Despite my best intentions, four of the bananas that I bought earlier last week suddenly got away from me – it seemed like just overnight they went from being tolerably ripe to racing towards rotten. Of course, my idea of “rotten” is a bit skewed – I used to like them nice and ripe, but nowadays I prefer them to still have a touch of green. Once a banana starts spotting, the flavor stops appealing to me until the point that a really ripe banana is actually a bit nauseating. But that’s okay because it gives me an *urgent* excuse to bake!
(Icky overripe bananas return to pure deliciousness once they’re in baked goods, happily enough.)
My hubby loves banana bread, so I was rifling through my recipies searching for one that takes four bananas, when I stopped to ask him if he’d prefer bread or cake. I fully expected him to say bread, since I haven’t made one in a long time, but he surprised me by asking for cake. Even better! I’d been sitting on a Dorie Greenspan banana bundt cake recipe for a long time, waiting for the opportunity to use it, and wouldn’t you know it calls for four ripe bananas?
(Note: although I used Big Red – yes, I named my stand mixer, what of it? – for this, you can also use a hand mixer.)
The batter came together quickly, and I ended up having to follow Dorie’s advice of tenting the cake with foil after 30 minutes, because it was getting fairly brown at that point. I checked on the cake at 65 minutes and it was still gooey in the middle. It took another five minutes, maybe a bit more, for the center to cook through.

The cake is delicous and moist, with a tender crumb and a delicate banana flavor. I’m excited to try some tonight, to see how the flavors deepened overnight!




Classic Banana Bundt Cake

 From Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

 3 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature

About 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (you should have 1 ½ – 1 ¾ cups)

1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

 Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9- to 10-inch Bundt pan. (If you’ve got a silicone Bundt pan, there’s no need to butter it.) Don’t place the pan on a baking sheet- you want the oven’s heat to circulate through the Bundt’s inner tube.

 Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

 Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and bat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas. Finally, mix in half the dry ingredients (don’t be disturbed when the mixture  curdles), all the sour cream and then the rest of the flour mixture. Scrape the batter into the pan, rap on pan on the counter to de-bubble the batter and smooth the top.

 Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Check the cake after 30 minutes – if it is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto a rack to cool to room temperature.

 If you’ve got the time, wrap the cooled cake in plastic and allow it to sit on the counter overnight before serving – it’s better the next day.

 Lemony white icing*

 Sift ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar into a bowl and squeeze in enough fresh lemon juice (start with 2 teaspoons and add more by drops) to make an icing thin enough to drizzle down the Bundt’s curves.

*Although Dorie recommends a lemony drizzle, I opted for a plain one – I followed her directions but used milk instead of lemon juice.