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Banana Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

2 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 large bananas)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 8-ounce cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 large bananas (peeled and sliced)

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter three 8-inch-diameter cake
pans with 2-inch-high sides; dust pans with flour. Combine cake
flour, baking soda, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium
bowl. Mix mashed bananas, buttermilk and 1 teaspoon vanilla in
another medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and
sugar in large bowl until blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating
to blend after each addition. Add dry ingredients alternately with
banana mixture in 3 additions, beginning and ending with dry
ingredients and beating just until blended after each addition.
Divide batter equally among prepared pans.

Bake cakes until tops are just beginning to color and tester inserted
into center comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 20 minutes.
Cool cakes in pans on racks 10 minutes. Using small knife, cut
around cakes to loosen; turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely.

Beat cream cheese and remaining 1 cup butter in large bowl until
light and fluffy. Beat in remaining 1 tablespoon vanilla and pinch
of salt. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Cover and refrigerate
frosting until firm enough to spread, about 15 minutes.

Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread 1/2 cup frosting over top.
Place half of sliced bananas evenly over frosting, leaving 1/4-inch
border at edge. Place second cake layer on work surface. Spread
1/4 cup frosting over top. Place cake layer, frosting side down,
atop bananas. Spread 1/2 cup frosting over top. Place remaining
half of sliced bananas evenly over frosting, leaving 1/4-inch border
at edge. Place third cake layer on work surface. Spread 1/4 cup
frosting over top. Place cake layer, frosting side down, atop
bananas. Spread remaining frosting over sides and top of cake. (Can
be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Let stand 1 hour at room
temperature before serving.) Serves 8 to 10.

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