Banana Pudding Cake

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Sometimes when you’re thinking about the love of your life, a stroke of genius hits you! That’s exactly what happened when I was thinking about my dh a few weeks ago. The man loves banana pudding and I hate it! But I loooovveee cake! Suddenly I heard harps playing, as I sometimes do, and ding ding ding! What if we put the two together! So I started to research what banana pudding recipe to use (again, I don’t like the stuff, so I had no clue what should go into it). It was then that I realized there was a better way of making it than what I was thinking. I was simply going to make a white cake with banana pudding and vanilla wafer filling. But then I saw that someone else actually put banana pudding into the cake as well. Genius! And ever since I posted that cake on my fb and instagram pages, folks have been asking me for the recipe. So here it is! I’m going to warn you right now that it’s quite a few steps, but if you love to bake, or you just adore who you’re baking for, it’s not a problem!

Cake
2 2oz sticks butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar 3 eggs + 2 egg whites
3 tsp vanilla 3 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
One 3.4oz box instant Banana cream pudding mix
1 cup milk

Banana Pudding Filling :
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups milk
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter
3 medium bananas, sliced

Whipped Cream Frosting:
1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups heavy cream

To brush on layers:
Mix together the following:
1 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk 1 Tbsp whole milk

You’ll also need:
2-3 medium ripe bananas sliced

Step 1: Make the cake

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prep three 8″ round pans (or 2 pans and 1 cupcake pan) by lining the bottom with parchment paper or baking spray. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in eggs and egg whites, one at a time. Beat in vanilla until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and pudding mix. Add into wet ingredients in three separate additions, mixing until just combined. Don’t over mix! Stir in milk until combined. Divide batter and pour into 3 pans. Bake 22-25 minutes or until cake is golden and begins to pull away from sides of pans. Allow cake to cool 15 minutes in pan. Loosen and remove from pan. Allow to cool another 1-2 hours on a wire rack.

Step 2: Make the Pudding (courtesy of Paula Deen)
While the cake is cooling, make your pudding as follows:
Mix together sugar and cornstarch and slowly add milk. This should be cooked in the top of a double boiler, but you can cook it over low to medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens. Do not leave it unattended. Slightly beat egg yolks and temper with a small amount of the hot custard; stir well. Add egg mixture to custard pot and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter. Let cool.

Step 3: Make your Whipped Cream Frosting
Combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and mix on medium speed until smooth. While the mixture is still whipping, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Stop and scrape the bottom of the bowl a couple of times while you continue whipping until the cream can hold a stiff peak.

Step 4: Begin layering

Level each cake. Add the pudding and slices of banana between the cakes to make a 3 layer cake. Brush outside of cake with milk mixture. Decorate with leftover slices of bananas. Cover the whole cake with whipped cream frosting and top with nila wafers. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

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F.I.N.A.L.L.Y.

Being a SAHM is the very opposite of easy. It is the most difficult job I’ve ever done. I used to say that leaving home to go to work was a vacation for me, and in a lot of ways, it was. I had time to talk to adult people, make important, yet not life or death, decisions, feel useful, all those great things. Being a SAHM I’m responsible for every single aspect of Johanna’s life 24/7. I don’t punch in or out. I don’t get to choose whether or not I’m going to be alert and watchful. I’m on all.the.time. However, none of that has bothered me more than the fact that Johanna felt like she had no friends. But she DOES have friends. Let me explain…

Johanna sees maybe one friend a month, and usually not the same friend. It’s hard to plan playdates on weekends. Everyone is busy, especially in the nations capitol. There’s always something going on and the rat race is real. I do not know 1 other SAHM in my area with a female child close to Johanna’s age. None. I have met moms, A LOT of moms, with 18 month old sons. I’ve met moms with 8 year old daughters. I have yet to meet a mom that homeschools that has a child close to Johanna’s age that does not live in east bubble-nut…until a couple of days ago!

I joined a meetup on meetup.com that has a facebook page as well. It’s for local SAHM looking for playdates. Now, I have joined plenty of these groups in the past and either they fell apart, or all of the kids were under the age of 3 and they were mostly boys. So, I posted a message on the facebook page asking [read: pleading] for somebody, anybody, that had a daughter my age to respond, ya know, if they wanted to [read: I begged my behind off]. And things weren’t looking so good. Suddenly moms with 18 month old boys were responding and hooking up for playdates, I lie to you not, right there on my post. I was nearly in tears. But then…it happened! Someone said I’ve been searching for you too! And I promise you that at that very moment I saw a dove fly by. Yup. Right here in my living room. There was a harp playing. Angels descended and I was in tears.

You don’t understand. I prayed fervently for this. I’m not joking. During all of my prayers I would ask Jesus to seriously please bring someone into our lives that we could have a weekly playdate with. And he did that! Not that I ever doubted he would! I’m just ecstatic! Squeeeeeee!

Wednesday night I told Johanna about the playdate and she was soooo over-the-moon excited! She ran into the kitchen saying “Daddy! Tomorrow I meet my best friend! We go on a play date.” And I…my heart sung, and I teared up [read: boohooed like a baby]. And on Thursday, it happened. After a series of unfortunate events on the cloudiest day ever, we met at one of the most spectacular museums on Earth, the Air and Space Museum, and…well, just see for yourself!

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At the end Johanna got sad. We parted ways as they got off at their metro stop and Johanna said “I don’t want to stop playing with her” and I told her, God willing, you won’t have to! You’ll see her again soon.

Through all of the ups and downs of homeschooling, and there are a ton of ups and downs when mommy is not just mommy but also the teacher, this was the down that was breaking my heart. And now, this mama doesn’t feel like such a loser anymore.

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