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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Banana Layer Cake


If you like banana bread you'll love this Banana Layer Cake.  This recipe was in one of my mother's cookbooks that I "lifted" from her apartment.  Mom had a nice little collection of cookbooks of various kinds and I liked to get them out and read through them when I was visiting.  I often scribbled down a few recipes when I was there but on one visit I persuaded Mom to give me a few of the books.

The original recipe was in "Home Tested Recipes" 1980 edition, compiled by Chatelaine magazine.  The book or I should say booklet contains recipes submitted by the readers of the magazine and this recipe was submitted by a Mrs. Carrie MacDonald of Brigden, Ontario.  (I wonder if she is still living.) The instructions in the original recipe were to bake the cake in an 8-inch square pan but it would have to be a pan with high sides as the batter fits nicely in two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans.  If I was going to bake it as one layer I'd use at least a 7" x 11" pan. 

The cake has a nice firm crumb but is sweeter than most banana breads and makes a lovely presentation as a layer cake.  Save this cake for a special dinner or occasion and serve it with a scoop of vanilla or butterscotch ice cream.  Make sure there are enough people invited to eat all the cake because you just might finish it off all by yourself when everyone is gone (under the guise of eating yet another serving of fruit).  

Banana Cake
2 cups sifted cake flour or 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons boiling water
1 cup mashed bananas (can purée in blender)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and line with waxed or parchment paper two 8 or 9-inch round cake pans.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Mix in vanilla.

Dissolve soda in boiling water and add to mashed bananas.  

Add sifted dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture alternately with mashed bananas.

Divide batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes.  Cool cakes in pan at least 10 minutes then turn out on cake rack to finish cooling completely. 

Frost with your favourite frosting.  Chocolate, vanilla or cream cheese frosting will compliment the banana flavour very well.  A sprinkling of chopped toasted nuts over the top and/or sides would make the perfect garnish  And if you are in a very decadent mood, drizzle caramel sauce over the cake just before serving and. . .  a scoop of ice cream won't go astray with this cake.  

 Start with 2 large or 3 medium bananas.  Mash until smooth.  Measure 1 cup of the mashed fruit.

 Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.

Add eggs and beat until creamy and smooth.

  Mix mashed bananas and dissolved baking soda together before adding them to the batter mixture.

 Add dry ingredients alternately with mashed bananas to form a rather thick batter.

 Grease and line two 8-or 9-inch cake pans.

 Divide batter between the two pans and smooth out the top.

Let cake layers cool in pans on cake rack for at least 10 minutes.
Then remove from cake pans to cool completely.

I frosted the cake with cream cheese icing and garnished the sides and top with toasted chopped pecans.  A drizzle of caramel sauce was just the perfect touch to finish the cake.

Cake and ice cream--what could be better?  
How about cake, ice cream and more caramel sauce!!

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