I love cooking with bananas. They seriously make me so happy – anything with bananas in it is always so wonderfully moist and naturally sweet…. YUM! Plus the fact that they are full of Vitamins B6 & C, as well as potassium; some research says they can even help improve absorption of other nutrients, making them a wonderful treat! Of course, bananas are also high in natural sugars (as well as carbs, if you’re watching…), so, like most treats, need to be enjoyed in moderation.
I was home in Kenny Lake for a few days last week, and yes, that’s where that gorgeous view above exists. That hayfield you see in the background is the field that my grandpa, dad and uncles cleared years ago when my grandparents moved up from Iowa to homestead in Alaska. Lucky me to grow up in such a beautiful place and with such a connection to the land! But anyways, while home, I spotted a few bananas turned mostly brown and hanging out on the kitchen counter. So of course I decided to cook something delicious with them, and my mind immediately went to two different banana cake recipes I’ve tried and loved.
One of the recipes is from a Gourmet magazine that I picked up somewhere, years ago; most of the recipes called for ingredients and techniques that were (especially at that time!) foreign to me, but this one was more down to earth. The picture was absolutely stunning, and I was immediately drawn in. The second recipe is from Dorie Greenspan, and of course, is it possible to go wrong with anything from her?
This cake was a combination of both recipes, with a few personal changes. I debated for a while whether I should put chocolate chips in the cake, or a chocolate glaze on top. After requesting input from younger brother Caleb and friend Tommie, chocolate chips were decided on. It definitely makes for a simpler cake, and one that’s easily transported! I wanted to try a dairy-free version of the cake, but was unable to find coconut milk anywhere in my mother’s kitchen. So, this cake uses butter and sour cream. Maybe next time around it’ll have coconut oil and coconut milk, in which case I could probably reduce the sugar even a lil’ more!
It turned out beautifully. So beautifully that Caleb sat and drooled over it as soon as it came out of the oven, and, refusing to wait until it cooled, had me cut him a piece the second it came out of the pan. (Well, he actually had to wait slightly longer as I shrieked and took the knife from his hand, insisting that I had to take pictures first!) And so beautifully that my poor sister Amy, currently on a cleanse and not eating any sugar, cut a piece, wrapped it up and hid it in the freezer for the first day she’s allowed a treat. All in all, I’d say I’m pretty happy with my banana cake recipe!
makes one 9-inch round
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2)
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp rum, optional
1/2 cup flaked, unsweetened coconut
1 cup chocolate chips
Oil a 9-inch round baking pan. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. In a medium size bowl, mix together the butter and brown sugar until well combined, then stir in the egg, banana, sour cream, vanilla and rum. Stir the coconut and chocolate chips into the flour mixture, then add all of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring just until everything is moistened. Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let cake cool in pan on metal rack for 10 minutes, then remove cake from pan and let finish cooling on wire rack (unless you’re Caleb, in which case, dig in!).