Banana Cake Recipe
In addition to the most obvious reason I love to cook and to bake, which is eating the end result (usually), I enjoy both the history of food and the adventure that preparing food brings.
Thursday I had to bake some muffins for a school event for D3. I had a fruit bowl containing some browning bananas that I knew would be great for banana muffins, and a freezer full of some that I hadn’t had time to use when they turned brown. I turned some of them into the muffins that my daughter needed, but took some extra out to make a cake.
Banana bread and cake seem to have come about during the depression as a way to use bananas that would have otherwise had to be thrown out. Baking cakes and quick breads was also a way for women to earn a little money during that time period by selling the baked goods. The banana cake recipe I wanted to use also called for soured cream (not ‘sour cream’) which was used in creating fluffy cakes and quick breads before the invention of baking powder and also prevented waste. Every penny counted during the depression.
The banana cake recipe I use is in a cookbook my dad appreciated and used a great deal – The Fannie Farmer Cookbook – so he bought me one. Dad’s was copyrighted in 1979, while mine was copyrighted 1990. I have used the book so many times that the spine is need of repair.
I hadn’t made a banana cake for my family in probably half a decade. They were anticipating eating this one before I had even baked it! The looks on their faces and the sounds of disbelief when I told them it was for dessert, after dinner…hysterical. I hoped the hype would pay off and the cake would not disappoint.
The banana cake recipe in the book suggests making a pastry cream filling and also recommends a frosting. I have never used either. I like to frost my banana cake with a cream cheese frosting. Maybe one of these days I will try it the other way.
If you’re wondering if it lived up to the hype, it did! They all loved it and so did my mom when I took her a piece. I am so glad that my dad bought me a copy of one of his favorite cookbooks and that I have a wonderful banana cake recipe to bake for my family and to pass down.
Banana Cake Recipe
- 1/4 pound butter (1 stick)
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 cup mashed banana
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup soured cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a 9-inch square cake pan. Cream butter, slowly add the sugar and beat until light. Add the banana, eggs, and vanilla and beat well. Mixt the flour, baking soda, and salt, add to the first mixture, and blend. Slowly add the sour cream and beat until well blended. Spread in the pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack. Cool completely before frosting.