I had it for the first time at an organic grocery store near my work and I have not seen it since, so I decided to make my own. I highly recommend this cake to anyone who likes pb&b sandwiches, it is guaranteed to please. Also, it was one of the easiest layer cakes I have ever made, because the banana bread is dense and easy to handle (it didn't even really need a crumb coat when I iced it), and the filling is a no-fuss affair. It is best eaten with a glass of ice cold milk while listening to Elvis records with your friends! When we ate the cake, we all agreed that it needed more filling than I had originally put in, so I have adjusted the recipe accordingly.
To assemble the cake:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp milk
2 heaping cups mashed bananas (4-6 large ripe bananas)*
4 perfectly ripe bananas for filling
2/3 cup butter
1 jar of creamy peanut butter
1/2 jar of creamy almond butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
You will also need enough dark chocolate icing to ice the outside of the cake. I think it took me 3 cups, but 4 would have been even better. I usually make my own using this recipe from Martha Stewart, but be aware that it is a significant time investment. Being short on time but okay for money lately, I was naughty and bought a very expensive jar of icing from Williams-Sonoma that was nearly identical to the one I usually make. Any really good chocolate icing will do, but I encourage you to make sure it is deep, dark, real chocolate, since others tend to be too sweet and will ruin the mild sweetness of the cake.
*Hint: If you have a bunch of bananas that are a little to hard to mash you can microwave them for 30 seconds at a time until they are soft and easy to mash.
For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar, then add eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
2. Add mashed bananas and milk, and beat until combined.
3. Slowly add all the dry ingredients (except the brown sugar; that's for the filling), and beat until just combined.
4. Divide the batter into equal thirds, and bake each batch in a greased 9-inch round spring form pan at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, just until the edges brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. When they are done, remove them from the pan and let them cool upside-down on a wire rack. I do this because I hate leveling the layers of cake before assembly. A lot of people level the layers (cut off the little dome in the center) to make sure the cake layers do not slide off. I forgo this step because for one, it's hard, and for two, you do not want to throw out the cut off parts so you eat them, and then you have no room for a slice of the finished cake. I find that if I invert the cake while it is hot, gravity slightly compresses the tops just enough to make leveling the layers unnecessary. Huzzah!
To assemble the cake:
1. Make sure that your cake layers are absolutely, completely cool before starting to assemble the cake.
2. Mix together the brown sugar, peanut butter, and almond butter in a large bowl.
3. Bust out a fancy cake plate and put strips of parchment paper around the edge, and set the first cake layer in the center. (The parchment paper will slide out easily when you are done icing the cake and your cake plate will be spotlessly clean, and it looks very professional and fancy!)
4. Spread half of the peanut butter mixture over the layer of cake, stopping about 1/4 inch from the edge.
5. Slice two bananas about 1/4 inch thick and lay the slices over the peanut butter. Make sure they are very close together but not overlapping.
6. Lay the next layer on top and repeat steps 4 and 5. Add the last layer, and give them a little press.
7. Ice the cake with your favorite dark chocolate icing, remove the parchment paper, and try not to eat the whole thing at once!