Cheater Chocolate Cinnamon Banana Cake

By some bakers standards, using a boxed cake mix qualifies as cheating. Others might say the cake is not truly homemade. Of course, the baking cheater label suits me just fine. Besides, pleasing my family is worth more than gold or a paycheck one of those pro-bakers could produce. This cake was without doubt a hit!

Adapted from Betty, this Banana Cake called for a yellow cake mix. You all know I used what I have on hand thus a chocolate fudge mix was the selection. The recipe called for 1 cup mashed banana but the two bananas I mashed made 3/4 cup. To that, I added natural, unsweetened applesauce to make the 1 cup. In addition, I reduced the amount of walnuts to suite our taste. This cake recipe also presented an opportunity to use that can of strawberry frosting leftover from the Victorian Tea Party cakes and brownies I baked for my great niece.

Banana Cinnamon CakePrep Time 15 Minutes
Total Time 3:20 Hrs:Mins
Makes 16 servings
1 package Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix (chocolate fudge mix)
1/2 cup water
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 medium) (3/4 cup banana + 1/4 cup applesauce)
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (1/3 cup whole walnuts pulsed to minced) 
Cinnamon Glaze
1/2 cup Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy cream cheese ready-to-spread frosting (strawberry)
2 to 3 teaspoons milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (omitted) 
Heat oven to 350°. Grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with shortening; lightly flour (or spray with cooking spray; do not flour).
Beat cake mix, water, bananas, butter, cinnamon, and eggs in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in walnuts. Pour into pan.
Bake 43 to 53 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn pan upside down onto wire rack or heatproof serving plate; remove pan. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Stir all glaze ingredients in small bowl until thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over cake.
Makes 16 servings
Original Betty Crocker Recipe

Hubby and my Dad both complimented the cake, each at different times yet with the same words, “That cake is beautiful.” This is a very moist and surprisingly light cake. The cinnamon and banana flavors were equally balanced, somewhat muting the too sweet chocolaty flavor some boxed cakes present. While I enjoyed the hint of strawberry flavor, I’m not a big frosting fan and thought the strawberry glaze was too sweet. My father on the other hand, thought it was perfect. Next time I will opt for the cream cheese glaze, bet that is a-maz-ing!

Three cheers to simplified baking and big family smiles! Thank you Betty :)

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