Up until a few months ago, I always made banana bread with my over-ripe bananas. I love banana bread, but – I love banana cake even more. To be honest, the cake itself isn’t that much different than banana bread. It’s less dense, and a little bit sweeter. And, of course there’s the cream cheese icing slathered on the top – which certainly sets it apart from the pack.
It’s a cake your grandmother probably would have made; not the fanciest, but what it lacks in decoration – it makes up for in flavor. I’m thinking that it would be wonderful to substitute pumpkin for banana come October for a fall twist! If you’ve got some bananas on their last leg in the fruit bowl, or some tucked away in the freezer – pass up the smoothie or your other old-standby to give this delicious cake a try. You might just have a new favorite!
Old-Fashioned Banana Cake
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
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 vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
For the frosting:
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (1/2 pound)
Walnut halves, for decorating
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 2-inch round cake pan.
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 and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in chopped walnuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, turn out onto cooling rack and cool completely.
To make the frosting, mix cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment on low speed until just combined. Don’t whip. Add sugar and mix until smooth.
Spread frosting thickly on top of cake and decorate with walnut halves. Slice and serve.
Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? by Ina Garten