Belated Mother’s Day

Mother's Day Strawberry Cake Balls

Mother’s day and Father’s day have always been special holidays for me. After all, I’m celebrating the two people who (with God) brought me into this world.  And I have amazing parents.

So, in honor of (belated) Mother’s day, here’s to my mom! An amazing woman who cares so much for her girls and grand-girls, her parents, sisters, and everyone else in her life. Who worries a lot about us because she wants for everything to be right in our lives. Who is truly one of my best friends and someone I can go to with anything and everything. The person I call for advice in life, financial tips because I have NO idea what all of the technical financial terms mean, to share happy moments, and to calm me down when I feel like my world is falling apart.  Yes, I have my fiancee to do many of these things as well, but there’s just nothing like a mom’s advice.  After all, she’s seen me grow up, helped me pick up the pieces after my mistakes, and griped at me to clean my room more times than I can count. (I thank her for this now because my apartment is typically very tidy.)

Another great thing about my mom is she’s always there to help in any way she can.  She’s saved me from many cake disasters and helped with a bunch of deliveries.  Fixed the cage of my UFC cake when the sun melted it. And drove 2 hours after work on a Friday to help me finish 300 cake balls for a friends’ wedding favors.  All because she knew that, despite my claims, I couldn’t handle it alone.

So here’s to you, mom. A truly amazing woman and even better mom!

 

Also for Mother’s day, a friend ordered these cake balls from Little Bit Sweet for her mom.  I’m rather pleased with them! Strawberry cake balls with white chocolate coating. Yummy!

Strawberry Cake Balls

Banana Pudding Cake

The only thing constant in life is change.

But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Growing up, changing schools, going off to college….the sad, sad end of the Friends tv series (yes, years later and I’m still mourning that loss).  This weekend, it was time to visit my hometown and say goodbye to my childhood home.  My parents are moving on to build their dream home. It was also my dad’s and grandpa’s birthdays.  So many reasons to celebrate!!

The cake for their party combined two family favorites.  Banana pudding and cake.  Awesome combo!!!

But first, a funny story.  There tend to be many of these when my family gets together.

This time, I was writing my last post while my mom cleaned out their pantry.  Every few minutes hearing “Would you use…?” as she pawned off donated pantry items to my sister and I.  Hey, I’m all for free food that will mean I don’t have to grocery shop for a while.  That is, until this convo happened:

Mom:  “Want some baking powder?”
Me:  “Sure! When does it expire?”  <– Half family joke, half necessary question
Mom:  “Ummm…<searching>…1991. Omg!!”

Yep. That baking powder went in the trash pile.

Overall, it was a great weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed my last few nights spent visiting that house.  I know it’s time to move on to bigger an better things, but that will always be our home. Did I mention change isn’t easy??

For the celebratory portion of our weekend, I worked to make a cake for both of the birthday boys.  Quick break to say Hi grandpa and happy birthday!!!  (He gets post updates on his iPad.  Seriously, my grandparents are awesome) And happy birthday to my wonderful dad!!

So my dad likes vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream…boring…and my grandpa just likes cake. I decided to go with a banana pudding cake.  Here’s the recipe:

Banana Pudding Cake

Makes ~20+ servings (we cut small pieces, so we got more than 20)

***Note:  Look through each part of the cake to find all ingredients.  They’re listed separately to make it easier to prepare the cake.  To address comments made: Yes there are TWO boxes pudding in here (1 vanilla flavored, 1 banana flavored) and I use Cool Whip for the frosting.***

Cake

  • 2 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 1.34oz box instant, sugar-free banana pudding mix
  • 1 cup milk

Filling: Whisk together the following ingredients and refrigerate until assembling cake (~10minutes).

  • One 1.34oz box instant, sugar-free vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 1/4 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup Cool Whip (or whipped cream)

To brush on layers: Mix together the following:

  • 1 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Tbsp skim milk

You’ll also need:

  • 2-3 medium ripe bananas
  • 3-4 cups Cool Whip for frosting

Step 1:  Make the cake

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prep three 8″ round pans by lining the bottom only with parchment paper. 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 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:  Begin layering

Level each cake.  Place first layer on cake plate. Brush with a little milk mixture.


Line banana slices on top of cake.  Spread 1/3-1/2 of the filling mix on top of bananas.


Place next cake layer on top of filling. Repeat with milk mix, filling, and final layer.

Step 3: Frost

This is the fun part.  Frost with Cool Whip and decorate as you wish.  I crushed some mini Nilla wafers and spread on top.  Then used the wafers along the sides.

Whew!  Sounds super complicated, but it was simple to make.  You may also want to put some Nilla wafers in between the layers.  You know, if you’re feeling extra fancy and decadent.

Very important!!:  Store this cake in the fridge!!  Lots of perishable ingredients.  You’ve been warned, so I’m off the hook if you don’t refrigerate and get sick. 😉

Like the fancy plates I chose?? haha 🙂

This may be a new family favorite.  It’s definitely not a “good for you” cake, but this was a very special occasion. Everyone loved it, too!  My nieces especially enjoyed picking off and eating the Nilla wafers.

Want traditional banana pudding?  Click here for my family’s recipe.