I love banana breads, loaves, muffins and cakes, and this Old Fashioned Banana Cake is one of my absolute favourites. It takes hardly any time to make and I always get compliments on how pretty it looks. I started with some inspiration and a recipe from Ina Garten, but as usual I’ve played around with a bit. Also, as I first blogged this recipe back in 2011, I’ve added some new photographs (like the one at the top) just to bring the post a bit more up to date!
This cake really is easy to throw together and it’s easy to decorate too. I like to use a Cream Cheese Frosting for this cake, and I sometimes grate a little orange rind into it to echo the orange rind in the cake. I have to add that although it not as beautiful without the frosting, this cake tastes great naked too.
I love to keep this cake on hand for impromptu entertaining. People’s faces always light up when you offer them a piece of cake with a cup of tea or coffee, and this particular cake seems to have an even more pronounced effect!
Top Tips for Making Old Fashioned Banana Cake
I almost always reduce the sugar in banana breads and cakes, and this recipe is no exception. Bananas are pretty sweet as it is, and half a cup of white sugar is plenty.
I prefer to use mild olive oil in this cake but any mild vegetable oil will work in a pinch.
Feel free to swap the nuts around, depending on what you have on hand. While bananas and walnuts are a classic combination, pecans are lovely with banana too.
Did you know you can ‘mash’ bananas in an electric mixer? The last time I made Old Fashioned Banana Cake I was in a real hurry, so I just broke the bananas up a bit and put them in my KitchenAid mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. It mashed the bananas beautifully.
Definitely an oldie but a goodie, this Old Fashioned Banana Cake is one of the best go-to cakes for last minute entertaining I know. Quick to put together, easy to decorate and oh-so-delicious, I’m sure it will become as much of a staple in your home as it has in mine!
Printable Old Fashioned Banana Cake Recipe
- 2 cups all purpose (plain) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 very ripe bananas
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- ½ cup mild olive oil
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup sour cream or crème fraîche
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla
- grated zest of one orange
- ½ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped, plus extra nut halves for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Grease and flour or line a 9 x 2 inch round cake pan.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Break up the bananas and put them in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on low to 'mash' the bananas.
- Add the white and brown sugars and blend well.
- Add the oil, eggs, sour cream or crème fraîche, vanilla and orange zest. Blend thoroughly.
- Add the sifted flour, baking soda and salt. Mix just until combined.
- Stir in the chopped nuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top of the cake springs back when touched lightly and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for ten minutes, before turning out to cool completely on a rack.
- When the cake is completely cool, frost with your favourite cream cheese icing and decorate with walnut or pecan halves.