This cake is bananas. B. A. N. A. N. A. S.
No, really. This cake has lots of bananas. And it’s delicious.
Yes, this is another installment of Waste Not Wednesday. But it’s also a post that should teach you a couple of really valuable lessons.
This recipe is adapted from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook*. It’s filled with gorgeous photos and recipes for delicious, seasonal desserts. Once I knew the bananas were about to go bad, I cracked open this book and found it: Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
But I didn’t have any cream cheese. And the whole point of WNW is to use what you got. So I was going to make a maple rum glaze instead. BOOM.
There I was, patting myself on the back. “Yes, Trish, you ARE amazing!” I repeated these affirmations to myself as I started to mash the bananas, and measure out my ingredients. “You are a Genius! With a capital ‘G’!”
I gave myself these affirmations until I searched for the brown sugar.
I didn’t have any. Shiiiiiit.
I broke the cardinal rule of cooking: Make sure you have all of your ingredients BEFORE you start cooking.
It happens to the best of us. But what was I going to do? I had all of my other ingredients ready to go. Lucky for me, I just happened to have an unopened bottle of molasses hiding in the cupboard. Yes!!!
Some of you may be wondering why this is significant. Did you know that brown sugar is just white sugar mixed with molasses? Welp, it’s true. So if you’re ever out of brown sugar, but you have white sugar and molasses, you’re good to go!
Anyway, this cake turned out a little different than I had originally anticipated. But I’m really pleased with how it came out. I think you will be, too.
*I do not know the authors, nor do I get paid to promote their book. I simply love it. That’s it.
Banana Poke Cake
Adapted from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook
Serves 10-12 single slices
- stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or a hand mixer)
- 10″ x 5″ loaf pan (or other larger loaf pan)
- 2 small or medium sized mixing bowls
- 1-2 tbsp butter and a small handful of all purpose flour, for the pan
- 2 c. all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 & 1/4 lbs of very ripe bananas (about 5, or 1 & 1/3 c mashed)
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 c. greek yogurt (Fage is best) (I also used 0% fat, because that’s all I had on hand)
- 1 & 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 c. white granulated sugar
- 1/4 c. unsulphured molasses
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp dark rum (optional)
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 1/4 c. pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp dark rum (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease and flour the pan (first you grease it with the butter by coating all the surface area that will touch the batter. Then you coat it again with the flour. Toss out the remaining flour). Set prepared pan aside.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mash the bananas using a whisk or a fork until lumpy but smooth. Stir in the lemon juice, yogurt, and molasses. Add the rum in this step if you’re using it. Set aside.
You want it to be a little smoother than it appears in the above photo.
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment(or a large bowl using a hand mixer), cream together the sugar and butter until it becomes fluffy and light yellow. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, on medium speed. Then whisk in your vanilla.
Set the mixer to low* and slowly add about a fifth of the flour mixture, then add about a fourth of the banana mixture, being sure the scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Alternate like this about 4 more times, ending with the last addition of flour.
*The mixer needs to be low on because if it goes too hard and fast, it will over-develop the gluten in the flour and make the cake very dense. It’s science.
Pour your batter into the prepared pan, scraping down the bowl to get every bit of banana-ey goodness. Roughly smooth the top of the loaf with the spatula. Place the cake pan in the center rack of your pre-heated oven. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick or knife blade inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
While the cake bakes off, make your glaze by whisking together all of your ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and set aside.
When your cake is done, let it cool on a cooling rack or a trivet until it’s just cool enough to handle with your hands. Take the cake out of the pan. I recommend running a knife around the edges, then gently shaking the cake loose and then turning the cake onto your hand while holding the bottom of the pan. Place the cake on the cooling rack and allow it to cool completely. It’s fine if it’s still a little tiny bit warm, but it cannot be hot!
Once the cake is cooled put it on your serving plate. Take a chop stick or other large skewer and poke several holes in the top of the cake. This will allow the glaze the seep in and add more flavor to it. Then, pour your glaze over the top.
And there you have it. Banana poke cake. It’s great for dessert or breakfast (I had it for both). Enjoy!