In Search Of: The Perfect Banana Cake

I am on a mission to make a great banana cake and I have a couple of questions before I give my next iteration a go. I want the cake to be very light, of course banana-y, and I want it to have honey and vanilla notes. so - 1) what is the advantage of alternating wet and dry ingredients when mixing - is it just for uniformity? 2) I want the whip the egg whites to make it lighter - are there any potential pitfalls? 3) Will replacing some of the sugar with honey make the cake denser? Should I keep the honey in the icing and out of the cake?

  • Posted by: aargersi
  • September 29, 2013


mensaque October 1, 2013
I think Cynthia has your back...but I'll give you a tip:my mom makes a great banana cake and she adds sliced bananas toped with sugar and cinamon before baking.On top you get a light crust from the sugar like a "cake brulée" and inside the batter you get a creamy banana filling.
aargersi October 1, 2013
oh YUM!!!
aargersi September 30, 2013
OK I am on it! Excited to make this cake - I am planning it for Saturday but I may have to experiment sooner - thanks so much for your help!
boulangere September 30, 2013
Actually, you can use oil and mix it as you would a chiffon cake. Whisk together the yolks, oil, and banana purée. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and half the sugar. Stir that into the yolk mixture. Whip the egg whites with COT until frothy, than add the other half of the sugar in a slow, steady stream. When all the sugar has been added, the whites should be at or near soft peaks. Fold the whites into the batter in 3 additions, stirring in the first one to lighten the batter. Pan up and bake immediately.
aargersi September 30, 2013
Thank you! didn't think about the cream of tartar at all - I will include that - I think I will keep the honey in the icing so I get the flavor without the density, then do the eggwhites your way and alternate wet and dry too. I was baking it in my head yesterday and I may have to call it "million bowl make a mess banana cake" - ha. I am not scared of messes!! Oh an my first round cake - I used oil not butter ... beat that with the sugar. Would you switch to butter?
boulangere September 29, 2013
What interesting ideas. First the honey. It is twice as sweet as sugar, so let that be your guide when deciding how much to use. Also, being an invert sugar, it is acidic, so sift in with your dry ingredients baking soda in the ratio of 1/2 teaspoon to 8 ounces of honey. Your cake will be a bit more dense because you won't have the benefit of first creaming the sugar and butter together to create an abundance of air bubbles, but instead cream the honey with the butter, and you'll create some. Too, you're planning to whip the egg whites separately and fold them in (add 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tatar and maybe a quarter cup of sugar added s-l-o-w-l-y and only whip them to soft peak stage so that they fold in quickly and easily), so that will lighten it. It sounds like you've thought this through really well. And definitely use some honey in the icing!
ATG117 September 29, 2013
I believe alternating wet and dry is meant to prevent over mixing. i'd probably keep the honey in the frosting bc I think the banana would mask most of its flavor.
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