Tag Archives: banana

Two glasses with healthier banana pudding

This Healthier Banana Pudding is the Perfect Make-Ahead Dessert

If you have bananas in your kitchen at this very moment, this recipe is for you. This healthier banana pudding is creamy, rich and delicious without being over sweet. It’s an easy dessert that layers in vanilla wafers (that soften to the perfect cake consistency), sweet bananas and vanilla pudding (which is naturally sweetened with just maple syrup). Seriously, make this now, so you can enjoy it later! And an added bonus? This recipe only requires eight simple ingredients.

Two cups of healthier banana pudding

Healthier Banana Pudding

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 4 hours or overnight
Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 ½ cups 2% milk
⅓ cup maple syrup
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 box vanilla wafer cookies
3 bananas, sliced

Healthier banana pudding ingredient on countertop

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together cornstarch, milk, maple syrup and egg yolks, breaking up any clumps. Heat over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract. Strain through a fine sieve, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

White pot cooking pudding, with bananas next to it

2. Once the pudding has chilled, give it a good whisk to loosen the mix. Add in Greek yogurt and whisk to incorporate.

Related: These Banana Bread Recipes Will Provide All The Comfort You Need

3. At the bottom of a glass, break up a few vanilla wafers, next layer the sliced bananas and finally the vanilla pudding. Repeat the layering until the glass is full. Place back in the fridge for another 2 hours or overnight. The wafers will soften and become cake-like. Enjoy!

One cup of healthier banana pudding

Like Sabrina’s healthier banana pudding? Try her 8-ingredient warm salted caramel lava cakes or her healthy apple oatmeal cookies.

Transform Those Overripe Bananas Into This Impressive Upside-Down Cake

With the world turning to banana bread these days, I wanted to take it to the next level. How, might you ask? Imagine for a moment if banana bread and sticky toffee pudding had a baby — and you’ll get this delicious Baking Therapy upside-down banana cake. It’s moist, covered in the most delicious toffee sauce and looks pretty impressive if you ask me! I know you have a bunch of overripe bananas lying around your kitchen, so what are you waiting for?

Banana Upside-Down Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 45 to 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 pieces of cake

Ingredients:

Toffee Sauce
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 bananas, sliced

Banana Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup neutral oil
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2-3 bananas)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, whisk together the following toffee ingredients: butter, brown sugar, cream, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil and let bubble for 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour 2/3 of the mixture to a 9-inch pan and set aside to slightly cool.

3. Arrange the sliced bananas tightly on top of the toffee sauce in the pan.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

5. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, melted butter, oil, egg, buttermilk, mashed bananas and vanilla extract until smooth.

Related: How to Make The Perfect Banana Bread Every Time (Plus Freezing Tips and a Recipe!)

6. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined. Transfer the batter to the pan and distribute evenly so that the bananas are not disturbed. Smooth out the top and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick when inserted into the centre comes out clean.

7. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

8. Run a knife around the perimeter of the pan to release the cake. Place a plate slightly larger than the pan on top and wearing oven mitts invert the pan quickly. If the cake is stubborn, insert a knife on the side of the pan to release the suction. Serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and a drizzle the remaining toffee sauce.

Like Sabrina’s baking? Check out her easy recipe for soft rolls, along with her gooey overnight cinnamon buns and fudgy gluten-free sweet potato brownies.

Watch out for Sabrina’s baking videos on the Food Network Canada Instagram account.


 

How to Make The Perfect Banana Bread Every Time (Plus Freezing Tips and a Recipe!)

Bananas gone brown? Make banana bread! This recipe is guaranteed to stay moist and tender from the use of sour cream and gets a crunchy, crackly top from a combination of granulated and turbinado sugar. Customize your bread by folding in chopped nuts, chocolate chips or both. But first! Some tips on how to make the perfect banana bread every time.

How to Make the Perfect Banana Bread

• Use overripe bananas. We are talking dark, heavily spotted ones. Overripe bananas are responsible for both sweetness and overall flavour. If you want to speed up the process, place bananas in a paper bag along with an apple (or another fruit that emits ethylene).

• Need banana bread now? Bake unpeeled bananas on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet at 300°F until their peels turn black.

