Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Classic Banana Bundt Cake

The bundt cake. Brilliant invention. The guy who made the bundt pan made millions. Hopefully he was a sweeter man for it (ha, sorry another bad pun).

For me, the bundt cake is the epitome of easy baking. Make the batter, pour in the pan, bake and let cool. Add a topping as desired or take the simple route with a dusting of powdered sugar or cocoa powder. Or in my case, both. My changes - adding some brown sugar to make the outside ever so slightly crisp, adding almond extract, going with non-fat vanilla yogurt. There is lots of room in this recipe to add your favorite addition like chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, a flavored yogurt, or other tid bits of goodness. Enjoy!

Classic Banana Bundt Cake
Adapted From: Food Librarian
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoons almond extract 
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • About 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (you should have 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 cup vanilla non-fat yogurt
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9- to 10-inch (12 cup) Bundt pan. (If you use a silicone Bundt pan there’s no need to butter it). I used a ton of PAM like spray. 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. This takes a few minutes, scrape down the sides as you need. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts, 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 batter curdles), all the sour cream and then the rest of the flour mixture. Scrape the batter into the pan, rap the pan on the counter to debubble 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 about 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 the rack to cool to room temperature. Dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder and/or powdered sugar.

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. You can also add your favorite icing to this. An easy one - orange juice and powdered sugar.

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