This cake could have been titled: Best Banana Cake EVER, but I chose not to do that, because there are a lot of BEST EVER cakes out there and I’m sure they are the best to their creators. Kudos to each and every one.
This one is my BEST EVER version, and after years of practice I can say with certainty that this cake is up there with those that truly hit the mark.
And yes, it is intentional to use all caps for the BEST EVER reference. Seems fitting.
The recipe itself is one I’ve had in my repertoire for many years. I have recently tweaked it to improve and modernise it, as there are more ingredients to choose from in 2018 Melbourne than there were in 1985 Tasmania, which is probably when, and definitely where, I first made it.
Changes include swapping the milk for sour cream – full fat of course – exchanging some of the white self-raising flour for coconut and banana flours and not only reducing the volume of sugar, but using coconut sugar instead of white cane sugar.
That said, I didn’t have quite enough coconut sugar for this bake, so about 1/4 of the sugar used was deep, dark muscovado sugar that I had in the store cupboard. It worked.
The cheesecake topping was a random thing and it marries beautifully with the cake. Although not technically a full-blown cheesecake, it transforms this cake from plain gorgeous to a stunning, flavourful dessert-style dish. It’s optional of course. You can ice with whatever you please, dust with a little icing sugar spiced with cinnamon or leave it plain. The cake is yummy enough to stand up on its own two banana-ry feet.
Make sure your butter and eggs are are at room temperature before you start. This will make the mixing go a lot smoother and help prevent the butter curdling on the addition of the eggs.
*Coconut flour is relatively easy to find in the wholefood section of supermarket shelves today.
**Banana flour can be trickier to find. I buy mine at a local specialist organic wholefood store. If you can’t find it, just increase the amount of coconut flour or the self raising flour.
Optional: Add chopped nuts to the recipe at the end. I folded through some toasted, chopped macadamias. Walnuts are also wonderful with banana cake.
The flour exchange means the cake doesn’t rise quite as much as it used to, but that’s offset by the absolute increase in flavour.
On with the recipe!