I had an urge to bake recently, so I went to one of my cookbooks that always inspires me – Barefoot Contessa’s How Easy Is that? I love her recipes! I found a Banana Cake recipe that uses up those black bananas that are no longer worthy of breakfast offerings. I regularly pop that over-ripe fruit in the freezer in little sandwich bags and keep them for recipes like these. The sugar spots on the bananas makes them especially good for baking! So don’t throw them away…freeze them for this Cake!
Here’s the recipe for the cake:
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup granulated sugar – I used 1/2 Cup and it was great!
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
Walnut halves, for decorating (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 by 2-inch round cake pan. Note: I used a five inch cake pan and a 7 inch pan, and the batter filled both to the perfect depth for a nice, deep cake!
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the bananas, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on low speed until combined. With the mixer still on low, add the oil, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and orange zest. Mix until smooth.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in the chopped walnuts, if using. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, turn out onto a cooling rack, and cool completely.
Spread the frosting thickly on the top of the cake and decorate with walnut halves, if using.
The day I made this I didn’t have any cream cheese for the icing she suggests, so I found another recipe for Banana frosting and adapted it just a wee bit so I wouldn’t have to leave home for an ingredient. Unlike the cake, the icing is made using a ripe (not over-ripe) banana. The result is a lightly flavored banana icing that goes perfectly with the cake!
Here’s the icing I chose to add to this super-moist cake:
When you make the icing for this cake, if you find that the butter and bananas look like they’re curdled in your mixing bowl, and you wonder if they’ll really mix and be smooth, don’t lose heart – just keep adding the powdered sugar and it will come together just fine.
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup ripe banana (about 1 medium banana)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- About 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
In a mixing bowl, cream butter, mashed banana, vanilla and lemon juice. Add in the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until the frosting is light and fluffy but still soft enough to spread.
This is a cake that begs for a glass of milk or cup of coffee and makes for the perfect ending to a meal, or becomes the best part of having a few friends over because you get to serve this simple cake.
You may just sit around waiting for those bananas to turn black so you can whip this recipe together! Yes, it’s that good!