Sunday, August 28, 2011


I don't know what it is about bananas, one day they're not ripe enough to enjoy then the next they're a spotted mess. I can't complain though because the surplus of blackened fruit makes for whole host of baking opportunities. Last week's crop of past-prime bananas ended up in this basic Banana Bundt Cake. No fancy icing, chocolate chips or lemon zest, this recipe made sure that the banana flavor was front and center, the texture was a nice tight crumb and each slice was light and super moist.  I may have added the chopped pecans as a little surprise but this recipe needed no helping. My search for the perfect banana bread, one with big flavor but not as heavy as a brick, may be a wasted effort because this banana cake blows any bread I've had out of the water. Perfect for brunch or late night with a cup of tea, next time your fruit bowl is burdened with stinky, black bananas this is a must bake - trust me.

(Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking)

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
About 4 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 and 1/2 to 1 and 3/4 cups)
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (I used greek style yogurt)
optional - 1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans but walnuts would be delicious too!)

Center rack in oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Grease a standard 12-cup bundt pan.

Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together, set aside.

With stand mixer or hand mixer, beat butter in a large bowl until creamy.  Add the sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating about 1 minute after each egg. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas.  Finally, mix in half of the dry ingredients (batter may look curdled), and all of the yogurt, then the rest of the flour mixture.  This is when you add the nuts if using.  Spoon the batter into the pan and rap on the counter to de-bubble and smooth the top.

Bake the bundt for 65-75 minutes or until a thin knife inserted deep into center come out clean.  Check the cake after 30 minutes - if it is browning too quickly cover loosely with a foil tent (I know my bundt needed the tent, I would suggest doing so as well).  Transfer cake to rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding.  Cool to room temperature.

Tip - wrap up cooled cake in plastic and wait a day before enjoying.  Time is this cake's friend, the flavors intensify and the inside gets super moist.  

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