8ouncesreduced fat cream cheeseat room temperature
4tablespoonsunsalted butterat room temperature
3 3/4cupspowdered sugar
1 1/4cupsflaked sweetened coconut
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Whisk in the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add half of the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and fold in by hand, just until combined. Gently stir in buttermilk. Fold in remaining dry ingredients, just until blended, being careful not to over mix.
Divide batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the top of the cakes spring back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Carefully peel off the parchment paper and let cool completely.
While the cakes cool, toast the coconut. Heat a wide skillet over medium-low. Once the pan is heated, add the coconut in an even layer. Continually stir and fold over the coconut in the pan, so that it cooks evenly until the coconut is a light, toasty brown and your kitchen smells amazing; about 3-5 minutes. Remove coconut immediately to a plate once ready. Let cool. Note the total time to toast the coconut will vary depending upon the sugar content of the coconut. Watch the pan carefully to prevent burning.
To prepare the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy in a large bowl. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and then reduce the speed to low. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating just until combined.
Once layers have cooled completely, assemble and frost layers with the cream cheese frosting. Top cake generously with toasted coconut. Slice and enjoy.
TO STORE: Cover the cake and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
TO FREEZE: Wrap the cake tightly, and place it in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving. If you plan to freeze the cake, wait to frost it until after you've thawed it.
*INGREDIENT NOTE: If you do not have (or do not want to purchase buttermilk), you can make your own instead. To make homemade buttermilk, mix 1/2 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice with 1/2 cup of 2% or whole milk. Let sit for 5 minutes, then use as directed in the recipe.
6-INCH CAKE: The above recipe yields two 9-inch rounds. To make a smaller batch, you may halve the recipe, then baked in two 6-inch baking pans instead. Reduce the baking time to 18 minutes.