Schools back and the fairy will strike again! The word on the street is that the birthday girl wants a banana cake so it’s a good thing I have a great recipe. It was passed down by my mother-in –law to her daughter and it’s the best I’ve tasted! Even better after we tweeked it ! It’s moist, sweet and bananary !
Unlocking the secret to a great banana cake.
The key to the cake is the bananas obviously! If you have any Bananas that you think “ WOW! I can’t eat that!” because they are brown and squishy, DON’T THROW THEM OUT!. Chuck them in the freezer and they will make the best banana cake.
Time for a back story!
I love Bananas! Generally I eat 2 a day, 1 at smoko and the other as I’m leaving work. So we buy a lot of Bananas, problem is they all seem to ripen at the same time and get to a point where they are too ripe to eat. So we put them in the freezer for cooking or smoothies. Back in 2006 Australia suffered “The Great Banana Famine” after Cyclone Larry. Larry wiped out about 80% of Australia’s banana plantations; because Australian Bananas are mostly pest and disease free we do not allow the import of foreign bananas. The result? Banana prices went to through the roof, going from $2 – $3 / Kg to $15 / Kg if you could get them at all! Thankfully where I live was a major banana growing area till the industry moved to Queensland so there was still a supply of fresh local bananas but at a premium. Bananas turned into a treat that you had once every 2 – 3 weeks and you only bought a couple at a time.
Baden-Powell would have been Proud!
Little did we know, we were prepared for the months that lay ahead after Larry. Our freezer had a supply of overripe bananas that allowed us survive through these dark times. The rationing of banana cake to special occasions like birthdays made them all the sweeter and almost a gift in itself. Yes this sounds very melodramatic, and by no means were we starving but this blog is about indulgence. I also eat a dozen bananas a week so to go months without a fresh Banana is like an addict quitting the habit, and there are no support groups for that!
Baking is science
There must be some chemical reaction to the sugar molecules during the freezing process that when they defrost and then get smooshed into the cake batter it makes them sweeter. Whatever it is it works. If you make it the same recipe with plain overripe bananas it’s not the same its dryer and not as sweet. Try it yourself, use your favourite banana cake recipe or have a crack at mine, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
To ice or not to ice that is the question?
This cake is the type of cake that can be served with or without icing. The beauty with not icing the cake is eating it while it’s still warm! Mmmmm! So good!! Not good if you’ve made it for a birthday or an event though! If we get to icing our cake it is the traditional lemon icing and if it’s for a family birthday it often only get on half the cake so us purists don’t have to scrape it off.
What do you think?
let me know in the comments if you try it out and what the results are. Here is the opinion from the birthday girl.
Thanks for Readin’
Ali’s Banana Cake Recipe
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
3 mashed bananas (defrosted)
1-1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tbs milk
1 cup icing sugar
2 tsp hot water
1 Tbs lemon juice
- Pre heat oven to 180C (350F)
- Grease and or Line your cake tin (I line the walls on this cake because they are exposed when you drizzle the icing. You don’t want chunks missing where it stuck to the tin.)
- Cream the butter and sugar until is white and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time mixing well between additions
- Sift in flour and baking powder (do this beforehand) add and mix until combined
- Dissolve the bicarb soda into the milk and then add to the mixer.
- Once all ingredients are combined pour into the prepared tin.
- Put the tin in the oven and bake till it’s cooked (in my 9” spring form tin it takes about 45 min)
- Once the cake is cooked allow it to cool in the tin for 5 – 10 min then transfer to a cooling rack
- Combine all the icing ingredients together so it forms a runny paste.
- Pour the icing on the centre of the cake making sure it covers the top and allow the icing to drizzle over the edge of the cake.