Preheat oven to 350º Grease and flour 3 9" round cake pans and add parchment paper
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 ttsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, with juice
2 cups mashed bananas (from about 3-4 bananas)
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 lb cream cheese, softened (2-8 oz pkg)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 lbs (32-ounces) confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup roughly chopped pecans, for topping (optional, toasted)
Whisk together dry ingredients: In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon
3 Whisk together oil, sugar, eggs, then stir in pineapple, bananas, vanilla, 1 cup of pecans:
In a separate bowl, whisk the canola oil, sugar, and eggs together until combined. Stir the pineapple, bananas, vanilla and one cup of the chopped pecans into the egg mixture and mix (DO NOT BEAT).
4 Fold wet ingredients into dry: Using a wooden spoon or spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined (do not over-mix).
5 Pour into cake pans and bake: Pour the batter into the three prepared cake pans, taking care to divide evenly. Bake at 350°F on center racks of oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
6 Cool: Allow the cakes to cool in the pan on wire racks for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run a knife around the edges and remove the cakes from the pans. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 Beat butter and cream cheese, add vanilla: Beat the softened butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer. With the mixer on a slow speed, add the confectioners’ sugar in small amounts until all is incorporated, then add the Cointreau and vanilla and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Note: Do not add the confectioners’ sugar while the mixer is set on a high speed, or you will create a snowy mess of sugar all over your kitchen. [Please do not ask me how I know this.]
2 Frost the cake: Place one layer, top down, on a large plate or cake stand (this creates a smooth surface on the top and results in a more level cake). Spread frosting evenly over the first layer, then repeat with the second and third layers, then frost the sides.
3 Sprinkle with chopped pecans: Sprinkle the top completely with the remaining cup of chopped pecans (toasted or un-toasted). Alternatively, press the chopped pecans onto the sides of the cake and leave the top simply frosted. Store in refrigerator, then remove one hour before serving to allow the cake to come to room temperature.