Old Fashioned Banana Nut Cake

It’s a beautiful Wednesday afternoon after the storm. The kind of storm that makes you want to huddle in bed with a nice cup of tea and a book. I was so glad I made this cake yesterday because it was calling my name at tea time today. I could actually picture sharing this slice of cake with my mother. She has long been onto bigger and better things than this physical world can offer, so it was lovely to feel her presence again. This was her little silver creamer and sugar bowl that she found neglected and tarnished at garage sales. I think my love of garage sales comes from being taken to so many as a child and sharing her excitement on Saturday mornings for the great finds and the deals she would get. This little silver set is among the many collected items I am so grateful to have inherited. I can imagine us having cake and tea as adults in her kitchen, surrounded by her things. Though the hand crochet doily we received as a wedding present came from a friend, it reminds me of my wish that she could have attended our ceremony in person. So here’s to cake, memories of love ones past and present. May we cherish the moments and the things we surround ourselves with.

My attempt at styling a cake.

Ok so now for the recipe! But before I start let me just add that I do not typically make layer cakes. I can probably count on one hand how often I have made them. There are a few reasons. First, when an ingredient is forgotten in baking, it’s near impossible to fix the mistake once the cake is in the oven, unlike cooking. Secondly, my attempt at an icing job has always looked like a second grader’s first experience baking and decorating a cake. I decided to do a little reading and found out the a “crumb” layer is a good place to start. Meaning a thin layer of icing to catch all the crumbs, refrigerate than finish icing the cake. The second thing I found out was that patience was probably going to be required, since icing a cake beautifully takes more than 1 minute. Who knew? SO this may be not the purdiest cake you ever saw, but I was very proud that it has been my best efforts yet. Besides, one bite into this cake and you’ll forget all about how it looks. So freakin’ yummy!

Old Fashion Banana Nut Cake

  • 1 cup coconut oil at room temperature or butter
    1 cup brown sugar
    3/4 cup honey
    4 eggs
    4 mashed bananas
    2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup greek style yogurt
    2 tsp lemon juice
    1/2 cup warm water
    2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
    2 cups all purpose flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 2 x 9 inch cake pans. (I used 8 inch pans and had enough batter remaining to make 4 individual cakes in ramekins, but a coffee mug would be swell. Those cooked perfectly in 20 minutes)

Mix the coconut oil at room temperature, sugar and honey together until well blended. The coconut oil will not become perfectly smooth. Continue to mix and  add 1 egg at a time. Add the mashed banana and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, mix yogurt, lemon juice, soda and water. It will fizz. Set aside.

Combine the remaining dry ingredients except the walnuts. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture in three parts, alternating with the yogurt mixture in 2 parts. Blend until just combined each time, making certain not to over mix. Fold in the walnuts.

Pour the batter into prepared cake pans and bake for 40 minutes. Watch this cake in the last 5 minutes. Honey causes batter to brown faster than sugar so you’ll want to make sure the tops don’t become too dark. The cake is done if a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Butter Icing
Shelley Adams from The Whitewater Cooks at Home

  • 1 cup softened butter
    2 cups icing sugar
    2 Tbsp boiling water
    2 Tbsp milk
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 cup toasted coconut for decorating (optional)

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the water and beat well. Add the vanilla and the milk and continue to beat until light and fluffy. About 2 minutes. Ice the cake anyway you like!

It’s actually hard to stop eating it and going back for seconds!

So this is my attempt at exchanging coconut oil for butter in this banana cake recipe. This is a heavy, moist cake that has a big banana flavor. BIG! All of this is then softened by the best butter icing I have ever had. Light and fluffy and a perfect mate for this cake. Thank you Shelley Adams for the inspiration for the cake and your amazing butter icing recipe!

I have recently been introduced to coconut oil. I know, I know. What the heck took me so long? I have no idea. I been busy OK! However now that I know…wow am I pleased. The list of miracle things this little number can do or is said to do is long, but that’s not my favorite part, it’s the fact that supposedly it can be exchanged for butter in baking.

If you were also not privy to the wonderful health benefits of this oil, read on. Here are some interesting articles I came across in my research or stumbled across by accident shortly after I had bought some myself. Interesting, very interesting….Here are some links.

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6 Responses to Old Fashioned Banana Nut Cake

  1. Lisa March 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    What a nice treat to get this lovely remembrance of your mother along with the recipe.

  2. The Food Hound March 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Don't you love feeling connected to someone when you cook? This cake looks delish! I have read about the health benefits of coconut oil, and now I have to get on the stick and buy some!

  3. Katie@Cozydelicious March 9, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    This cake looks wonderful. I love that you use coconut oil and greek yogurt in an old fashioned cake. Awesome!

  4. Madeleines and Marathons March 9, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    Your "attempt at styling a cake" is amazing! Beautiful, looks delicious too.

  5. Carolyn Jung March 10, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    I, too, don't make layer cakes too often. I made them more as a kid. Nowadays, they just take so much more time to do. But this one is so beautiful that I might just have to carve out an afternoon to make it. 😉

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