You will really love Grandma's old fashioned banana cake recipes. Her banana cakes were always so moist and flavorful and delicious when served with or without frosting.
My favorite is Mom's banana walnut cake with its tangy lemon icing! Get a bunch of ripe bananas and make yourself a delicious homemade treat.
Spoil yourself by relaxing with a true comfort food to end the busy day — a generous slice of old fashioned banana cake.
By the way, be sure to watch the delightful little video below. If you're my age, it's sure to bring back memories of pleasanter times.
Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)
One cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 2 eggs (1 white kept for icing), 1/4 cup sour milk, 1 teaspoon soda, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 cups flour, a little salt, 3 very ripe bananas.
Cream sugar, butter and egg yolks. Mash and beat the bananas until smooth and add to the mixture. Add the sour milk and soda then the flour, into which the baking powder and salt have been sifted. Lastly, fold in the well-beaten egg white.
Bake in a fairly deep pan about 10 inches by 10 inches in a moderate oven (375°F) for 25 minutes. —M. C. J., from a newspaper clipping, circa 1915
Ingredients: 1/2 cup shortening, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 2-1/4 cups flour, 1/8 teaspoon soda, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup milk, 1 cup mashed bananas, 1 cup whipping cream, 2 banana sliced.
Cream shortening and sugar. Add beaten eggs, then sifted dry ingredients alternately with the sweet milk. Beat in the mashed bananas (2 to 3 put through a sieve). Bake in two 8-inch layers in moderately hot oven (375°F) for 30 minutes.
When cool, put the layers together with sweetened whipped cream and sliced bananas. Top with whipped cream.
Cream 1/2 cup butter, blend in 1 cup white sugar and cream until fluffy; combine with 1 egg beaten, add 1 cup mashed bananas (3 medium-sized bananas).
Sift and measure 2 cups flour; re-sift with 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Coat with flour 1 cup broken walnuts. Add walnuts and sifted dry ingredients to first mixture with 1/2 cup sour milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla.
Bake in moderate oven (375°F) for 1 hour in 8 x 8-inch pan.
1/2 cup mashed banana, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons soft butter, 4 cups icing sugar. Mix the banana, lemon juice, and butter, and work in the sugar until icing is of spreading consistency.
One-half cup shortening, 2 eggs, 1 cup mashed bananas, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 cup white sugar, 4 tablespoons sour milk, 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 4 teaspoons vanilla.
Mix as ordinary cake, and bake in moderate oven (375°F) for 30 minutes.
Ice Creams, Water Ices, Frozen Puddings (1913)
Ingredients: 1/4 cupful of butter, 1 cupful of sugar, 2/3 cupful of water, 2 cupfuls of flour, 2 rounding teaspoonfuls of baking powder, whites of four eggs.
Put together the same as cream cake (i.e., cream the butter, adding slowly the sugar; sift the flour with the baking powder; add the water and flour alternately to the sugar mixture, and beat well; fold in the well-beaten whites), and bake in three layers in moderate oven (375°F).
When cold, put together with Banana Filling:
Boil together one cupful of sugar and a half cupful of water until they spin a heavy thread, and pour slowly, beating all the while, into the well-beaten whites of two eggs. Beat until rather stiff and cold.
When the cakes are cold, spread one-third of this filling over one cake, cover with thin slices of red bananas, put on another cake, on this another third of filling and bananas, and the remaining cake; cover this with the remaining filling, and dust thickly with chopped nuts.
Do not let this cake stand too long before serving, or the filling will absorb moisture from the bananas and run down the cake.
Submitted by Annie
Cream together 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 to 3 mashed, preferably overripe bananas (at least 1 full cup). Add 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Mix in 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into greased loaf pan 9x5 inches and bake at 350°F for 1 hour. —Annie
The White House Cook Book (1913)
Make an icing of the whites of two eggs and one cup and a half of powdered sugar. Spread this on the layers, and then cover thickly and entirely with bananas sliced thin or chopped fine.
The white cake may be flavored with vanilla. The top should be simply frosted (see below).
A rich, cream cheese frosting for a 9x5-inch cake is easily made by creaming together 8 ounces of cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, 2 cups icing sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring. Chill until ready to serve.
There's no getting around it, the old fashioned banana cake recipes on this page ARE easy to make.
As the steps in the above image show, simply assemble the ingredients, add them to your bowl, mix thoroughly, and then pour the batter into a buttered cake pan and bake until done.
That's about it. Why not bake an old fashioned cake today and surprise your family?
Did you know that recipes for banana cakes and banana breads were largely unknown in home kitchens until the beginning of the 20th century?
A combination of unreliable shipping methods and the lack of refrigerated freight cars prevented the widespread use of bananas in home cooking before this time. Only food stores and restaurants in the major cities had access to bananas regularly.
By the 1920s, though, banana cakes had become common, and they became especially popular in the 1930s when enterprising grocers often provided their customers with free recipes calling for bananas in an attempt to sell the overripe bananas.
Sometimes stores could hardly keep up with the demand as the popularity of the tropical fruit increased.
The Chiquita® Banana jingle with its catchy tune in the YouTube video was created in the 1940s to introduce bananas to movie goers and to educate people on how to cook with them.
I can recall seeing it in our local movie theater in the mid 1950s, when it was shown between features after the cartoons. There was always a cartoon.
The sassy Miss Chiquita character explained how:
"Bananas have to ripen in a certain way — When they're flecked with brown and have a golden hue — Bananas taste the best and are the best for you."
Miss Chiquita also gave helpful instructions on how bananas should be stored:
"But, bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator —
So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator."
It wasn't long before everyone caught on that making a homemade banana cake recipe from scratch offered a delicious way to make use of their overripe fruit.
So, how about it. Why not choose one of the old fashioned banana cake recipes and bake a banana cake today?