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Got bananas? Make banana cake

Posted: May 13, 2014 - 3:42pm  |  Updated: May 14, 2014 - 9:02am

One of the first banana cakes I ever made was heavy and, surprisingly, not as moist as I had hoped. The cakes presented here are not like that, so if you’ve got a surplus of bananas on hand, here are two recipes that will make good use of them. Also, if your bananas are beginning to over-ripen and you want to make the cakes another time, you can freeze the bananas now for use in recipes later. Just peel and mash the desired amount of bananas needed, freeze them in freezer-proof, tightly sealed containers, and when you’re ready use them, simply thaw. (The thawed banana pulp will be watery, but the extra liquid will not affect your recipe.) Banana Walnut Cake is a delicious layer cake that pairs well a number of frostings. I’ve served the cake with both cream cheese and chocolate frostings – both luscious – and next time, I’m going to try it with a caramel icing. If you’d rather bake something less ambitious, you might like to try Homemade (Pudding in the Mix) Banana Coffee Cake, a moist and tender, yet substantial tube cake that goes well with morning coffee. This coffee cake, which is mixed in one bowl and baked with pudding mix (the ‘cook and serve’– not instant – kind) slices and packs well, making it an ideal candidate for the picnic hamper. Either cake will keep for several days, with leftovers freezing well for up to three months. It’s easy to get into the habit of tossing out bananas that are edging past their prime, but freezing them is a better choice, saving you money and making banana cake a ready option.

 

Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at kitchenade@yahoo.com.

 

Banana Walnut Cake

1 2/3 cups sugar

1/3 cup butter, softened

2 large eggs

2½ cups cake flour, reserving 1 teaspoon for coating walnuts

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2/3 cup buttermilk

1½ cups mashed ripe bananas

1 teaspoon vanilla

2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans; set aside. In a small mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, toss walnuts with reserved teaspoon of flour; set aside. Place butter and sugar in the mixing bowl of an electric mixer. With the mixer set to medium speed, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing just until yellow disappears. With mixer reduced to low speed, mix in flour mixture, alternately with buttermilk, mixing until just combined. Mix in bananas, until blended, adding vanilla. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, before turning cake out to wire racks to cool completely. When completely cool, frost and fill with desired frosting. (Store leftover cake in the refrigerator.)

Makes 1 (9-inch) cake.

Chocolate Confectioner's Frosting

1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips

1 cups (2 sticks) butter

1 cup evaporated milk

5 cups confectioners’ sugar

 

Sift confectioners’ sugar into the mixing bowl of an electric mixer. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, heat milk with butter until butter melts. Remove pan from heat and stir in chocolate chips, stirring until chocolte is melted and mixture is smooth; allow mixture to cool. When chocolate is cool, beat into sugar, with mixer set to low. Once all the chocolate is incorporated into the sugar, raise mixer speed to medium, beating until smooth. Chill frosting in refrigerator until it reaches spreading consistency, stirring every 10 minutes. Makes enough frosting to fill and frost one (2-layer) 9-inch cake. Store leftover cake in the refrigerator.

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