Some things are utterly timeless. A bouquet of roses, a good cup of tea, pancakes with syrup, and this banana bundt cake.
For me, bundt cakes conjure up warm, fuzzy memories of baking with my grandparents.
My grandpa was a baker by trade, but my grandma sure knew her way around a kitchen as well. Their house always smelled divine.
When you walked through the door, you immediately started salivating.
This recipe elicits the same reaction from my husband. Entering the house after work and being intoxicated by this enticingly fragrant smell, he immediately makes a beeline for the kitchen.
Do you know anyone who doesn’t love to come home to a house that smells like delicious confections? Yeah, me neither.
Let’s get to the recipe.
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep Ingredients, Grease the Pan, and Preheat
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Gather all of your ingredients. Go ahead and set out your unsalted butter so it can come to room temperature.
Grease and lightly flour a bundt pan. Then set aside.
Don’t hold back with this step. Conjure your inner southern belle and coat the pan with a good layer of butter or shortening followed by a light coating of flour.
Use your fingers when greasing to get into all the nooks and crannies of this pan. If you don’t, you will have a hard time getting the pan to release the cake properly later on.
Allow the flour to show you what parts of the pan aren’t greased well. If the flour doesn’t stick, grease that section again. Be sure to shake all excess flour out when all sections are coated.
In a large bowl, whisk together the baking soda, salt, and all-purpose flour, and set the bowl aside.
Be sure to use baking soda from your cupboard, not the fridge. When stored in the refrigerator, baking soda is exposed to moisture and absorbs odors. We don’t want foul smelling baked goods, so be sure to designate a separate box for your baking needs.
Measure out the sugar and place in an adequately sized bowl off to the side. For this recipe, I recommend using regular fine white sugar crystals rather than coarser options.
Add the measured amount of sour cream to a small bowl and set aside for later use. If you prefer, you may substitute this with Greek yogurt. Either will lend that rich flavor to the end product. Use whichever you have on hand.
Go ahead and crack two eggs into a small bowl for easy access later. Cracking the eggs separately also makes it easier to remove any unwanted shell fragments.
Mash 3 very ripe bananas in a small bowl. It’s important that they be very ripe. The riper, the sweeter when it comes to this popular fruit.
Even better, go to the markdown section of your grocery store and get the almost brown bananas.
This is also a fun step to let the kids help with. My son loves to mash up ingredients for my recipes. Set the bowl aside.
Last but not least, measure pure vanilla extract into a small pinch bowl.
If you have real vanilla beans on hand, feel free to use those instead. About 1 scraped bean per teaspoon of extract is the equivalent.
Also, a happy medium and an option I use quite frequently is vanilla bean paste. The measurements are the same, but this offers the visual appearance of fresh vanilla beans (those little flecks!) with a longer shelf life. Again, use whichever you prefer or have on hand.
Step 2 – Cream Butter and Sugar
I adore my stand mixer, but for quick jobs like this, I reach for my hand mixer.
With whichever tool you have, cream the room temp butter and sugar together until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Until the mixture is smooth, a bit fluffy, and lighter in color.
Step 3 – Mix in Sour Cream and Eggs
Add the eggs and dairy of choice (sour cream or Greek yogurt) and fold in by hand until the mixture is smooth, without any lumps. Be sure to completely work in the eggs and dairy, as you want them fully incorporated.
If you notice small lumps, you may have not creamed the sugar and butter well, or attempted to cream them while they were still too cold. Work the lumps out now by hand.
Step 4 – Add Dry Ingredients, Banana, and Vanilla
To the smooth mixture, alternate adding from your bowl of dry ingredients and the mashed bananas.
Be sure to incorporate each addition completely before adding the next. That being said, don’t overmix the batter, or your cake can become too dense. As soon as one ingredient is thoroughly mixed, add the other.
Once you’ve added all of the dry ingredient mixture and bananas, add the vanilla and mix well.
Step 5 – Bake
Add the batter to the prepped bundt pan and bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes. The top will be golden brown, and a toothpick will come out clean when inserted to test.
You can also use a cake tester instead of a toothpick. Either should come out clean when inserted.
Step 6 – Cool
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Be sure to turn your oven off.
Let the cake rest in the same position it baked in. This will take up to an hour to cool. Do not rush this step!
If you do, you may end up with a cake that resembles a patchwork quilt. When warm, bits of the cake can stick to the pan, leaving it with holes or patches and without a crusted top.
Once cool, with a cooling rack pressed to the top of the pan, invert and set on the counter. Do not shake to get the cake to release. Instead, allow gravity to aid in its descent.
Give the cake another 15-20 minutes to finish cooling, if needed.
Step 7 – Glaze, Garnish, and Serve
While the cake is cooling, mix your confectioner’s sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract together with a fork. This should be thick but smooth.
Try to make this right before you plan to glaze your cake, as it will thicken the longer it sits.
If your glaze gets too thick, add 1 teaspoon of milk and stir. This should thin it back out.
Once your cake has cooled completely, pour the glaze around the top of the cake to allow it to drip down either side.
Garnish with whatever nuts (if any) you prefer. A natural choice would be either pecans or walnuts.
Now, it’s time to slice and serve. Enjoy!
Show your Support – With Cake!
Is there someone in your life that you want to impress?
Maybe you have a new boss or neighbor? Acts of goodwill, especially when they are food related, always set you on the right path.
We all want to be helpful and supportive to those around us. Food is a universal love language. It ties us all together, regardless of our many differences.
Food is a gesture that everyone appreciates in times of joy or sadness.
Next time you want to show affection or appreciation (say because your dad came out and fixed your HVAC system in the cold so you’d have heat…) whip up this fantastic banana bundt cake to say thank you!
There are so many unique variations of this type of recipe. Tell me, what tweaks would you make? Leave us a comment – we can’t wait to hear about all of your customized versions.
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Photos by Leslie Morrison, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on February 23rd, 2009. Last updated: July 16, 2018 at 10:52 am.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Leslie Morrison
Leslie is a food photographer and writer. She enjoys spending time in her kitchen and behind the lens of her camera and working on her food blog, Deliciously Plated (deliciouslyplated.com). When she isn’t working, she is spending time with her son and her husband.