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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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May 11, 2010

An Afternoon at the Birthing Barn & Banana Layer Cake

The kids and I were at the birthing barn while Dominic was feeding the calves the other day.  It's fun to visit the barn, the kids love feeding the calves their alfalfa and letting the calves suck their fingers.  I never know what kind of photos I might be able to get.  Here I snapped a photo of a baby calf and her mamma, that I wanted to share with you.  The calf is having a little snack from her mom.

Speaking of milk......

Check out this Eating Well recipe for Banana Cream Layer Cake.  Doesn't it look delicious?  It's hard to believe this cake has only 300 calories and 3 grams of saturated fat per slice!  The cake is made with buttermilk and the fluffy cream is made low fat by combining nonfat milk with whipping cream.

Photo from Eating Well
Cake Ingredients
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas, (about 3), plus 2 whole bananas, divided
1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Ingredient Note)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Bavarian Cream
3/4 cup low-fat milk
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whipping cream


1.To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with wax paper or parchment paper.

2.Whisk eggs, 1 cup sugar and oil in a large bowl. Stir in mashed bananas, buttermilk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add to the banana mixture and fold in just until blended. Divide the batter between the pans.

3.Bake the cake until the tops spring back when touched lightly, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

4.To prepare Bavarian cream: Place milk in a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over the milk and let stand for 1 minute to soften. Stir in 2 tablespoons sugar and heat over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the gelatin. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and transfer to a medium bowl. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of raw egg whites, 40 to 45 minutes.

5.Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Whisk one-third of the whipped cream into the milk mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate until set and thickened to the consistency of whipped cream again, about 1 hour.

6.To assemble cake: Shortly before serving, place 1 cake layer on a serving plate and spread half the Bavarian cream over it. Peel and slice the remaining bananas; arrange half the slices evenly over the cream. Top with the second cake layer. Spread the remaining cream over the cake and arrange the remaining banana slices decoratively over the top.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3. Wrap the cooled layers in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.

Ingredient Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Available in large supermarkets and in natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.


Per serving: 300 calories; 11 g fat (3 g sat, 5 g mono); 47 mg cholesterol; 47 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 3 g fiber; 229 mg sodium; 204 mg potassium.

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