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Every time I am asked to bake a cake for a crowd, a sheet cake is usually my choice. They are much easier than making a layer cake, and easier to cut and then pass to guests. This banana cake is one that is requested all the time, especially when topped with a creamy peanut butter frosting.
One question I get asked a lot is whether or not this banana cake can be layered. The answer is absolutely yes! You can take the cake out of the pan, layer it and finish with a rectangular layer cake. It is perfect for when you need to feed more people, but you may not have the space to place two individual cakes.
There are many ways to decorate a banana cake. I love the swirls of creamy frosting, but you can also place any number of shapes or even make tablespoon clouds over the cake. If you're new to foil cakes, it may help to know that you don't normally freeze the sides.
You can freeze your banana cake if you want to do it in advance. I generally recommend wrapping the uncovered cake tightly in plastic wrap and freezing it. When it's almost ready to serve, add the peanut butter frosting. You can freeze the cake with the frosting, you can, but first you need to partially freeze the cake so that the frosting hardens a little and doesn't rub when you add the plastic wrap. When you are ready to defrost, remove the plastic wrap immediately.
When baking the cake, I recommend creating a well in the middle of the dough and leaving the edges a little fuller. Sheet cakes tend to want to puff up more in the middle, and this helps keep the baked cake a little more level. Also, if you don't have super ripe bananas, you can toast yours to get more flavor. If you want to make this cake a little more elegant, you can brown the butter before adding it to the recipe. It's a simple trick that greatly elevates the flavor! If you want to try a smaller version, check out my banana butter brown cake.