cake is a lot more visually appealing than bread and is a lot funner to decorate! 😉

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(Add some chopped walnuts if you want an extra crunch!)

This cake really does have the perfect amount of bananas. Not too much that it overpowers everything, and not too little that you can’t even taste it. Not only is this cake fluffy, moist and light – while its in the oven, your house will smell like a sweet banana haven. While the cake was baking, I couldn’t wait to get it out of the oven and take a bite! Nummerz! You are going to want a piece right away – the smell is so mouthwatering and aromatic! (This is the cake to make if you are having guests over and want to impress them with something delicious-smelling baking in the oven hehe. 😉 )

Go B-A-N-A-N-A-S Cake
Moist banana cake topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 cup sour cream
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  10. 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approx. 3-4 bananas)
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  2. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  3. 3 – 4 cup confectioners sugar (to your preference – I used 3 cups)
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  5. dash of nutmeg
  6. chopped walnuts {optional}
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9″x13″ inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer (using the paddle attachment), cream together the butter and sugar until light and smooth. Switch from the paddle attachment to the beater/whisk and beat in eggs slowly, one at a time. Stir in the sour cream and vanilla until evenly mixed.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and whisk a few seconds until mixed. Pour the dry mix into the wet mix and stir together. Lastly, mix in the mashed banana. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 25-35 minutes, {start checking at 25 minutes as oven temperatures vary – I kept my cake in for 34 minutes} or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before icing!
To Make The Frosting
  1. In the bowl of your mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), mix the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth and creamy. Stir in vanilla extract and the nutmeg. Using a spatula or your preferred tool, spread frosting evenly on the cooled cake. Top with chopped walnuts! {optional}
Rose & Lea http://roseandlea.com/

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Happy Baking!
Natasha xo

Pretty-in-PINK Lemonade Cupcakes

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Even though the first day of Fall is not until September 22nd, for some reason August 31st always feels like the end of Summer to me.
Right when September 1st rolls around, I feel like Summer has officially ended & Fall has begun.

As you may know from my last few baking posts, I am more than ready for Fall.
So I thought I’d make one last ‘Summer’ recipe before the blog is all things pumpkin!

I made PINK Lemonade Cupcakes, and they are every bit as tasty as they are gorgeous. I love how bright and colourful they are, (It’s a nice change from cranberries & nutmeg) and they are super moist & light. Unlike most cupcakes, the cake is fluffy, fresh, & lemony – not heavy at all, (No eggs are used).
These cupcakes are definitely a summer-must at a backyard BBQ! 

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PRETTY-IN-PINK LEMONADE CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

For the Cake – 
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch – 1/2 teaspoon of salt
zest from 1 lemon
1 3/4 cup water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar
juice from 1 lemon

For the Frosting – 
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2-3 cups icing sugar
juice from 1 lemon
a few drops of red food colouring (to your preference to create the perfect PINK colour!)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients – Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda, Salt, & the Lemon Zest. Set Aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients – Water, Oil, Vanilla Extract, Vinegar & Lemon Juice. Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients & stir slowly until ingredients are evenly combined & no lumps appear in the batter. Do not overmix.

3. Pour the batter (The batter will be extremely wet!) into lined baking pans, about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.

Frosting:

1. Using your electric stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the icing sugar slowly, (scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed) to your preference of sweetness. Add the lemon juice & a few drops of red food colouring – mix until you get the perfect fluffy frosting!

Happy Baking!

Natasha xo

Mango & Strawberry Banana Smoothie

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I have been on a total smoothie kick lately and have been trying out different kinds of smoothie recipes… Some turned out decent, others not so good. Than I came across this little gem – a delicious Mango & Strawberry Banana Smoothie and it’s so tasty, I had to share this one with you guys – believe me, it’s a keeper!

Fresh, fruity, healthy, pretty, & easy to make! (What more could you want?)

I found the recipe on myrecipes which you can find here, but I have adapted it slightly.

Mango & Strawberry Banana Smoothie
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Ingredients
  1. (Yield: 2 smoothies)
  2. 1 mango (peeled, and coarsely chopped)
  3. 1 1/4 cups total of plain low-fat yogurt
  4. 2 tablespoons honey
  5. 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  6. pinch of freshly grated lime zest
  7. 1 banana (peeled & chopped)
  8. 10 medium sized strawberries (washed, and chopped)
  9. 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  10. pinch of freshly grated lemon zest
To make the Mango Layer
  1. In a blender, combine the mango, 3/4 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, pinch of lime zest & 2 ice cubes. Blend until combined. Divide the mango smoothie into 2 glasses, and set aside. Rinse the blender.
To make the Strawberry Banana Layer
  1. Combine the banana, strawberries, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, pinch of lemon zest, and 2 ice cubes and blend until smooth.
  2. Using a large spoon, GENTLY scoop the strawberry banana layer onto the inside edges of the glass on top of the mango layer. Do not pour the strawberry layer right on top of the mango layer straight from the blender, or else you won’t get the nice crisp horizontal line. (The first time I made a layered smoothie, it didn’t clarify how to pour the layer on top and I ended up with a swirly smoothie, instead of layered 😉 ) Take your time, and using a spoon drop small amounts at a time.
Rose & Lea http://roseandlea.com/
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Happy Smoothie-Drinking! 
Natasha xo