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story.lead_photo.caption Banana Bundt Cake With Salted Caramel Glaze (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

This Easter may not be like all the others — services will be streamed rather than sunrise, egg decorating parties will be virtual and egg hunts limited to your own backyard — but the foods we eat hold the same, if not more, importance than ever.

Desserts are often as much a star of the menu as the ham. For many after a Lenten fast from sweets, dessert is the star of the menu.

The following cakes — coconut with buttercream and banana with salted caramel glaze — are freezer-friendly and work well in a variety of pan sizes, making them ideal for a small gathering now or a large gathering later.

Coconut Cake With Coconut Buttercream
(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo)
Coconut Cake With Coconut Buttercream (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo)

Coconut Cake With Coconut Buttercream

Cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup cream of coconut such as Coco Lopez

5 tablespoons milk

½ cup shortening

½ cup butter, softened

1 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided use

1 egg PLUS 4 egg whites, divided use

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract, optional

½ teaspoon coconut extract

½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut

Buttercream:

2 cups butter, cut into chunks and softened

¼ cup cream of coconut such as Coco Lopez

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ teaspoons coconut extract

Generous pinch fine salt

4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Flaked coconut, for decorating

Jellybeans or colored candies, optional for decorating

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 (8- or 9-inch) round cake pans with parchment paper or line the wells of 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream of coconut and milk.

In a large bowl, beat butter, shortening and 1 cup of the sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour; add extracts. Add the flaked coconut to the batter.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites and remaining granulated sugar to soft peaks. Fold the egg white mixture into the batter, mixing just enough to incorporate. Spoon batter into the prepared pans. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until cake is springy to the touch and a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

For the buttercream: In a large bowl, beat butter and cream of coconut, extracts and salt on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Beat in confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, until smooth and incorporated. Increase speed and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Spread frosting over cooled cakes then sprinkle generously with flaked coconut.

For a 2-layer cake, remove cakes from pans. Trim layers to level, if necessary. Place one layer on a cake stand and spoon a large dollop of frosting in the center. Spread frosting almost to the edges. Top with second layer. Measure about 1 cup of the frosting; set remaining frosting aside. Frost top and sides of cake with the 1 cup frosting to create a thin crumb layer. Chill cake 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until frosting is set. Spread the remaining frosting all over cake. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with flaked coconut and decorate with jellybeans, if desired. To freeze, place cake on a parchment-lined tray and freeze until solid, then wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Thaw cake in the refrigerator overnight.

Banana Bundt With Salted Caramel Glaze

1 cup butter, softened

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk OR sour cream

3 or 4 bananas, mashed

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

½ cup chopped nuts, optional

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan or two (6-cup) Bundt pans.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter-sugar-eggs mixture. Stir in the buttermilk or sour cream Beat in the mashed bananas and vanilla. Batter will be thick. Spoon batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake 25 to 65 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Small pans will take about 30 minutes, a large Bundt may take 65 minutes or more. Let cake(s) cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely before icing.

To freeze, place cake on a parchment-lined tray and freeze until solid, then wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Thaw cake in the refrigerator overnight.

Makes about 12 servings.

Cake recipe adapted from For I Was Hungry ... by the Perryville United Methodist Women, Circle #3, 1989 via Joe Riddle

Salted Caramel Glaze

4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

5 packed tablespoons dark brown sugar

¼ cup heavy cream

Pinch salt

¼ cup confectioners' sugar

Flaky sea salt or Diamond Crystal kosher salt, for serving

In a medium or large pot (don't use a small one, the mixture will bubble and it could overflow), combine butter, brown sugar, heavy cream and salt. Bring to a full boil and continue to boil over medium heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Whisk in confectioners' sugar until smooth, then immediately pour over cooled cake. Let set for at least 30 minutes. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt before serving.

Glaze recipe adapted from The New York Times

Food on 04/08/2020

Print Headline: Cake in the time of corona

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