Banana, pineapple spice cakes with pineapple curd, cream cheese buttercream and toasted candied pecans.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the flour, spices, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the oil and sugars. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
Add the mashed bananas, crushed pineapple and vanilla. Stir to combine.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture.
Evenly divide the cake batter between the three prepared pans (about 20 ounces of batter in each). Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. *Remember, each of our ovens bake differently. Bake time may vary slightly. **Also note that my bake time is for three pans, on one rack, in one oven. If you only have two or one pan in the oven at a time, your bake time will decrease.
Let the cake layers cool in the pans on cooling racks for about 10 to 15 minutes. Invert the cake layers onto the cooling racks to cool completely.
Level cake layers, if needed.
Cake layers can be made ahead of time. To store: let cake layers cool to room temperature and then wrap well with plastic wrap and freeze. Before you decorate your frozen cake layers, let them thaw at room temperature for about 30 to 60 minutes prior to decorating.
The curd is best made a day ahead of time.
Whisk the sugar, the pineapple juice and corn starch in a medium saucepan.
In a small bowl, whisk in the whole eggs and yolks in a small bowl and then whisk them into the pineapple mixture.
Turn the heat to medium. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until it's thick like pudding, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter a few pieces at a time until incorporated.
Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, pushing it through with a rubber spatula. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely set, at least 4 hours and up to 5 days.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and cream cheese. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar, followed by the cream, vanilla and pinch of salt.
Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Combine the chopped pecans and sugar in a skillet over medium heat.
Continuously stir as the nuts are cooking and the sugar is melting. We want to coat the pecans with the sugar as it melts, but we don't want the pecans to burn.
This process takes some patience.
Once the pecans are coated with sugar and toasted, pour them onto a sheet of parchment paper to cool completely.
Place the first cake layer, top side up, on a cake plate or cake board.
Spread a thin layer of frosting over the cake layer and pipe a rim of frosting around the edge of the cake to create a barrier to the filling. Spread about 1/4 cup of the curd in the center of the cake, carefully spreading it to the edge of the piping.
Place a second cake layer on top of the piped frosting and filling and repeat step 2. Place the final cake layer, top side up, on the second layer of filling.
Lightly coat the cake with a thin layer of frosting to lock in the crumbs. Freeze the cake for about 10 to 15 minutes to set the frosting.
Finish frosting and decorating the cake with the remaining frosting. Cover the cake with the candied pecans.
The buttercream should have enough for a little piping on the top, like my cake. You can add some curd on the top, as I did, or serve a spoonful of the remaining pineapple curd with each slice of cake.