Old Fashioned Banana Cake

Adapted by Anne Strawberry from Ina Garten's "How Easy Is That"

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar (I prefer dark but whatever you have on hand is fine)

grated zest of one orange

3 very ripe bananas, mashed (I make my little man help me with this)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1/2 cup plain, nonfat yogurt (Ina called for sour cream but yogurt worked great here, either is great)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt (I always use kosher but it's up to you)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (option- I omitted these for baby Strawberry's sake, but I would recommend pecans here)

cream cheese frosting (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9 x 2 inch round cake pan (note- a small casserole pan would work great too, or cupcakes- I'd guess you'd get about 18-20- just lower the cooking time to about 20-25 minutes).

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine both sugars and the orange zest. Rub together until fragrant. Put on the paddle attachment and mix in the bananas until combined. Still on low, add the oil, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla and mix until smooth.

If you're feeling patient (not likely over here) sift together the dry team- flour, soda salt. Carefully add to the mixer on low speed, until just combined (you don't want to over do this and cause the cake to be tough). Stir in the nuts if desired (or chocolate chips!) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes then turn out onto a rack, flip it over again, and cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting, garnish with nuts, and enjoy!

Anne's Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces neufchatel (reduced fat cream cheese), very soft- that's one box

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, also softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 pound powdered sugar (half a standard bag- about 4 cups)

Cream the cream cheese can butter until smooth and perfectly incorporated on low speed, being careful not to go too long or too fast to avoid excess air in the frosting. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until smooth and delicious. We use the extra to make coveted "graham cracker sandwiches", just spread a few tablespoons between graham crackers and freeze. Yum.