Eggless Banana Cake and the Smells of Childhood

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“I’m terrified of my oven”, N said.
“Oh no, that just won’t do”, said I. “Baking’s really not that hard.”
“Will you teach me?”, she said.
“Of course. Why don’t you come over and we’ll bake something together.”
“I don’t like chocolate cake though. Banana cake?”
“Great! I have an easy peasy recipe that’s delicious. Just make sure you get 2 very over-ripe bananas with you.”

And so, on Friday evening, right after we finished our dinner of Spinach Soup and Teriyaki Noodles, N & I got to work in the kitchen, listening to my new acoustic Pandora station full of the sounds of Passenger, Sarah Bareilles, Jack Johnson. And as N realized, making banana cake isn’t rocket science.

Ingredients

1.5 c all purpose flour, sifted
1/3 c + 2 tbsp sugar
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/2 c buttermilk
2 tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 over-ripe bananas
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Dust and grease a 6″ pan.
2) Mash the overripe bananas with a folks until it forms a pulp of sorts
3) Mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt
4) Add to it the oil, buttermilk, water and vanilla and gently fold the dough – it will be a little tough.
5) Gently mix the mashed bananas with the cake dough. The consistency will be thick, but you should be able to easily stir it.
6) Bake in the oven for 1hr or until a knife through the cake comes out clean. After the first 20 minutes, make sure you cover the pan with foil, to ensure the top doesn’t burn.
7) Turn out over a cake rack to cool before serving.

“It smells so good”, said N.

“Yup. It’s the smell of our childhood.” 🙂

Variations:

Add a 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and fold into mix before pouring the dough into the pan for banana chocolate-chip cake.
Add a 1/4 cup chopped walnuts to the mix before pouring into the pan for banana walnut cake.

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