. There seems to always be a lull for me after the holidays when it comes to baking. I feel like I'm in the middle of seasons: cranberry/apple/holiday baking has passed while spring/raspberry/strawberry season is still a few months away. Apparently it's citrus season but to be quite honest, I've never been a huge citrus person. Granted, I love me some lemon and oranges but for one reason or another, I always gravitate towards chocolatey-peanut buttery-caramelly treats. But the other day I read somewhere that banana recipes are in full bloom. So let it be known that I've forewarned you. Banana recipes will be flooding LSM in the near future. Okay, I exaggerated [Robbie seems to be rubbing off on me]. But I will do my darndest to make use of every banana I can get my [bakin' lovin'] hands on.
So to kick off my banana...kick...I made a recipe from one of my all time favorite blogs, Bake or Break. As you maybe recall, I've made numerous things from this blog (e.g., Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake and Hummingbird Cupcakes) and not one disappointed in the slightest. And as we can all assume, this Banana Cake followed suit.
I'm not sure I've mentioned this before, but I recently became a committee chair for a brand [spankin'] new employee resource group at work, called the Asian Employee Resource Organization (AERO). Since the group is being built from well, nothing, and we're only just coming together, the leadership members decided some type of small gathering would be good to put some faces to those names. As the Professional Networking chair, I organized a little luncheon potluck this last week and as my contribution, I brought this lovely Banana Cake.
Albeit, I was a wee bit nervous bringing a dish that I had never attempted [nor tasted], but shame on me. Never have a doubt when attempting anything from Bake or Break. Trust me, I've learned my lesson now.
This cake is so very simple yet yields such a wonderful treat. I'll admit, it was a nice change from the heavy, rich desserts I surrounded myself with during the holidays. The cake itself is uber banana-ey, much like a banana bread [thank you Captain Obvious]. However, it was more dense than your typical banana bread, lending itself well to a rich, smooth classic cream cheese frosting. I also added on a sprinkling of toasted walnuts, which I absolutely adored. They added a fantastically deep note to the entire dish, I kind of demand that you do not leave these out.
So when you're finished browsing blogs and checking e-mails this lovely Saturday morning, head on into the kitchen and use those almost-too-ripe bananas on your kitchen counter to make this recipe. I really can't think of a better way to use them .
- To toast the walnuts, evenly spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350°F for about 5 minutes or until fragrant.
- The original recipe called for a slightly smaller amount of cream cheese frosting, but I'm an avid frosting lover and knew I needed that extra dose. I've reflected my changes in the ingredients below but check out the original recipe for the reduced frosting ingredients amounts [oh, and gorgeous pictures of this cake!].
- Next time around [and there will be a next time, my dad would love this!] I would be interested in trying either a peanut butter or chocolate cream cheese frosting or adding in some mini chocolate chips to the cake. Fun ways to switch it up!
Adapted from Bake or Break
4 large ripe bananas
1/4 c. milk
2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp. canola oil
3/4 c. sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg white, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting:
6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. powdered sugar
3 tbsp. toasted walnuts, chopped
- In a small bowl, mash bananas and milk together. Set aside.
- Heat oven to 375°F and spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter, canola oil and sugar. Beat in eggs and egg white, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Gradually mix half of dry ingredients into butter mixture. Mix in bananas. Add remaining dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Pour batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cake cool completely in pan on wire rack.
- For frosting, in a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low and gradually add in powdered sugar. Spread frosting over cake as desired and sprinkle with toasted walnuts.
Yield: 12 servings