When I was younger, I got to spend a lot of summers at my Aunt Arthena’s house. My mother has a good-sized family, and luckily I was blessed with a mixture of aunts and uncles, each with their own personality.
My Aunt Arthena has the heart of a child. Always cheerful, and would jump in the pool with us kids with her collection of Jimmy Buffett’s greatest hits blaring on the radio. My cousins Ashley and Virgie were in tow, all of us having diving contests off the diving board. No, these were not skilled dives, but we were aiming for things like “Biggest Splash” or “Biggest Cannonball” all while my other cousin Teresa, Arthena’s only daughter was lounging in the sun, baking to a beautiful brown and occasionally looking over her sunglasses signaling we were too rough in the pool. That is what summer is to me, splashing in a pool, relaxed without a care in the world. I think that must be the way Jimmy Buffett feels.
Summer is full of some great tastes, pineapples and bananas should be a signature staple in most desserts this time of year, I hope you enjoy this one! If you want to share a recipe, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hawaiian Sheet Cake
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. table salt
1tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
1 c. mashed very ripe bananas (2 medium)
3 large eggs
1 c. flaked coconut
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple (undrained)
1 container ready-to-spread cream cheese frosting
1/2 c. flaked coconut, toasted
Dried banana chips as garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan. In large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice; set aside. In medium bowl, mix granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, bananas, and eggs with whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring with whisk until blended. Stir in 1 cup of coconut and pineapple. Pour batter into pan. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Frost cake with cream cheese frosting; sprinkle with toasted coconut. Top each piece of cake with one banana chip.