Got overripe bananas? Mash them and bake them into this banana cake that’s ultra moist and chock-full of nuts. Enjoy for breakfast, snack or dessert!
Banana cake is nothing extraordinary in the Philippines where bananas are available any time of the year. It’s panaderia (neighborhood bakery) fare. Inexpensive. Ubiquitous. When Sam and Alex were young girls, whenever we dropped by the house of a friend whose father ran a bakery inside the subdivision, we always ended up buying several slices of banana cake for them. They loved it so much!
But… banana cake? I know. A lot of food bloggers call it banana bread. Just because it is baked in a loaf pan that’s traditionally used for making loaf bread doesn’t make it a bread. Anyone who has baked both bread and cake would realize that.
It’s banana cake and NOT banana bread, okay? Because, once you see the recipe, the amount of shortening, the number of eggs, all THAT sugar and the mixing procedure, taken all together, scream cake!
But why call it banana bread at all? It may have everything to do with the way banana cake is served — sliced like loaf bread. Which makes the misnomer a matter of style over substance. Ignore the essence of the baked product and call it a bread just because it is sliced like bread.
So, what makes Alex’s banana cake different from the panaderia banana cake? Butter in lieu of oil. And the copious amount of nuts. Walnuts and pecans in this version.
- 6 bananas (should be very ripe to overripe), peeled
- ½ cup melted butter plus more for brushing the pans
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt (skip if using salted butter)
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda NOT baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup chopped nuts toasted
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Brush the inside of two 9"x5" (or 8½"x4½") pans with butter. Optionally, line with baking paper (to make lifting the baked cake out of the pan easier).
- In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas until pasty.
- Pour the melted butter over the mashed bananas and stir until incorporated.
- Mix in the salt, baking soda, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract.
- Mix in the flour.
- Pour in the buttermilk and stir just until you get a uniform consistency
- Finally, stir in the nuts.
- Pour the banana cake batter into the two prepared pans.
- Bake the banana cake at 350F for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Remove the cake pans from the oven, cool for five minutes and remove the cakes from the pans. Rest the banana cakes on a rack.
- Cut the banana cakes into slices and serve. They're best while still warm.