Banana Loaf Cake
No matter what type of banana cake you’re making, only one thing is really essential: The bananas have to be really ripe, or you might as well use potatoes. Of course, many of us don’t get the urge to make a banana-flavored cake or bread until we have some over-ripe bananas hanging around. If you have to buy the bananas especially for a baking project, make sure to let them ripen at least until they are covered with spots—I even like them a little beyond that point for a really rich banana flavor. Another key to excellent banana flavor is to mash them well with a fork or potato masher—don’t puree them in a food processor or blender. The small pieces of banana left behind from hand mashing pack a lot of flavor.
Makes one 9 x 5 x 3-inch cake, about ten 3/4-inch thick slices
2 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 5 large, very ripe bananas--mash then measure)
One 9 x 5 x 3 -inch loaf pan, sprayed with vegetable cooking spray and the sprayed surface coated with fine, dry breadcrumbs
- Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
- Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites to break them up, then whisk in the sugar and the brown sugar.
- Whisk in the butter and vanilla, followed by the mashed bananas.
- Sift the flour mixture over the banana mixture and thoroughly fold it in.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake the cake for about 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then unmold it and cool completely on a rack.
Storage: Keep the cake wrapped in plastic at room temperature after it has cooled. For longer storage, double wrap and freeze for up to a month. Defrost and bring to room temperature before serving.