|Banana buttermilk cake|
I always have a big stash of frozen bananas in my freezer. I've gotten into the habit of buying a couple of extra bananas with my grocery shop, and freezing any that get too ripe for my açaí bowls and smoothies. However, when we did a cleanup of the freezer the other week, I was shocked to see I had over a dozen frozen bananas in there! Whoops! I needed to use some up, and fast!
I also had some buttermilk in the fridge that needed using up, and was hoping to find a recipe that could use up both bananas, and buttermilk. A quick Google search revealed a wonderful-looking banana buttermilk cake, by House of Brinson. It's actually their grandma's recipe, and it looked so simple and delicious, I just had to bake it!
It's a pretty classic butter cake, with the addition of mashed banana. I made a couple of slight changes, using both brown and white sugar instead of just white, and topping it with a mixture of cinnamon and caster sugar for extra crunch and the lovely comforting aroma. (This is a tip I gleaned from Smitten Kitchen's incredible Blueberry Boy Bait).
Also, rather than adding all the buttermilk all at once followed by all of the flour, I used the classic buttercake technique of adding the flour and buttermilk alternately, as I find it easier to incorporate the ingredients smoothly by adding a little at at time. (If you're not sure, "alternately" means you mix in one third of the flour, followed half of the buttermilk, then another third of the flour, the rest of the buttermilk and the rest of the flour).
|Ripe mashed bananas|
The mashed bananas keep the cake super moist. I used four large bananas, which I'm fairly sure is more than the one cup that the recipe calls for, but I regret nothing! It turned out super moist, super fragrant, and super delicious!
|Sugary cinnamon topping|
I baked the mixture in two dishes - one twenty centimetre round pan, and a twenty centimetre square pan. The original recipe says to use two twenty centimetre round pans, or a larger pan (although this might take longer to cook). The house smells incredible while they're baking!
I also love how the sugar topping makes the top all crackly.
This cake was so good! The banana flavour was nice and prominent, and it was so moist and fragrant. I couldn't resist a slice warm out of the oven, but it was great cold too. And it stayed nice and moist throughout the week. Serve it warm, as a dessert, or as a lovely afternoon tea treat (or even breakfast, if you've had a stressful week and you're desperate, hehe). I found the cake extra delicious with a generous dollop of double cream - the rich cream really accentuates the milkiness of the cake and compliments the banana fragrance. So good!
I shared the cake with my family and coworkers throughout the week and it went down a treat. Thanks to House of Brinson for sharing your grandma's recipe!
Banana Buttermilk Cake
Recipe adapted from House of Brinson
1 cup mashed banana (approx. 3-4 medium bananas)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
225 grams unsalted butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
For the topping: 2 tablespoons caster sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 160C. Butter and line two 20-cm round cake tins. (I used one 20cm round tin and a 20cm square tin).
Mash the banana and stir in the vanilla extract. Set aside.
Mix the buttermilk and baking soda in a jug. (It may fizz a little, so use a jug larger than one cup). Set aside.
Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl and whisk gently just to combine. Set aside.
Cream the butter, caster sugar and brown sugar in an electric mixer until light and creamy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
On low speed, alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Gently fold in the mashed banana mixture.
Divide the mixture between the prepared tins, and sprinkle the topping mixture over.
Bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour, or until cooked when tested with a skewer. (If you've got the tins on different shelves, swap them halfway through).
Allow to cool (slightly) before digging in.
For another great banana cake recipe, check out Bill Granger's chocolate chip banana bread.