Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Too Many Bananas? Banana Nut Pound Cake



                                   
Over Christmas, my sister, who never seems to visit without bearing gifts, whatever the time of year,  brought me some great little -- literally little -- bananas. Two bunches. One regular yellow colored;  the other bunch, red. They were about half the size of a normal banana and just the right size for me. It's all about portion control.

Still, after a week of eating them daily*, I  wasn't fast enough and they were starting to get pretty ripe. While the baby bananas really taste no different than their regular sized cousins, they, sensitive souls that they are, do tend to bruise more easily and their skin is a bit thinner, so they were getting soft faster too. I simply couldn't gorge myself on all that potassium that fast. And Mr. Rosemary wasn't a big help in the banana eating, not when there was peanut butter fudge around.

                             

Everyone knows what to do with ripe bananas, right? Make banana bread, of course. But I wanted to do something different and recalled this cake from the December 2012 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. It was the grand prize winner of reader recipe winners for the year.
                               
Ever wonder why a pound cake is called a pound cake? Because, traditionally, anyhow, the cake used a pound each of flour, sugar, butter and eggs. But, as Wikipedia taught me, as long as the 1:1:1:1 ratio is followed, it's a pound cake. I also read there that in Mexico, the cake is called a panque con nueces, a pound cake with walnuts. Maybe that's what I should have called my adaptation, because I swapped walnuts for pecans, only because I'm cheap frugal.

This isn't an authentic pound cake. It doesn't use a whole pound of anything. But it does have that nice rich, dense texture of a pound cake.  The banana flavor is subtle, not overpowering at all. Maybe it's the bourbon that does it!

Banana Nut Pound Cake
slightly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, December 2012
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 medium bananas, mashed (about 1 cup) -- or about 5 baby bananas!
1/4 cup bourbon, or low-fat milk -- I used bourbon!
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted -- I used toasted walnuts
Powdered sugar for topping the cake after baking -- I drizzled with a simple glaze of confectioner's sugar thinned with milk and maple syrup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
Grease and flour a 10 inch fluted baking pan and set aside.  Combine the first three dry ingredients and set aside.
In a stand mixer, mix the cream cheese and butter until combined. slowly add the sugar  beating about 7 minutes or until light.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each egg.  In a bowl, combine the bananas, bourbon and vanilla. Alternatively, add a little flour mixture to the cream cheese and butter, then a little banana mixture until; beat on low to medium speed, after each addition until combined. Stir in nuts by hand. Spread batter evenly in pan and bake for about 80 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar (or glaze). Serves 12, at least!

*One of my favorite things to do with bananas is to spread a slightly warmed tortilla, a white one, with peanut butter, then lay a banana over it and roll it up for a great breakfast. Protein, fruit, carb --  all wrapped in a healthy, handy container.


43 comments:

  1. I love this small sweet bananas. There's never too many bananas in a cake :)

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    1. Why is it that small things are irresistible, Marta?

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  2. We used to grow these small bananas in our garden in the islands. How I miss their sweet taste! Great idea about the pound cake and yours is so pretty too. Who wouldn't love a slice.
    Sam

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    1. I guess I just get tired of banana bread -- and there's always too many bananas! You're right, Sam, these little guys were so sweet. You grew them?!? Wow!

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  3. What a perfect cake - love the ingredients and the photo is making me REALLY hungry!
    Mary x

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  4. I love those mini bananas - perfect size for kids! What a delicious cake to make with the over ripe ones, looks amazing!

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    1. They are kid-sized, Erin, and high on the cute factor, too.

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  5. We go through bananas so fast I have to buy a separate bunch just to make banana treats. I'll have to do that and give this one a go!

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    1. You're lucky, Carrian. I'm the only one who likes bananas!

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  6. I am sitting here looking over my computer at some ripe bananas thinking a pound cake might be just the ticket. Yours looks wonderful!

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    1. Now that I've made this banana cake, I'm ready for a regular pound cake.

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  7. Rosemary, wow, this looks wonderful! I do get a bit tired of banana bread.

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    1. I bet you have some great ideas for what else you could do with too many bananas, Chris. This was good, though, and a nice change.

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  8. Replies
    1. Actually, I think I like anything baby!

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    1. It's great when something tastes as good as it looks, Claudia -- you don't feel cheated! (Or that you wasted the calories.)

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  10. What a stunning and delish cake :D

    Cheers
    CCU

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    1. I think I got a little carried away drizzling the glaze, but it was fun!

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  11. YaY for bourbon! This looks great (and I'm "frugal," too).

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    1. A hint of bourbon makes a nice difference, Mary!

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  12. Great use of those cute little bananas. I would love to find some of those in my markets. But I'll try the cake with regular bananas if not.

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    1. My sister bought them at Wegman's -- there's not one real close to me. I have to settle for "normal," Linda!

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  13. I love banana desserts. I'm glad you went the pound cake route instead of banana bread. I have nothing against banana bread, but it's always nice to see someone try something else and I LOVE pound cake (and I'm digging the bourbon in there too).

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    1. My all time favorite banana dessert is bananas Foster, especially if I get to go to New Orleans to have it!

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  14. This is a fantastic way to use up overripe bananas. I'd love to sit down with a slice of this cake and a cup of tea.

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    1. The cake was a nice change from banana bread. Thanks for visiting, Dara.

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  15. There's something so much more sophisticated about banana cake versus banana bread. And, I love the cream cheese icing - very nice!

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    1. Maybe that's what struck me, Susan . . . I'm glad that cook created this cake!

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  16. This looks so much more exciting than plain old banana bread...

    can't wait to try it!

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    1. Yep . . . beats banana bread hands down.

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  17. I think banana pound cake sounds delicious-I am one of those people who forever make banana bread with my overripe bananas. I need to up the anty on this one.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Velva

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    1. A good change of pace, although my granddaughter will always opt for banana bread.

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  18. Anything with bananas and I am always happy! Your cake looks amazing and very delicious...I love the recipe! Have a wonderful weekend!!!

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    1. The cake was prettier in real life. Pretty rich though. Glad I was able to share it with neighbors.

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  19. I often have too many bananas, Rosemary. I think I will eat them but they get freckly and then turn black and then get thrown out ... bookmarking this. Happy New Year (and I wish you joy with your pasta maker - will be following your progress avidly.)

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    1. Too many bananas is a sweet curse, Hester . . . the cake was worth it though.(and I'm neither a cake nor banana bread lover.)

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  20. Rosemary, this looks and sounds delicious. I really love banana desserts and have to give this a try. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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    1. I'm surprised how much I liked this cake, Mary. A keeper -- for the next (inevitable) time I have too many bananas!

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  21. Hmmm, I have too ripe bananas and this sounds like a wonderful way to use them. I love pound cake so your recipe seems a nice change from the traditional banana bread.

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    1. It has a nice texture and a nice switch from banana bread, Linda

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  22. Making the cake this morning. Question....please verify you baked the cake at 450...seems a pretty high temp. Also....did you glaze with powdered sugar mix or a cream cheese icing? If cream cheese, would you please share your tips for making it. Can't wait to try a piece of this warm cake on a cold Michigan morning.

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    1. The temperature should be 325 degrees. Hope you trusted your instincts. It was a great cake. I used a simple confectioner's sugar glaze - just thinning confectioner's sugar with a half-and-half until the right drizzling consistency. Thanks so much for letting me know about the temperature.

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