This is a very delicious, but incredibly large, cake. I'm not sure this picture does it justice. It is four layers of awesome banana cake layered with a fluffy marshmallow-like frosting and covered with coconut. Natalie declared this cake "the best dessert you've ever made."
For how enormous this cake is, it was actually pretty simple -- with the exception of the giant ingredient-wasting hiccup I encountered while trying to cut corners.
I made the cake layers in the morning before leaving to take Maddy to Zoo Corps. It was a very simple banana cake recipe. Mashing the bananas was probably the hardest part of the preparation. While mashing bananas, I came up with a scenario where we are too poor to have mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving and so we are having mashed bananas instead. I will just mash them with salt and pepper and butter. Since I detest bananas unless they are baked into cake or banana bread, I almost vomited just thinking about that preparation.
My mashed bananas got stirred into the butter, sugar, egg batter along with some pecans. Much better fate for bananas. Add a few dry ingredients and some buttermilk and your batter is done! Divide into four pans and bake. Super simple.
Later in the day, after golf and picking Maddy up from Zoo Corps, I made the frosting. Here was my shortcut disaster. This is a 15 minute 7 minute icing. You make a hot sugar syrup consisting of THREE CUPS of sugar, 3/4 cup boiling water and 1/3 cup Karo syrup. And then you pour the hot syrup into 3/4 cups of egg whites beatern stiff -- then beat for 15 minutes.
I was feeling lazy and thought I could just use the pasturized egg whites that come in the carton. WRONG! They did beat up into peaks. But when I added the syrup, they deflated and I ended up with a giant bowl of sweet liquid. So gross. And what a waste of THREE CUPS of sugar.
Second try, with real eggs, worked much better. The frosting whipped up marshmallow-y and frothy and light like it was supposed to. Only problem is that now I have 6 egg yolks. Anybody up for 6 cups of mayonnaise????
It was a giant amount of frosting. It was easy to frost and assemble the cake because there was never any reason to think that you might run out of frosting. I estimate that there is a one inch layer of frosting all over this cake. If you don't like 7-minute frosting, this cake will be WAAAAY too sweet for you. If you do like 7-minute frosting (and I do -- I LOOOOOOVE 7 minute frosting), it is a perfect cake. Natalie described it as banana bread with marshmallow fluff, which I think is a pretty accurate description.
I would make this again for a special occasion where you need 20 pieces of cake. It was fun to make (except for the frosting mishap), looks spectacular, and tastes DE-licious.