I remember this banana cake I had as a child - it was soft, and moist and perfection. While I was never much for cake (rare was the Birthday party I attended where I actually ate the stuff) I did love this particular banana cake. It was frozen and came in a box from the grocery store. And it was delicious.
Over the years my children and I have made a lot of banana breads and muffins. Sometimes we baked them simply because it was an easy activity to occupy bored children. Sometimes we made them simply because our bananas were becoming much too ripe! There's something about biting into a slice of warm banana bread or a warm muffin that doesn't leave you feeling as guilty as, let's say, digging into a decadent piece of chocolate cake. Bananas, after all, are good for you, right?
This recipe is indeed healthy. I substituted low-fat milk for the whole and replaced the butter with extra light olive oil. (Though it seems the jury may be leaning towards butter again these days. We can't keep up!) This cake is wonderful on its own but for those of you who can't possibly imagine eating cake without frosting, we thought that this peanut butter frosting would be the perfect topping. We're pretty sure that you'll agree!
Ingredients for the cake:
3 very ripe bananas (Bananas are perfectly ripe when they have lots of black spots on them - right before they turn mostly black!)
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract - We love vanilla!
3 cups all purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup extra light olive oil
2 cups sugar
1½ cups buttermilk*
Peanut butter frosting (optional)
*Recipe for Buttermilk
Buttermilk isn't something that's often found on refrigerator shelves, unless its used regularly. Buttermilk is actually very easy to make and takes but 5 minutes. So as you're getting your ingredients together you can make your buttermilk. You'll need a scant cup of milk and a tablespoon of vinegar. Combine the two and let sit for about 5 minutes and you're good to go. For this recipe you'll measure a scant cup and a half of milk about a tablespoon and a half of vinegar.
Directions for the cake:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease a tube, bundt or springform pan
In the bowl of a large mixer fitted with wire whisk, mash the bananas, then add the olive oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
Next add the buttermilk and the vanilla and continue to mix. Gradually add in the salt, baking soda and the four. Mix well then pour your batter into the pan and bake for about 90 minutes - do test with a toothpick to check doneness. When the cake is fully done the toothpick after being inserted will come out clean.
Remove from the oven and let cool 10 to 15 minutes before frosting.
Peanut Butter Frosting
1 cup of butter, ( 2 sticks) at room temperature
1 1/4 cup of peanut butter
3-4 tbs of milk
2 cups of confectioner's sugar
Directions for the frosting:
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a wire whisk add the peanut butter, sugar, milk and butter starting on a low speed and gradually increasing the speed as the ingredients become well blended. Mix on high for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy. Spread onto the cake. Try not to eat it all at once!