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made this beautiful cake for a golden globes party.  it’s a recipe from sara foster’s ‘southern kitchen’ cookbook (see below).  not only is it gorgeous and grand, it’s also incredibly delicious.  the combination of bananas, crushed pineapple and pecans is so very southern – and gives this cake a nice texture and combination of flavors.

recipe as follows:

cake layers-

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup canola or veg oil

3 large eggs, beaten

2 cups ripe mashed bananas (about 4)

one 8-oz can (1 cup) crushed pineapple with juice

1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup chopped pecans

frosting-

1 pound cream cheese, softened

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

6 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 Tbsp bourbon

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

topping-

1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted

directions-

cake:  preheat the oven to 350 deg. F.  lightly grease and flour three 8- or 9-inch cake pans.  combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and nutmeg in a large bowl and stir to mix.  in a separate bowl, whisk together the canola oil and eggs until combined.  add the bananas and crushed pineapple with juice and stir to mix.

stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula just to combine.  stir in the vanilla and pecans.

divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake on the center rack of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

remove the cakes from the oven and let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes.  run a small knife around the edges of the pans before turning the cakes out onto baking racks to cool completely before frosting.

frosting:  cream the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  slowly add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until all is incorporated.  beat in the bourbon and vanilla to combine.

assembly:  once the cakes have cooled completely, use a long serrated knife to slice off the rounded top portion of each cake to make a flat, even surface.  discard the trimmings.  place one layer, cut side down, on a large plate or cake stand.  spread evenly with about one-third of the frosting and sprinkle about one -third of the pecans.  repeat with remaining layers.   if not serving within 2 hours, store in the refrigerator, then remove the cake about 1 hour before serving and let come to room temperature.

(* just fyi, i did not use fresh nutmeg but instead the powdered variety – which worked fine although i’m sure fresh would add just that much more;  i also didn’t trim any cake off the layers to make them completely flat – didn’t feel the need… and if i had, i certainly wouldn’t have ‘discarded’.  i would have eaten immediately!)