Thursday, February 3, 2011

Banana Cake Bakeoff

One of the local grocers gives away their over-ripe bananas.  Several times, I've been lucky enough to be there when that happens and have used them to make yummy things.

Today I had a hankering for banana cake and thought back to the days of the snack cake mixes we used to buy.  Easy, peasy - throw it in a pan with water, stir, bake and eat.  I went online to look for something quick and easy.  I found several and decided to make them both so I could compare. Plus as a bonus, lots of cake left over to freeze for another day.

Here are my results.

Banana Snack Cake #1
The first was slightly adapted from Group Recipes  .  My changes are in italics.

1/2 cup shortening (I used marg.)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 medium)
1 tsp vanilla 
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (I omitted the salt)
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used 1 Tbsp vinegar in 1/2 cup of milk)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used 1 cup walnuts)

In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugars.

Add eggs beating well.  Beat in bananas and vanilla.

Combine flour and baking soda and add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in nuts.

Pour into a greased 13x9x2-in. baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

The online recipe also contained a frosting recipe which I didn't use.

Banana Snack Cake #2
This recipe was adapted slightly from All Recipes .  My changes are in italics.


1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter (I used marg.)
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used 1 Tbsp vinegar in 1/2 cup milk)
1 cup mashed bananas
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (I omitted the salt)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup flaked coconut
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. In a medium bowl, mix flour, oats, baking soda and salt together and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add eggs.

Mix in buttermilk, bananas and vanilla.

Add flour mixture and mix well.

Finally, fold in the nuts, coconut and 1 cup of the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into a 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle top with remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

The results?  Both cakes were moist and tasty and I would make either on again.

The first one was more basic with only the nuts added but the banana flavour was strongest.  I would possibly add 1 cup chocolate chips next time since chocolate and bananas go together so nicely.

The second recipe was chewier in texture because of the oatmeal.  I think next time I would omit the coconut and the cup of chocolate chips sprinkled on top.

So the final verdict is ALL IS GOOD!  ;)

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