This banana cake recipe is from a long time ago, found randomly in a magazine, where and when I can’t remember. Its one of those that you dig out every so often and everyone says: we haven’t had this for ages, but are very happy to make its re-acquaintance. Its been the birthday cake, taken to the park to share with friends; the cake that was on repeat for months on end; and the one that was made because grandma just kept bringing around bananas and how many bananas can a family eat.
Which raises the question of over ripe bananas and using them up on cakes. Not a fan. Its the black bits that randomly appear through the cake that put me off, so my preference is to use bananas that are ripe, but not over ripe. Its a visual thing.
Also, this cake uses buttermilk. I never have buttermilk in the fridge. Its one of those ingredients that comes in a 500ml carton, when you only need 60ml, leaving the rest sitting in the back of the fridge. And it stays there until you get around to clearing out the fridge 2 months later and discover that carton of buttermilk still sitting there, well past its use by date. With this scenario playing out time and time again, I searched and found the perfect solution: add one tablespoon of lemon juice to one cup of milk. Stir it around and leave to sit for 10 minutes. So if you prepare it when you first start making the cake, by the time you need to use it, it will be ready. Perfect. It still leaves a whole lot of left over buttermilk, but I usually just tip that down the sink. After all, it doesn’t have a carton.
- 200 g butter, chopped into pieces
- ¾ cup caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup mashed banana
- 1¾ cups plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 5 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250 g cream cheese
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- juice of ½ a lemon
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line two 20cm cake tins with baking paper.
- Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Beat in eggs one at a time.
- Add mashed banana and stir through.
- Sift flour and baking powder, and fold into mixture.
- Add buttermilk and vanilla and mix for one minute.
- Divide mixture evenly between the tins and bake in oven for about 25 minutes or until cooked.
- Leave cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the icing:
- Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Slowly add the sifted icing sugar. Stir in the vanilla and lemon juice.
- Assembling the cake:
- Spread half of the cream cheese icing onto the bottom layer. Place second cake on top and coat with the rest of the icing. Sprinkle with lemon zest or chopped walnuts, or leave it plain.
[…] no stranger to using bananas as a core ingredient in cakes: banana cake, and even better, banana and chocolate cake , are firm favourites that are made again and again […]