I cannot pass the shelf of produce past its prime at the grocery and not bring home those three pounds of bananas for $.69. I just can’t. (It’s a good place to buy eggplant and peppers, too–stuff I’m just going to roast until it’s deliciously shriveled, anyway.) Sometimes the pack goes straight into the freezer, ready for smoothies and one-ingredient banana ice cream and banana bread. Sometimes, if they’re not so terribly spotted yet, they stay on the counter for a few days for peanut butter and banana sandwiches and the occasional meeting with a bowl of Cheerios.
I adapted this cake slightly from this Smitten Kitchen recipe for Caramel Walnut Upside Down Banana Cake. I know, I know. What about the caramel? Well, I believed Deb when she wrote that the caramel is excessively sweet and it hardens too much. So I skipped it. What I think this cake really needs is a generous drizzle of salted caramel sauce. I didn’t get around to it. But you might.
I baked the cake in a 10″ springform tube pan. You can also use a 9″ round pan, or even try some loaf pans or an 8″ square. The tube pan made a plain cake pretty, though, and shortened the baking time to a quick 35-40 minutes.
Little Four took one look at the slice of cake on his plate and said, “Mom! It’s banana bread CAKE! That’s so AWESOME!”
Banana walnut cake
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed banana
3 Tbsp. sour cream
1 Tbsp. dark rum (I would add an extra Tbsp. next time)
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugars together in a large bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs, then mashed bananas, sour cream, rum and almond extract. Mix in dry ingredients in two additions until just combined. Stir in walnuts.
Spread batter into a greased and floured baking pan (see notes above about size). Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a rack before unmolding. Serve with caramel sauce, whipped cream, ice cream, a dusting of powdered sugar, or nothing at all.