Try as I will, I can not remember the occasion when Tom's mother Linda brought over this banana cake. It might've been my birthday, but with my memory, all bets are off. Anyway. What we have here is an easy-to-make little recipe, that doesn't require outre ingredients, and serves nicely for those times when you just want cake!

Whatever the reason, this cake has quickly become a favorite around here, and I've taken it to many work and social gatherings. It never fails to elicit compliments and almost obsessive requests for the recipe. It's one of those cakes that makes people say, as the old advert goes, “it tastes like you fussed for hours!”, but you won't require much work to produce this one.

I usually make this one in a Bundt pan, as it seems to lend itself nicely to the ring shape, though Linda's original recipe calls for two loaf pans. I don't usually find a frosting is warranted, though it seems a nice cream-cheese or other relatively plain frosting would be fine. The flavor is just this side of delicate, so you wouldn't want a frosting to overpower the cake.

INGREDIENTS and METHOD

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C , gas mark 4), and prepare baking pan. In a bowl, place:

  • 2/3 cup shortening (don't use oil or butter, neither works well)

Sift in:

  • 2½ (625 ml) cups sifted cake flour (this is a flour 'especially formulated for cakes', regular all-purpose flour will do fine if you can't find cake flour)
  • 1& 2/3 cups (400 ml) sugar (here, we use Splenda instead of sugar, and it works just as well)
  • 1½ (8 ml) teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking soda
  • ½ (2 ml) teaspoon salt

Mix all together, and add:

  • 1¼ cups (325 ml) mashed very ripe bananas (three to four medium-sized bananas)
  • ½ cup (125 ml) buttermilk (you can also use sour milk, or milk soured with vinegar or lemon juice)

Mix, with electric mixer, until moistened, and then beat on medium speed for two minutes.

Then add:
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten

and beat for another two minutes. Turn out into the baking pan, and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a cake tester shows the cake is done. Cool for ten minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan and cool thoroughly before serving. That is, unless you can't wait that long!

VARIATION: I've also made a Pumpkin Cake by substituting a 12-ounce can of prepared pumpkin for the bananas, and adding 1 teaspoon each of ground ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice; and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.

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