Banana Pound Cake

Banana pound cake fresh from the oven
Not everybody loves bananas the way I do. I eat them plain, slice them for crepe filling, mash them in pancakes, whisk them in milkshakes, fry them as fritters, and as the title says, bake them in heavenly, moist, pound cakes!

 

“Life is full of banana skins. You slip, you carry on.” – Daphne Guinness
The Fact: The scientific name for banana is musa sapientum, which means ‘fruit of the wise men’.
The Inspiration: Christmas came and went, but left me with this need to abstain from cakes, desserts, and pretty much everything sweet. But as all good things come to an end, so did this phase of abstinence.
As I made the climb back on to the ‘food’ wagon, I decided to start small with a few desserts and some hearty servings of fruit—watermelons, apples, oranges, pears, grapes, mangoes (yes, I’m blessed with the perfect tropical climate for these fruits) and bananas! But not everybody loves bananas the way I do. I eat them plain, slice them for crepe filling, mash them in pancakes, whisk them in milkshakes, fry them as fritters, and as the title says, bake them in heavenly pound cakes.
So here’s my attempt at combining fruit and cake in a rather popular way… banana cake! I write this entry as the warm cake aroma continues to waft through my kitchen...

The Ingredients

This cake serves approx. 15–20 people.

Dry ingredients

  • 1½ cups sifted flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (use 1 cup if you prefer sweeter cakes)
  • 1½ tsp freshly ground cinnamon powder
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 heaped tbsp chocolate shavings or chocolate chips

Wet ingredients

  • 2 large or 3 small eggs
  • I cup softened butter
  • I cup milk or sour cream or buttermilk
  • 2 large or 3 small ripe bananas mashed to a pulp

Ingredients for the banana cake

The Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C or 350F.
  • Prepare your cake tin (standard 9 x 2 inch) by spraying it with grease or lightly greasing it with butter.
  • Whisk together all the dry ingredients except the chocolate shavings.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the butter for about 1 minute with a hand-held or electric beater.
  • Gradually, whisk in the eggs.
  • When the consistency is smooth, add the milk or cream and the banana pulp and whisk for about 1 minute.
  • If you’re someone who’s bothered by the smell of eggs, add a teaspoon of vanilla essence/extract. If not, you’re fine.
  • Now, gently whisk in the dry ingredients, just until incorporated. This should take you less than a minute because the consistency of the batter is thinner that most cake batters. Do not beat this batter for more than 90 seconds; if you do, gluten will begin to form and make your cake denser and not as moist.
  • Gently fold in the chocolate shavings or chocolate chips.
  • Pour mixture into the prepared cake tin and put it into the oven.

Banana cake batter

  • Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack

Banana pound cake

You should know by the aroma in your kitchen that you’re done 🙂 . This cake has a lovely, strong banana flavour. If there’s someone at home who dislikes bananas, the aroma is sure to drive them out of the house. Trust me; I speak from experience.

This cake is best served warm. Cut a slice to look at your beautiful, cinnamon-and-chocolate-speckled cake!

A slice of banana cake

This cake can be kept without refrigeration for a few days. In warmer climates, refrigerate within 2 days. Bon appétit!



11 comments on “Banana Pound Cake

  1. Joanne April 14, 2014 6:14 am

    I make banana cakes very often (cos they disappear so quickly! :)) and I havent tried the addition of cinnamon. Must remember for my next batch. But this has been a favourite in my house and can also be made in cupcake forms. Yumm!

    • Marsha April 15, 2014 5:49 am

      Hey Joanne, thanks for writing in. In my home too, the disappearing of cakes, especially the regular pound cakes, is rather common.
      I love freshly ground cinnamon and use it in most of my cakes. Apart from the lovely little specks you see in a slice of cinnamon-contained cake, there’s this hint of spice that I absolutely love. In this particular banana cake however, the cinnamon flavour is quite subdued because of the strong banana flavour. But do give it a try. I’d love to hear what you think of it.

  2. shahista khan May 31, 2014 4:29 pm

    I just tried the recipe and it’s turned out fabulous.. this is my first attempt at baking and I feel proud!! 😀
    Thankyou for the recipe :))

    • Marsha June 1, 2014 3:04 pm

      I’m so proud myself to have you debut with one of my recipes. I hope you enjoy baking just as much as I do. Welcome aboard! 🙂

  3. Nivedita June 23, 2014 8:43 am

    Did you bake this in the regular convection oven or a proper cake-baking oven?

    • Marsha June 23, 2014 11:44 am

      Hi Nivedita! Strangely, neither. Although I did have the option to bake this cake in my cake-baking oven, I actually baked this one in my microwave that came with the convection option. This is why the baking time is 40 minutes, which is a little more than what it would have taken in a cake-baking oven (30 minutes).
      I could help you out further if you let me know whether your question is generic or has something to do with the baking time or consistency of the cake. Do let me know.
      Marsha 🙂

      • Nivedita July 4, 2014 8:45 am

        Hey Marsha, yes you got it right! I want to know a bit more about the baking time and the consistency of the cake…. I have a microwave with a convection option. 🙂

        • Marsha July 11, 2014 7:49 am

          Hi Nivedita, I’m sorry for the terribly late reply. I was traveling and only just got back.
          Okay, so here’s the deal. Although you can bake almost everything that you can bake in a regular oven (what you call the cake-baking oven), in a microwave with the convection oven, the microwave dries out your dish/cake much more than the oven does. So, while you have to adjust temperature and time for microwave baking, you also have to do something about keeping your dish moist; for instance, keep a microwaveable bowl with a little water in the microwave while the dish is baking, or keep basting your food with oil/grease. Of course, all this depends on what you’re cooking. Additionally, the microwave also tends to cook unevenly. You might notice that the centre of the cake takes much longer than the sides, causing the sides to burn/dry out while the centre cooks. In such cases, you could use foil to cover the part that has already finished cooking, while the rest of the dish cooks. It’s because of this that a cake takes about 5-10 minutes longer to bake in a microwave. So you’ll have to make this adjustment for all dishes. But do experiment with your microwave before you set this as a standard.
          Wow! That was long. Do let me know if this helps or if you need something more specific from me.

          • Nivedita December 26, 2014 7:20 am

            Thanks a ton for the detailed explanation. Now I know why my cupcakes seemed so dry! Will try the water tip next time! 🙂

  4. Cynthia Nesamani June 25, 2014 12:28 pm

    Hi Marsh! Great recipe. Trying it out. Proud to see you emerge into a sure and confident teacher. Now I understand why you would be the one to hover around me when I baked! Good my girl, keep up the good work!

    • Marsha June 25, 2014 5:26 pm

      Aw! That’s sweet, mother! We all know where the inspiration came from 🙂 Let me know the cake turns out. Will drop in for a bite 🙂

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