• Do not over-mix the batter. After the flour has been mixed in, it is OK if the batter is not completely smooth. Folding in the bananas and other add-ins will help keep from over-mixing as well.

Related: These Muffin Recipes Will Turn You Into a Baking Person

• Add some crunch! Without any add-ins, the texture can be a bit monotonous. If you don’t want to add in nuts, make sure to sprinkle the batter with sugar. Once baked, the sugar on top creates a nice, crackly crunch. And if you are adding nuts, it’s a good idea to toast them before folding into the batter with the bananas.

• Sour cream is the preferred dairy; the fat provides plenty of moisture and the acidity keeps the bread nice and tender. Don’t have sour cream? Try using full-fat, plain Greek yogurt or buttermilk.

• Freeze banana bread (full loaf or slices) in a double-layer of plastic wrap before being placed in a large, resealable bag for up to three months. Make sure the banana bread has completely cooled before freezing.

The Perfect Banana Bread Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 50 to 60 minutes
Total Time: 60 to 70 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup canola or grapeseed oil
½ cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
½ cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups mashed bananas (about 3 to 4 overripe bananas)
Turbinado or raw sugar, for sprinkling

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer (hand or stand mixer), mix together the oil, sugars and eggs until smooth. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined.

4. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture. Stop mixing before the last streaks of flour disappear in the batter. Do not over-mix – it is OK if the batter isn’t completely smooth. Fold in the mashed bananas until combined.

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with granulated and turbinado sugar (about a tsp or two of each), if desired.

6. Bake the bread for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean or with a few moist crumbs. Do no overbake.

7. Allow the banana bread to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Need more baking recipes in your life? Try these fudgy, gluten-free sweet potato brownies or perfect lemon meringue cupcakes.

These Banoffee Tartlets = Our New Favourite Spring Baking Project

Inspired by the classic banana and toffee-filled pie, these banoffee tartlets combine all of our favourite flavours into individual desserts. Plunge your spoon past the fluffy whipped cream and through the ripe bananas and chewy toffee before shattering the crisp yet buttery crust on the bottom. Each bite is full of brown sugary goodness and tons of fresh banana. We would never pass up a slice of the classic variation, but these single-serving individual tartlets get us all the more excited for spring baking at home.

Related: These Banana Bread Recipes Will Provide All The Comfort You Need

How to Make Banoffee Tartlets


Bake Time:
25 to 30 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes
Serves: 7 to 8

Ingredients:

Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour (or equivalent all-purpose flour)
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ tsp salt
9 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and diced
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp cold water

Toffee
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
Pinch salt

Assembly
4 ripe bananas
Sweetened whipped cream for topping (about 2 cups)

Related: The Most Brilliant Ways to Use Overripe Bananas

Directions:

Crust
1. Combine the flours, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and use a pastry cutter, a pair of forks, or your fingers to cut it into the flour mixture. The mixture should look sandy and the butter pieces the size of peas.

2. Stir together the egg yolk and water. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine. The dough will be rather shaggy at first, but should stick together when given a tight squeeze.

Related: 50 Best Muffin Recipes That Will Make You Love Baking

3. Gently gather the dough and divide evenly into 7 or 8 portions (depending on the size of your tart pans).

4. Press each portion into sides and bottoms of the tart pans. Use the flat bottom of a small measuring cup to press in the corners and flatten out the bottoms until smooth. Trim the tops of the tart shells by running a paring knife around the top edge of the tart pans. Prick the bottoms of the tart shells with a fork and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, pre-heat then oven to 375°F. Once chilled, line the tart shells with parchment paper or foil and fill with pie weights (dry beans or uncooked rice will also do). Place the filled tart shells on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully remove the parchment/foil and pie weights. Return the tart shells to the oven and continue to bake for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the edges start to brown and the bottoms are dry to the touch. Cool completely before filling.

Related: Delightfully Easy Easter Desserts That You Can Enjoy All Spring

Toffee
1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar and cream. While whisking continuously, bring to a slow boil and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the toffee coats the back of a spoon.

2. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Pour the toffee into a heat-safe container or glass jar, then chill in the refrigerator to cool and thicken slightly (don’t let the toffee completely set or it will be difficult to pour into the tart shells).

Related: Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream and Smoked Salt

Assembly
1. Once the tart shells and toffee have cooled, evenly distribute the toffee into the shells (leaving at least ¼ inch gap from the top). Slice the bananas into ¼ to ½ inch coins and place on top of the toffee filling. Top the banana slices with whipped cream.

2. Serve immediately.

3. Tart shells may be baked and cooled in advance. Leftover may be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days, but they are best consumed on the day of assembly.

Related: Molly Yeh’s Carrot Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting is Simply Show-Stopping

For more inspiration, try our most popular cookie recipes of all time and crave-worthy carrot cake recipes.

Green Banana Flour is Here to Stay, And This Pancake Recipe Proves It

With the popularization of plant-forward, gluten-free and dairy-free eating, many are swapping their traditional beloved foods for more nourishing alternatives like “milk” made from oats, “yogurt” made from coconut, “cheese” made from cashews … and now “flour” made from green bananas! And, green banana flour is as its name suggests: green bananas are harvested and milled into a flour that is actually incredibly healthy for you.

The flour is rich in resistant starch, meaning it resists digestion and feeds the good bacteria in the gut. Since it bypasses digestion, banana flour doesn’t spike blood sugar or insulin after it’s consumed. It’s also grain- and gluten-free, not to mention environmentally friendly, since many green bananas aren’t suitable for export or sale; but they’re perfect for grinding into flour. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the texture and lightness of pancakes made from the starchy fruit – you may never go back to using other flours again!

Gluten-Free Green Banana Flour Pancakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: Makes 8 small pancakes

Ingredients:

Pancakes
¾ cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup green banana flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt
2 eggs
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted + more for frying
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Toppings
Banana slices
Crumbled walnuts
Maple syrup

Directions:

1. Combine the lemon juice and non-dairy milk in a bowl and let it sit and curdle for 5 minutes.

2. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and sea salt.

3. After the 5 minutes are up, whisk in the eggs, maple syrup, cooled liquid coconut oil and vanilla.

4. Slowly pour the dry mix into the wet and fold the ingredients together.

5. Heat a griddle or frying pan on medium, melt coconut oil to coat the surface and then drop about ⅓ cup of batter down.  Allow to cook for about 3 minutes, you’ll see bubbles and the edges will begin to solidify, then flip for another 3 minutes. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn.

6. Once all the pancakes have been cooked, dress them up with your favourite toppings like caramelized banana slices, walnuts and maple syrup.

On a healthy baking streak? Try your hand at these 3 no-bake cookies (they’re healthy enough for breakfast!) together with this nourishing apple pie oatmeal bake. For more inspiration, here are 10 things healthy people eat for breakfast every morning.

Cold-Busting Citrus Smoothie That’ll Save You When Sick Season Hits

When flu season strikes, keep your immune system strong with this citrus-infused cold-busting smoothie. This drink is packed with nutrients, and features two anti-inflammatory agents: ginger and turmeric. Citrus in the form of orange and lemon add a punch of vitamin C, which is a necessity this time of year. For a vegan version, simply sub the Greek yogurt with a dairy-free alternative, like cashew or coconut.

Easy Cold-Busting Citrus Smoothie Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 1-2

Ingredients:

1 large sliced banana, frozen
¼ cup full-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
½ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
½ Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
½ Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
¼ tsp ground turmeric
4 ice cubes, or a handful of crushed ice
hemp hearts or chia seeds, to garnish

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Puree until mixture is smooth and creamy, about 60 seconds.

2. If mixture is too thick, add a splash more orange juice and blend.

3. Transfer to glass and garnish with hemp hearts or chia seeds.

Support your immune system with these 25 healing ginger recipes, the best foods to soothe a sore throat and our favourite slow cooker comfort foods.

