This is one of those cakes that shaped my adolescence. Although I remember it fondly as a banana loaf, the substance of the cake remains the same. I can taste the memories every time I see a recipe or a picture of it. When I bite into it I get transported back in time to my childhood home sitting outside with the warm sun christening each piece I eat. For the longest time, these were the best days of my life.
There are so many brilliant modern cakes today with layer upon layer of fondant and decorations. And that’s great. There’s a time and place for those, absolutely. When it comes to cakes, I prefer the classics. I always did. The simple, moist and flavourful cakes that hypnotize a household with the aroma that escapes from the oven and tracks down every person in the place. One by one knocking on the door of your senses and awakening the child within.
|Fresh out of the oven|
The first time I had a banana cake I was young. It came out of the oven and it was hot, fresh and smelled too good for words. My mom made me wait a few minutes before eating it. She said it was to prevent the roof of my mouth from burning but I know better. It was a lesson in patience. I failed. Due to my incessant pleading she sliced off a small piece and spread a thin layer of butter on it. Surely I had died and gone to heaven. I’ll never forget the taste, and it’s one of the reasons I make recipes like this today.
Watching the banana batter puff up and explode in the oven is a sight I’ll never grow tired of seeing. The soft gooey mixture browning with increased exposure in the oven and eventually forming a soft but crisp top. A simple press down on the cake and bounce back and I know it’s good to go. Now I only need to practice the patience I was taught years ago and wait for it to cool down before proceeding. This is still the hardest part.
|The first slice from the cake, always the best.|
Once fully cooled I add the cream cheese frosting over top. Spreading back and forth until I have a nice, thick layer of heavenly goodness covering the cake. A lovely contrast of colours and complement of flavours. A bit of simple luxury in the madness of our lives.
This is why patience pays off. Finally, after the oven is off and the cake has cooled down and the camera is put away I can finally enjoy the fruits of my labour. The cake is creamy and moist and unbelievably tasty. I had this for breakfast today. I think I’m going straight to hell when I die. Life shouldn’t be this decadent first thing in the morning.
Happy eating! Happy holidays!
- 4 ripe bananas, mashed
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- Cream cheese icing (recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 9″ x 2″ cake pan.
- In a small bowl , whisk together flour, baking soda and salt and set aside until later.
- In a large bowl, mix sugar, brown sugar and mashed bananas with electric mixer on lowest speed until fully combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add the buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth
- Add the flour mixture while mixer on low speed. Mix until combined. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean of batter.
- Remove from the oven and place on a damn towel to cool for 15 minutes.
- 6 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups sifted icing sugar
- zest of 1 orange
- In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and then stir in the icing sugar, gradually, until smooth.