Cathy Says “Bye Bye!” To Beth.

As usual, I am writing this entry about three months after this Cathy was baked.  I really need to get on top of this whole “prompt and timely” posting thing.  Because now it’s old news that our fabulous merchandiser Beth is no longer part of our product development team, and it seems like months ago that we celebrated her move to her exciting new position (well…it was months ago).

Since Beth is a self-proclaimed fan of the Cathy Cake Club, there seemed to be no more fitting tribute to her than her very own Cathy cake.

I decided that I wanted to make a scratch cake for this event, and that can be very tricky.  Often my scratch cakes come out dry or weird.  Or horrible.  And I couldn’t let that happen, as I was going to be serving this cake to my entire department at work.  There is one scratch cake recipe I have that consistently comes out good every time: Shelly Grieb’s Banana Cake.  Yes, the cake that Tim’s mom made for the San Jose Sabercats for years (there was even an article about Shelly and the cake in the San Jose Mercury News).  Tim has made this cake for me many times, and I’m starting to get good at it too.  It’s moist and banana-y without tasting like banana bread.

So I started mashing some bananas.

Then I started working on the batter, getting ready to put my mushed up bananas inside it.  I love how everything in this cake is pale yellow.

Then Cathy went into the oven, and came out a short time later a perfect golden color.

Now for the frosting.  I went with Shelly’s traditional banana cake accompaniment – a browned butter frosting.  I was a little worried about how this would come out when I starting tinting it with the colors, and I was also concerned about spreadability.  In my state of panic, I slightly over-moistened the frosting.  Too much liquid.  But there was no turning back!  It was late in the evening, I had no more supplies and I had to press on!  What would happen?!?

Well, the frosting just ended up being a little thinner than I would normally like, but it sure spread easily with a knife.  And in the end gave a nice, smooth finish.  Here she is with most of her major parts filled in.

And here is the finished Cathy!  Because the icing was spreading so smoothly, I went with the thin black outlines to truly replicate a “comic” look.

Also please note Cathy’ shirt.  The pattern is called “Iona Floral”, a.k.a. “The One Floral Print That The Buyers Were Having None Of”, a.k.a. “Beth’s Liability Legacy”.

Maybe if I had made this cake for the buy meeting – it could have helped…?

Ah, we have fun at work.  *Shakes head and smiles knowingly*

Oh, and the cake tasted really good.

Shelly’s Banana Cake

  • Not quite 2 cups of flour
  • 1 2/3 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2/3 cup of butter flavored crisco
  • 2/3 cup of buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2-3 crushed over-ripe bananas
All in a mixer, mix for 30 seconds then for 3 minutes on high speed.
Preheat oven to 350.
Grease and flour 13×9 baking pan (or Cathy).
Bake for 40 minutes (I think Cathy may have only taken 35).

Banana Cake Frosting

  • 1/3 cup of butter/margarine
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teas of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of Hazelnut Non-Dairy Creamer or milk
Heat butter in sauce pan over med heat until delicate brown (or until margarine stops sizzling).
Mix all ingredients in the blender or mixer.
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