Monday, March 12, 2012

Old Fashioned Banana Cake

It feels good to sit down and actually post to my blog. It's been a long time. The past two months have been quite adventurous. I have been very busy with my new job which has picked up considerably since Christmas. I work on line as a mental health consultant so the work really has no boundaries. I can work 7 days a week, which I often do. But it is part time and shutting off the computer is always an option!

I also had a breast cancer scare, which thank God, turned out to be nothing. But as anyone who had been through it knows, the time between hearing the test results and knowing everything is ok can seem like a millenium. Right after I found out all was ok, I got sick with a cold virus that involved 4 weeks of constant coughing. After a round of anti biotics and much rest, I'm finally on the mend. Throw in stomach flu for the kids and the usual running around, and my poor blog was at the bottom of my to do list!

Well, if I've learned anything in the past few months it is to appreciate my health and the health of my family above all else. Until you lose it, you don't realize how precious it is.

Before all of this happened, I did have time to make a new recipe. I checked out Barefoot Contessa's cookbook "How Easy is That?" from the library and found this wonderful and easy recipe. Since I'm always looking for new ways to use up ripe bananas this really fit the bill. The cake was moist with a nice mixture of citrus and banana flavor and the cream cheese icing (yum!) adds a flavorful balance.

Old-Fashioned Banana Cake

3 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I used regular)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)

Walnut halves, for decorating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 2-inch round cake pan.

Mix bananas, granulated sugar and brown sugar in bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Add oil, eggs, sour cream. vanilla and orange zest. Mix until smooth.

Stir together flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in chopped walnuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, turn out onto cooling rack and cool completely.

Spread frosting thickly on top of cake and decorate with walnut halves. Slice and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Cream Cheese Frosting

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar.

Mix cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment on low speed until just combined. Don't whip. Add sugar and mix until smooth.

“On a traffic light green means go and yellow means yield, but on a banana it's just the opposite. Green means hold on, yellow means go ahead, and red means where the hell did you get that banana at...”

-Mitch Hedberg


Beth said...

Oh my goodness, Mary wonder you haven't posted! So glad you're back and so glad that all is well with your health.

As always, your recipe looks wonderful. I have just used up our old bananas by making banana bread, but I may try this later.

I love the banana quote. :-)

CountryDew said...

I'm sorry to hear you've been ill. I hope you're all better now.

The cake looks yummy!

Sweetflutterbys3 said...

Thank you Beth and Anita! I appreciate your concern. I do feel better and hope that this is the last of the health scares for a while!

Beth, I think you'll enjoy this recipe. I bought bananas the other day just to have the chance to make it again.

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

I was worried about you. Glad everything is okay now. I can't tell you how many women I've heard about having a breast cancer scare! I don't have enough fingers to count all the women I know who this happened to and then it turned out to be nothing. Do you think they are jumping the gun?

And you got a job as a mental health consultant! That sounds interesting! I used to work in a mental hospital many years ago. I loved that work. Tell us more!

Yum. The cake sounds delish.

Sweetflutterbys3 said...

Thanks Debi!

I have heard of a lot of women having breast cancer scares too. When I had mine, I let my sister in law know and she mentioned she just had one the month before. I wonder what is going on....

I didn't know you worked in mental health! Interesting field, isn't? Never a dull day!

Beth said...

Just popping in to wish you and your family a happy and blessed Easter, Mary Ann! I'll bet you're cooking some lovely things for the holiday...