When I was young, my favorite dessert was Sara Lee's Banana Cake. You had to buy it frozen and let it thaw, but then, boy, what a treat. That tasty, tender cake with the butter cream frosting was so good, I had to figure out how to make it from scratch. Now it's my son's favorite birthday cake. You can beat the batter, and you can beat the frosting, but you can't beat this cake. Yum!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
Cream until light and fluffy:
1/2 cup butter.
Beat in gradually: 1-1/4 cups sugar.
Add two slightly beaten eggs. Beat thoroughly.
Add 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 good-sized bananas)
1 tsp. vanilla or lemon extract or 1/2 tsp. of each
2 cups flour*
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with 1/2 cup milk or cream, sweet or sour, or yogurt.
Spoon into the pan.
Bake about 40 minutes. You can serve it plain, or split it in half and fill with Banana Cream Filling and Frost with Buttercream Frosting. Or frost with Cream Cheese Frosting, or serve it in squares with whipped cream on top.
If youíre using a 9x13 pan, use 1-1/2 times the recipe above.
Butter cream Frosting:
If you have a food processor, use 1/2 to a whole stick of butter and as much confectioner's sugar as it takes to make a smooth, spreadable frosting. Also add a teaspoon of vanilla. Process all together. If you donít have a food processor, use an electric mixer, the handheld ones are just fine.
Wait till the banana cake is cooled to room temp. before spreading on top & sides.
Banana Cream Filling
Heat 1 cup milk till very hot but not boiling
Mix Ĺ cup sugar with 3 tablespoons flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Stir the hot milk into the flour/sugar mixture till blended. Pour back into the saucepan and stir vigorously over low heat for 4-5 minutes, till thick and smooth.
Add 2 egg yolks and cook for a few more minutes. Cool, stirring from time to time.
Beat 1 large mashed banana till smooth and stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Stir into the cooled filling.
You will have enough filling for an 8-9 inch 3-layer cake.
* It would be great if you could get pastry or cake flour. I have rarely had them around, so I just use plain old unbleached white flour (Hecker's or King Arthur), maybe some whole wheat.
Got comments? Questions? Suggestions?