A couple of Couchsurfing friends invited us over to dinner last night, requesting we bring a cake. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige, as I love making the most of these opportunities to try new recipes. As most of you I’m sure have experienced, banana cake is an art. Some banana breads parade around potluck supper tables masquerading as cakes, but with the first forkful we’re onto their scheme. It takes a lot for me to consider a banana cake an actual C.A.K.E. and buddy, this one fits the bill. Here you’ll find a smooth moist crumb but a much lighter density than any banana quick bread. I should’ve known this would be banana cake perfection, because we all know Dorie Greenspan knows her way around the kitchen. I feel confident saying that I doubt I’ll ever look for another banana bundt recipe again (unless I lose this one!) The recipe works with margarine or butter, sour cream or yogurt, with spice additions, chocolate additions, vanilla glaze, chocolate ganache, orange whipped cream dollops. Flexible recipe. I like that. Here’s my spin on it. Hope you enjoy!
Classic Banana Bundt Cake
Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From My Home to Yours
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
About 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (you should have 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups)
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
* My additions
To the dry ingredients:
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. cardamom
approx. 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
a few T. milk
1/4 t. coconut flavoring
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9- to 10-inch (12 cup) Bundt pan. (If you use a silicone Bundt pan there’s no need to butter it.) Don’t place the pan on a baking sheet – you want the oven’s heat to circulate through the Bundt’s inner tube.
Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas. Finally, mix in half the dry ingredients (don’t be disturbed when the batter curdles), all the sour cream and then the rest of the flour mixture. Scrape the batter into the pan, rap the pan on the counter to debubble the batter and smooth the top.
Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Check the cake after about 30 minutes – if it is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool to room temperature.
Brush or carefully sprinkle orange liquor over the cake to your desire.
For the glaze: mix sifted powdered sugar, salt, and flavoring. Tablespoon by tablespoon add milk to form a thick glue consistency. Pour over cake and allow to drip down. Sprinkle with toasted coconut (Coconut is best toasted over medium-low heat in a dry skillet shaking skillet regularly and watching constantly until it reaches a light golden color. Remove immediately from the hot skillet.)