Mini Chocolate Banana Cake

You know those nights when you really want some cake?  You think to yourself, "I'm going to make a cake."  But then you have the realization that if you make a cake, then you will eat A CAKE.  Like, the whole thing.  If you are like me, you crave cake, even when you don't have a crowd at your house to help you eat the thing.  I have a solution for you.  Mini cake.  Its the perfect size for 2 hungry people or 4 regular people (I'm always the former).

Ok, the one kinda odd thing you will need for this recipe is a 6" round cake pan.  These are mostly used for tiered wedding cakes, so you can find one someplace specialty baking supplies are sold.  I got mine at Hobby Lobby.  

Mini Chocolate Banana Cake Recipe: makes one 6" cake

1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 really ripe banana
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. canola oil
1 large egg
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. chocolate buttercream frosting*** (optional)
Banana slices, fresh mint sprigs, and powdered sugar for decorating

Preheat your oven to 350.  Oil and flour your 6" round cake pan and set to the side.

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl mash up your ripe banana really well with a fork until there aren't any large chunks left. Once it is good and creamy, add the sugar, canola oil, egg, milk and vanilla.  Stir until combined.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well combined.

Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan, and pop it into the oven.  Bake for 30-35 min.

When your cake is ready it will have risen to almost fill the pan.  After letting the cake cool for 5 minutes in the pan, remove from the pan and let it cool off on a cooling rack.

Once the cake is cooled, you can slice it in half width wise like a hamburger bun if you want to.  I sliced mine and filled the layer with a little chocolate buttercream frosting.  If you don't want to mess with the frosting leave the cake whole.

Top with sliced bananas and mint sprigs and dust with powdered sugar.

That's it!  And now you have a little cake.  Look, I even did some math for you.  The little cake is a forth of the size of a full size cake.... When you consider that most full size cakes are double layered... Its an only an eighth.  EAT THE WHOLE THING!  Its totally reasonable.

***  Frosting is one of those things that freezes really well.  Next time you make a recipe and have some leftover frosting, put it in a plastic bag and freeze it.  Then you will have a little bit when you need it.  Feel free to omit the frosting from this cake.  You really don't need it.  The cake is super moist.  Or, you can buy/make some frosting and store the extra in the freezer.

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