painting sunny

It’s a Banana Cake Day

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Hello all! This past Sunday was Banana Cake Day in our house, and although the final result may not have been optimal in prettiness, it did taste good. My husband’s favorite cake is Banana Cake, hands down. My own favorite is anything that can hold a lot of frosting. For me, cake is merely a vessel for frosting. In any case, this cake is easy to make (without destroying the entire kitchen) and has a classic flavor. I’ve tried several recipes for banana cake, and in my recollection this one is pretty near the top! It can’t hold a candle to the amazing banana cake we served at our wedding, created by our local BLU Boy Chocolate Cafe & Cakery here in Bloomington, Indiana. I’m not on that level of competition, let’s be real.

This recipe comes courtesy of AllRecipes, as the Banana Cake II. As per my Recipe Code of Ethics, I always try to follow the recipe as closely as possible the first time I make it. Then, I change whatever I want after that – but I feel like I owe the original baker at least one authentic try!

Banana Cake 5

The full recipe is at the bottom of this post, but below are a few little notes on my own process.

Banana Cake 4

This was actually part of a holiday gift to my husband this year – we had a $40 limit for each other, and I was trying to be creative to get as many presents as possible squeezed into that budget. We had all of the ingredients for Banana Cake already in the house (including frozen bananas) except for frosting. I had very little budget left, and it was cheaper to buy a can of frosting than a package of cream cheese – I normally make homemade frosting, but resigned myself to the good-old-store-bought-stuff this time. As far as presentation, I put all of the cake ingredients into a brown paper grocery sack, folded the top over and clipped it together with a picture of a slice of banana cake attached. I pre-sorted the dry ingredients into bags, including sifting them together where the recipe calls for it. Then, come actual Banana Cake Day, I followed the directions for combining the ingredients.

Personally, I always use frozen bananas in banana-themed-baked-goods. I just thaw them in the microwave real quick (or I guess I could plan ahead and take them out of the freezer earlier that day) and squeeze them into the bowl. They seem to mix easier, have a stronger flavor, and keep me from wasting bananas that the fam considers too brown to eat.

Banana Cake 2

As always when I make layer cakes, I use my favorite spring form pans (a birthday gift from years past) and line the inside with parchment paper then spray it with Pam. Okay, the generic version of Pam. Close enough.

Banana Cake 1

With spring form pans, I’ve found it really helpful to wrap foil around the outside of the pans to keep batter from leaking out. It didn’t in this case, but with some cakes it has in the past so better safe than sorry. Denser cakes tend to not leak, such as cheesecakes… or probably fruit cake if I ever get in a really weird mood and make one.

Banana Cake 6

I baked the cake according to the instructions, but whenever I checked it, it wasn’t done, so I extended the time by another 20 minutes total. Some people prefer to put the springform pans on a cookie sheet when baking, but I don’t bother and haven’t had an issue with the bottom of the cake getting too brown. This cake turned out very dense, but I’ve found that a lot of banana cakes do.

Banana Cake 3

At this point, the kids just seemed to keep popping up out of their beds and by the time I went to frost the cake it was about 9:30 at night and I was past the point of caring how the cake looked – no need to be elegant when you are hungry and it is almost 10pm. So, my finished product may not be the most elegant, but it served its purpose! Slap that frosting on there, I say!

Banana Cake 5

All in all, I recommended slowly adjusting the baking time as needed, and while this tasted good I would take the time and extra $1 and make the frosting from scratch; I think it would have made a big enough difference. I remembered before bed that I get creeped out leaving cream cheese frosted baked goods out on the counter, so into the fridge it went. It does mean before I eat it, removing it from the fridge and  letting it warm up a minute, but I don’t have to worry about looking down mid-bite to see that it went past its prime.

Anyone else try this recipe? Did your cook time take significantly longer, or is my oven on the fritz? Suggestions?

Banana Cake II

Original source: Banana Cake II

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sour milk
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 2 1/2 cups mashed bananas (I recommend frozen, personally)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  1. In a large bowl, mix together butter or margarine, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, sift together flour, salt, soda, and baking powder. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Add sour milk and bananas to the batter. Beat together well.
  3. Line two 9 inch round cake pans, or one 9 x 13 inch pan with wax paper; the pans can be greased and floured instead, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 17 to 20 minutes for the layered cakes, or for 25 to 40 minutes for the sheet cake.

Author: Dani @ Painting Sunny

Hi there! I'm Dani, and it's lovely to meet you. My little family just moved to the quaint little college-town of Ithaca, NY and are loving it. Come hang out with me and talk about food, books, art, and other odd little things.

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