Thursday, April 1, 2010



Banana cake or bread is not one of my fave things to make or eat.  I can’t tell you why.  It’s just kind of okay for me.  But my fussy hubby is insane about all things banana.  Maybe it’s from his years of working on the Island of St. Lucia, where bananas abound.  Occasionally there would be a “banana glut,” from a surplus of the crop.  Bananas would be everywhere, free for the taking.  My first trip to St. Lucia found me filled with anticipation of a bite of a really “fresh” banana, which I thought had to be better than our grocery-store varieties.  Not so.  A fresh banana tastes exactly the same as bananas picked green and ripened enroute or in a grocery store.  Each night at dinner, Guy would urge me to order bananas flambé for dessert, which I finally did; but I never enjoyed it as much as he did.


Many years ago, I latched on to a banana-nut cake recipe from a Pillsbury cookbook.  Because the recipe is so good, I stuck with it and still make it, though I’ve made some changes, as noted below.  Since ripe bananas are a rarity in our home (my hubby eats bananas usually before they’re ripe enough for a cake), this cake doesn’t get made too often.  But our local Harris Teeter recently had bananas half-price ($.34/lb.), so I overbought.  Even so,  only  two bananas remained that were over-ripe; but that was enough for this recipe.  Instead of a layer cake, I decided to make 1 dozen standard-size cupcakes and a small (4” x 7.5”)loaf.  The cupcakes were frosted with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with toasted chopped walnuts.  The loaf was left plain.  And my hubby is happy.


One-Bowl Banana-Nut Cake
Adapted from Pillsbury
Rating:  9.5 out of 10

INGREDIENTS:  2-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour  (I used 1 cup white whole wheat flour + 1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
1-1/4 cups sugar (I used 3/4 cup brown sugar + 2 Tbsp. NuNaturals Stevia)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup shortening
(I used 1/4 cup Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend + 1/4 cup vegetable oil)
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
(about 2 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk + 1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted walnuts

Heat oven to 350F.  In bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.  Turn mixer on low to blend ingredients.  Add shortening (or other fats), eggs and bananas and beat at lowest speed to combine, then at low speed for about 1 minute.  Add milk and vanilla; beat 1 minute on low.  Stir in walnuts.  Turn into pan (or pans), well greased and lightly floured on the bottom.  Bake till toothpick inserted near center returns with just a few crumbs, using baking guide below.  Do not over bake.

13x9x2-inch pan, 25-30  minutes
2 (8 or 9-inch) round pans, 20-25 minutes
2 (9x5x3-inch) pans, 35-40 minutes
2-1/2 dozen cupcakes, 15-20 minutes
15-1/2x10-1/2x1-inch jelly roll pan, 18-22 minutes
2 (8-inch) square pans, 25-30 minutes
2 (9-inch) square pans 20-25 minutes
(My 4x7.5-inch loaf pan took 37 minutes, and standard cupcakes were done in 15 minutes.)



Gloria Baker said...

Judy these look georgeous and yummy! Have a wonderful Easter, gloria

Kim said...

The men in my house love bananas too. My toddler eats at least two a day:D
Love one-bowl recipes.

Sophie said...

Waw, Judy!! I am gobsmacked!!

These look so apart & truly wonderful too!

Trish said...

Perfect. I too am kind of hum ho about banana bread...unless it is a REALLLLLLLLY good my mom's ..grin! But the husband loves to have a slice in his lunch. Why not try muffins? I am going to go and do this immediately. Happy Easter...

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Lovely nut cake Judy. I hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend.

Kaity said...

Looks yummy. Just waiting for the bananas to get ripe.

Trish said...

Judy...thanks for the muffin recipe. I featured you on my cooking blog today. Come on over..grin...hope I linked you correctly.

Pari Vasisht said...

Hi Judy, u have a fabulous kitchen dear where I can find a big treasure of baked stuff. The one bowl cakes sounds amazing especially as it has buttermilk in it. Nice texture.
Do drop by and check out my space when u get time.

Katrina said...

LOVE banana muffins, cakes, cookies, anything! Looks great.

Juliana said...

Oh Judy, your banana muffins look delicious, even for me that do not care for banana :-) But my husband will adore them ;-)

Term Papers said...

looking good muffins ...thanks for sharing .

Ingrid_3Bs said...

I have three over ripe bananas that I need to use up so, I'm gonna whip up a batch of these. Thanks for the various pan size baking times...very helpful.

Christy said...

Once again, another winner recipe. I made it with all of your changes and it is great! My husband can't stop eating it and some single guys came over, so I packed some up to give to them...DH said (in front of them, by the way) "What, you're giving them that much?!" Haha. We love it! Thanks!

Judy said...

Christy, I really appreciate the feedback. Glad you liked this recipe as much as we do.