When bananas begin to brown on the counter, it’s time to bake. This easy banana cake is ready in under an hour and has great flavors of banana bread in dessert form.
For days I have been trying to write this post. I’ve been searching for the theme, for the center of it, for the thing that will take it from being just about some cake I made from an old community cookbook to that thing you want to comment on and share. But the words haven’t been there.
At first, I thought ‘maybe I am too happy.’ But could that really be it? Could happiness be putting a damper on my ability to let words flow from the recesses of my mind to the stark blankness of the screen. Then I wondered if it was a subject problem … do I not have a strong enough connection to this recipe? But of course I do — the recipe came from a cookbook my elementary school put together nearly 30 years ago. That gives me warm fuzzies — and something to talk about.
So then what is it that’s standing between me and this post that should have gone live at least a week ago? It’s not a shortage of experiences — There are so many fun things I’ve been doing both alone and with the kids lately. We’ve been hiking, exploring the Maine coastline and discovering our place in this community. I could talk for hours about a hike at Acadia National Park that I took spontaneously one afternoon. It was glorious and breathtaking.
The truth is that I don’t know what’s been holding me back. Maybe it is actually some degree of writer’s block, since I have been so silent in this space lately. But I’ve been writing my newspaper column with ease all along.
So maybe it’s just the combination of this recipe, this space and this time. Where do I pick up again? How do I ease back in? Maybe I just lay it out for you — tell you that I haven’t know what to say, so I haven’t said anything at all. Maybe I am completely honest and say that I haven’t been in the kitchen as much, and that my creativity seems to be lagging there.
Because that’s all brutally true.
That’s why I plucked that community cookbook from one of the elementary schools I attended from the shelves of my bookcase and leafed through in search of inspiration. I wanted to step back into the kitchen. But I needed someone — something — to guide me.
This sweet Easy Banana Cake was just perfect — it takes minutes to mix the batter and bakes to a moist loveliness. You can frost it with marshmallow fluff, as I did (though I warn, it can be a little sweet that way), or whip up a tangy cream cheese frosting instead. Or don’t frost it at all, and just enjoy it as is.
The kids loved this. I loved that it took care of the sad browning bananas on the counter. And I also loved that this pulled me back into the kitchen — at least a little. I miss it in there, and it’s time to get back to making.
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 over-ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the melted butter, sugar and bananas. Add the vanilla extract, baking soda and salt and stir well to combine. Add the flour and stir well. Pour into the baking pan.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool completely. If desired, frost before serving.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.