Easter 2016

This was our second year hosting Easter brunch at our place and had lots of fun! My cousins and brother came over at noon and we enjoyed a festive meal. Here's a recap from brunch:
I went with a simple table decor and got fresh flowers from our local bodega to spruce things up.
I used the napkin rings my mom made from my grandmother's brooches and it gave a sparkly touch :)
I just got this new tablecloth from Target and LOVE the pattern and colors....it's like it was designed perfectly for our little apartment :)
Since we were eating a big meal, I only prepared this spinach dip Easter bunny. It was super easy to pull together and gave me a few extra minutes to clean up the kitchen before everyone came. I forgot to take pictures of the actual meal (oops - everyone was hungry!), but I made a honey baked ham, which was delicious. We picked up the juiciest ham from our local butcher and I made the honey glaze. I made a spinach and rice side salad (except I used marcona almonds chopped and used a Newman's Olive Oil and Vinegar dressing instead of making my own). The other two sides I made were pan seared asparagus and mini cinnamon buns. 
 And for dessert, I made this delicious banana cake with cream cheese frosting. This cake was seriously amazing and might be my new favorite cake! I came across it while I was looking for the Lebanese stuffed zucchinis and it was the perfect dessert to compliment the brunch.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Cake Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed, ripe
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/8 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Cream Cheese Frosting (this is not the recipe from Epicurious, but from the recipe for our wedding cake. It is our absolutely favorite cream cheese frosting recipe and I promise it won't disappoint!)

  • 1 lb. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 C sifted powder sugar
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 275°. 
  2. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan. 
  3. In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside. 
  4. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. 
  5. In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy. 
  6. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 tsp vanilla. 
  7. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. 
  8. Stir in banana mixture. 
  9. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist. 
  11. For the frosting, in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar and butter on low speed until incorporated.  Increase speed to high and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Occasionally stop mixer and scrape down sides of bowl with spatula. Reduce mixer speed to low and add vanilla. 
  12. Spread frosting on cooled cake. 
  13. {Optional} Sprinkle chopped walnuts over top of the frosting.


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