Incredibly moist, tender-crumbed Banana Cake accented with just the right amount of brown sugar cream cheese frosting.
Cakes are made for celebrations.
Birthdays. Graduations. Zach and I had an absolutely scrumptious 2-tier vanilla cake filled with white chocolate raspberry mousse for our wedding.
It’s just not really a celebration without a cake (cupcakes, though I love them, don’t really have the same effect).
Fortunately, cakes don’t necessitate celebrations the same way that celebrations necessitate cakes, but if they did I know the perfect occasion to use as an excuse to make this cake: this Banana cake is the perfect choice to celebrate the unofficial beginning of summer.
We have finally made a complete transition from snow-boots and scarves to flip-flops and sunglasses, from snow shoveling to garden growing, and have crossed the threshold away from even the slightest chance of snow (here in southern PA at least, anyway), and that calls for a celebration.
This banana cake is perfect for the occasion. It is moist but not too dense, softer than the best banana bread you’ve ever tasted with wonderful accents of vanilla and a richness and complexity of flavors engendered by the use of (solely) brown sugar and more than a hearty dollop of sour cream.
The banana flavor is clear and ripe, enchanting your taste buds without overpowering them. It’s sweet, and flavorful, but never too rich, and even the icing is light, silky and the perfect addition of sweetness to complement the cake without overwhelming it. While a real vanilla bean isn’t required for the icing, I can’t recommend it enough for the purity of flavor (not to mention for all those lovely, tiny black flecks in the icing).
While I’m sure you have something worth celebrating, fortunately you don’t need an excuse to make this cake, just a few overripe bananas.
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 bananas very ripe
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup chopped walnuts [optional] plus additional chopped walnuts for topping
- 1/2 cup butter softened, 8 Tbsp
- 8 oz cream cheese softened, 1 package
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean can be substituted with 1vanilla extract
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 3 Tbsp heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans
- Remove and discard banana peels and use potato masher to mash bananas well. Set aside.
- Beat oil and sugar in KitchenAid on medium speed for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add bananas and stir on medium-low speed until combined.
- Add vanilla extract and then add eggs one at a time, beating batter well after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Gradually, with mixer on low-medium speed, alternatively add a portion of the dry ingredients and sour cream, pausing between each addition so that ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Stir in walnuts.
- Evenly pour batter into prepared cake pans.
- Bake on 350F for 25-30 minutes.
- Allow cake to cool
- in pans before removing and frosting.
- In KitchenAid mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese.
- Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the paste inside and add to icing mixture (or add vanilla extract, if using instead).
- Add brown sugar, stirring on medium speed until combined.
- Gradually (about 1/2 cup at a time) add confectioners sugar, pausing frequently to scrape down the sides.
- Add heavy cream and beat with mixer on medium-high (pausing at least once to scrape sides and bottom of bowl with spatula) until frosting reaches desired consistency (should be lighter and fluffier).
- Ice cake as desired.