Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Baking Cake Part 1

I'll have a post about our family vacation soon - need to get some details so I can share a recipe with you. But, when we got back from vacation, I hit the ground running with baking. First up, the church potluck. We have potluck once a month and my daughter just loves potluck Sundays. I hadn't signed up for anything the week before so I decided to make a dessert. I've been diligently buying bananas thinking the potassium will help with the leg cramps I've been having but I don't really like to eat bananas so . . . you guessed it, lots of brown bananas hanging around. Four of them went into this banana cake.

You can put chocolate chips or chunks into the cake but I left them out and did a chocolate frosting instead. I think the frosting was a little rich for this cake and maybe milk chocolate would be a better pairing with the banana flavor. Either way, it was easy to make and tasty and gone by the end of the potluck. The batter was so fluffy I had to take a photo of it.

I think this recipe is a good candidate for substituting some whole wheat flour - I'm out so I didn't. I used plain nonfat greek yogurt instead of sour cream. My cake started getting really brown before the middle was done so I turned down the temperature a bit and tented the top with foil during the last 15-20 minutes of baking.

Classic Banana Cake
Original recipe from Dorie Greenspan in "Baking From My Home to Yours"

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large egg, at room temperature
4 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cup)
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
5 ounces chopped chocolate, optional

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 9x13 pan. Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then the eggs, beating for about 1 minute after each egg.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas. Finally, mix in half the dry ingredients (don't be disturbed if the batter curdles), all the sour cream or yogurt, and then the rest of the flour mixture. Stir in the chopped chocolate by hand. Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top (batter will be fluffy).

Bake for 40-50 minutes. Cake is done when a tester comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Put foil loosely over the top of the pan if the cake is browning too much toward the end.

Frosting: Melt 5 T butter (chopped) with 12 oz chocolate (chopped - I used bittersweet but semisweet or milk chocolate would probably taste better) in a heavy sauce pan over medium low heat, stirring until shiny and smooth. Let cool slightly and frost the cake with it.

*Note on amounts / pans: Half of the recipe will make 12 muffins or one 8x8 pan (decrease baking time to 25-30 minutes). This recipe makes one 9x13 pan or a 9-10 inch (12 cup) bundt pan. For the bundt, bake for 65-75 minutes.


  1. Saw your comment over at Margaret's. Poor baby, stay cool.

  2. Thanks! I'm not sure that turning on the oven is helping my cause :)