This was the dessert I made for the Southern themed dinner hosted by my friend Gina for our dinner group. This was a really delicious (and surprisingly easy) cake to make. I thought that I would have tasted the pineapple but perhaps it was just there to provide moisture. I heard that this is also made with coconut which would have been delicious. I'm not sure why the directions say to add the pecans to the frosting. That seemed a little strange to me so I just chopped them up and added them around the sides. This was a wonderful dessert that I'd make again!
1 cup (110 grams) pecans
3 cups (390 grams) all-purpose flour
2 cups (400 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup (180 ml) safflower, corn, or canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) can crushed pineapple, do not drain
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4 medium sized bananas)
Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound box (454 grams) (about 3 2/3 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (55 grams) finely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Butter or spray two - 9 x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper.
Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop finely.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon.
In another large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, pineapple, mashed bananas, and finely chopped pecans. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, and then cool completely before frosting.
Frosting: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and cream cheese, on low speed, until very smooth with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract and then stir in the finely chopped pecans.
To assemble: place one cake, top side down, onto your serving platter. Spread with about a third of the frosting. Gently place the other cake layer, top of cake facing up, onto the frosting, and spread the rest of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Can garnish with pecan halves. Refrigerate the cake for about one hour so the frosting has time to set.
Serves 10 - 12 people.