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Going Bananas

You’ve probably been wondering what’s been going on behind the scenes. I was burnt out after the holidays and officially set a hiatus for all baking projects. Blame it on the mentioned winter blues or the fact that I’ve been trying to watch my wallet (and baking ingredients aren’t cheap) but it’s true. What’s strange to me is that I don’t really care. Before, I’d feel empty or lost because baking was a creative outlet. It may sound weird, but my fellow bakers out there know what I am talking about. Creating something delicious and decadent out of a few basic ingredients is a lot of fun. I’m not even talking about the photography part of it either, although that happens to be one of my favorite parts of the baking project.

To wake up my motivation, I bought Karen DeMasco’s “Craft of Baking” hoping I’d get inspiration. But that didn’t work either. In desperation,I sat down with a journal and  went back to basics. What flavors sound delicious right now when winter is passing and spring is just around the corner? What is a daily staple in my diet? What can I not live without. Suddenly, it became clear. Bananas were on the horizon. Specifically, a Classic Banana Bundt Cake from the reliable Dorie Greenspan.

One and a half months later, my baking hiatus finally ended. And I was so happy to return to my baking roots with the lovable banana. Bright, yellow, sweet, and soft. Nothing could make me smile more. This cake is just as tasty as it sounds. Sweet and moist with a hint of spicy cinnamon, I think it would be a nice addition to your Sunday brunch. The cake is extremely easy to make and doesn’t need close supervision.

A couple of minor things to tell you about:

Use ripe bananas; this is not the place to use those green ones. You want a lusciously soft cake and ripe bananas are your magic weapon.
Sour cream is my dairy item of choice and I like how it blended with the banana flavors. If you prefer to use buttermilk, that would fine too. But don’t use whole milk; you need something with a little tang.
After 30 minutes in the oven, you must loosely cover the cake with foil to prevent the top from baking too fast. If you don’t, the exposed part of the cake will brown too fast and no good can come from that.

With that, I give you the recipe. I am so glad to have found my way back to the kitchen.

Classic Banana Bundt Cake
Printable recipe
Origin: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 65 to 75 minutes

Ingredients:
● 3 cups all-purpose flour
● 2 tsp baking soda
● 1/2 tsp salt
● 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
● 1 1/2 cups sugar
● 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
● 2 large eggs, at room temperature
● 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (should make 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups)
● 1 cup sour cream

Directions:

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350℉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 together the flour, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl and set aside.

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 65 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.

If you’ve got the time, wrap the cooled cake in plastic and allow it to sit on the counter overnight before serving – it’s better the next day.

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February 22, 2010 - 3:17 am

tiina - Welcome back to the kitchen, we’ve missed ya!:)

February 22, 2010 - 5:13 am

andrea - WE are so happy you found your way back! *smile* xoxo

February 22, 2010 - 5:54 am

carmencooks - this is my fave banana cake recipe! have made it tons of times and it’s always a hit.

February 22, 2010 - 7:09 am

LoveFeast Table - Spring is right around the corner!! Glad you’re slowly sprouting again!

February 22, 2010 - 10:22 am

Lara - I’m gonna try this.. I usually use Sophie Dahl’s Banana Bread recipe, but this sounds gr8!

February 23, 2010 - 10:37 am

Tracy (Amuse-bouche for Two) - There’s something so satisfying. I have a favorite banana bread recipe in need of being baked. It’s been far too long. So glad I stumbled over here today.

February 23, 2010 - 2:47 pm

Megan Gordon - Yay! Welcome back to baking! I know that feeling all too well. Winter really does have a way of putting the kaibosh on creativity and motivation (For me, anyway). I’m a big Dorie fan although I haven’t tried her banana bread. Staring at some over-ripe bananas at the house where I’m house-sitting, so I’m thinking this recipe’s in my near future. Thanks :)

February 23, 2010 - 6:11 pm

Frog Hollow Farm Girl - Hi, this recipe sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try it, and welcome back to what makes you happy!

February 24, 2010 - 12:42 pm

G. - looks just amazing! perfect with a big’ole cup of tea.

February 25, 2010 - 2:12 pm

Frog Hollow Farm Girl - Well, I tried this recipe and the cake was absolutely delicious – my husband actually called it ‘heavenly’. I am not a baker – I prefer making the savory types of foods, but this is a keeper. I even used some frozen overripe bananas that I had in the freezer – they worked fine. Thank you.

February 26, 2010 - 1:23 pm

Winston - I know I would definitely enjoy your Classic Banana Bundt Cake. Already I am salivating! I spend most of my childhood days in the Island, and I love bananas a lot. I love to cook, but can bake just a few stuff; however, I know for sure I am going to try this!

March 4, 2010 - 5:37 am

Marichelle - Hi Amanda! Thanks for stopping by the other day, so glad you did – you have an AMAZING blog, this looks heavenly… I’m not much of a baker, but I might just have to risk it for this one :) xo Marichelle

March 7, 2010 - 6:12 am

Frog Hollow Farm Girl - Baking this for the second time – it’s a keeper!

May 18, 2010 - 5:44 am

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