These Easy Banana Split Cheesecake Bars Will Make Your Summer That Much Sweeter

This twist on a summertime classic is perfect for those hot summer days since it has no need for the oven to be on for hours. This nearly no-bake dessert starts with an easy vanilla cookie crust, creamy cheesecake and whipped topping. The best part is that it can be made ahead of time, so it’s ready to feed a hungry crowd in an instant. Consider this your go-to summer dessert for barbecues, potlucks and any meal that needs a cool and sweet ending.

slice-of-banana-cheesecake

Banana Split Cheesecake Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 3 hours
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 16 Servings

Ingredients:
Crust
1 (312 g) box (5 cups) vanilla wafer cookies
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted

Filling
2 ¼ cups heavy cream, divided
3 ozs (93 g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3 (250g) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 (96g) package of instant banana cream pudding
1 cup granulated sugar

Topping
1 (1 L) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
¾ cup maraschino cherries, drained
½ cup dry roasted peanuts
2 Tbsp rainbow sprinkles

dish-of-banana-split-cheesecake

Directions:
Crust
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 13×9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
2. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse together cookies, sugar, and salt until small crumbs remain. Pour in melted butter and pulse until combined.
3. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Filling
1. Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat ½ cup heavy cream over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Pour over chocolate and let stand 2 minutes. Slowly stir together until combined. Let cool completely.
2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. With the mixer running, gradually add remaining 1¾ cup cream, beating until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in pudding mix until combined.
3. Spread cream cheese mixture and drizzle with chocolate sauce in alternating layers over the crust, reserving ¼ cup chocolate sauce for later use. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Topping
1. Spread whipped topping over cheesecake. Garnish with a drizzle of remaining chocolate sauce, bananas, cherries, peanuts, and sprinkles.

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth? Try our best No-Bake Summer Desserts.

Kid-Approved Breakfast Squares

Back-to-school season always leaves me with a bittersweet feeling. Sure, it’s nice to get back to a regular routine, but it also means summer is officially over. It’s time to replace the flip-flops and sunscreen for backpacks and lunchboxes, and there’s no more relaxing with leisurely sleep-ins and endless amounts of time to enjoy your morning meal.

With school starting comes the mad morning rush, and it takes a few weeks to get into the groove again. It’s helpful to prepare breakfast the night before to alleviate stress on busy mornings. These healthy breakfast squares really come in handy for those times when it’s just, “Grab your backpack and we’ll eat in the car!” They’re low in sugar, peanut-free and pack well for breakfast on the go.

Oatmeal Breakfast Squares
Recipe courtesy of Angie Wright of Friday is Cake Night.

healthy-oatmeal-breakfast-squares_888Blogembed

Prep time: 10 mins
Bake time: 20 mins
Yield: 9 squares

Ingredients
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1 large overripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup (50 ml) packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp (45 ml) unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1/2 tsp (2 ml) vanilla
11/2 cups (375 ml) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup (125 ml) oat flour
1/2 tsp (2 ml) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2 ml) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat an 8-inch square cake pan with non-stick spray.
2. In large bowl, mix together milk, banana, brown sugar, applesauce, egg and vanilla.
3. Add rolled oats, oat flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt to banana mixture. Stir to combine. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
4. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into squares.

Written by Angie Wright

Friday is Cake NightI live in Northern B.C. with three taste-testers: my husband and two kids. We love to travel and try out new recipes. I have always loved to bake – and I have the extra 10 pounds to prove it!

Print, save and share the recipe for Healthy Oatmeal Breakfast Squares.

Do you have a delicious dish to share with the rest of Canada? Submit your recipe here for a chance to be featured on the Great Canadian Cookbook and Food Network Canada!

Peanut Butter-Banana Smoothie Sweetened with Dates

By Megan Band

Every summer we would spend a week or two with my grandparents in Ottawa. My grandma introduced me to banana milkshakes, and turned me into a massive milkshake lover. Back then I really didn’t care what type of ingredients went into the milkshakes, they were just “Nan’s Banana Milkshakes” – made with bananas, vanilla ice cream and milk. Simple, yet so delicious.

Today, I’m more mindful of what ingredients go into my milkshakes – now considered smoothies. My Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal Smoothie is the perfect on-the-go breakfast for kids and adults alike: it’s free from refined sugars (it’s sweetened with dates) and it’s filled with whole grains, healthy fats and of course bananas, in honour of my Nan. It has the texture of a delicious milkshake – your kids won’t suspect it’s healthy one bit!

Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal Smoothie, Courtesy of Megan Band, straightfromthejar.com, Val Caron, Ont.

All the flavour and texture of a traditional milkshake, made with healthy ingredients you can enjoy at breakfast.

PBAndBananaOatmealSmoothie5-(1)_888blogembed

Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients
3 pitted dates
1½ cups (375 mL) unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 cup (250 mL) ice cubes
¼ cup (50 mL) rolled oats
1 frozen banana
1 tbsp (15 mL) peanut butter
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon

Directions
1. In small bowl, cover dates with warm water. Let soak for at least 30 minutes. Drain.
2. In blender jug, combine dates, almond milk, ice, rolled oats, banana, peanut butter and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.
3. If desired, garnish with additional peanut butter and cinnamon before serving.

Click here to print, save or share this Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie recipe.

Do you have a delicious dish to share with the rest of Canada? Submit your recipe for a chance to be featured on Great Canadian Cookbook and Food Network Canada!

Straight From The Jar
Hi there! My name is Megan and I am the healthy food blogger behind Straight From The Jar. I started SFTJ to document and share my love for healthy, whole foods and eating them from Mason jars!

Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes

This is the easiest brunch ever because nothing here is made from scratch. Just get your favourite vegan pancake mix and add non-dairy milk, plus whatever add-ins you like — fresh blueberries, peaches, cranberries, or chocolate chips and banana slices!

888_chocolate-chip-banana-pancakes2

Ingredients (makes 8):
1 cup Coyote Flaxseed Pancake & Waffle Mix
1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
1 banana, sliced into rounds
1/4 cup chocolate chips or raw cacao nibs
2-3 Tbsp vegan butter for frying

Directions:
1. In a mixing bowl combine the pancake mix with non-dairy milk. It should be a runny consistency if you want nice, thin, evenly cooked pancakes. If you want them fluffy by all means leave out the extra 1/2 cup of liquid. I just find they’re never cooked in the middle when you do this. Then fold in chocolate chips and banana slices.
2. Heat a non-stick pan to medium heat and when it’s hot use a paper towel to spread a small amount of vegan butter on the bottom surface of the pan. It should sizzle.
3. Take a 1/4 cup of pancake batter and pour it in the centre of the pan. Once the surface starts to bubble a lot then you can flip the pancake over and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes. Continue until all the pancakes are made.

888_chocolate-chip-banana-pancakes

Tips:
– I like to keep them warm by placing the finished pancakes on a baking sheet in the oven heated to 200°F.
– We also tried Yves Veggie Breakfast Links and fried those in 2 teaspoons of maple syrup so they tasted restaurant style and… Voila! Breakfast is served.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

How Cream Cheese Transformed This Banana Cake

By Audrey Vrooman, as told to Alex Mlynek

Former bank executive Audrey Vrooman’s post-retirement passions—cake decorating and quilting—led her to this moist and flavourful banana cake. It’s become her go-to recipe for when a special treat is called for to celebrate family and friends, plus she gets special requests to make it for weddings and showers once or twice a year.

Twelve years ago, I was putting together a cookbook for our quilting guild to sell as a fundraiser. One of the members of our guild at that time, Ruby Sowpel, gave me a banana cake recipe. After reading the directions, it struck me as a very old recipe, so I had to ask Ruby where she got it from. She told me that when she was a young bride—so in the early 1940s—she had been given this recipe by her sister-in-law, who had received it many years before from her mother-in-law. We were able to trace the origin back to about 1900. It was originally handwritten with things like “a handful of butter”—there was no measuring. When I included this recipe in the book, I had to convert all the ingredients from the original instructions into what I guessed they’d be in measuring cups.

I like the original recipe, but I’ve made some changes that I think result in a much lighter, fluffier and longer-lasting cake. Using buttermilk, instead of regular milk or cream, definitely helps lengthen the life of the recipe. I also use a lot more bananas than the original recipe called for—I wouldn’t add any fewer than five.

Ruby’s original banana cake was served with maple fudge frosting, but I don’t care for the kind of firmness that a fudge icing gives (it makes it harder to decorate), so I started experimenting. I really like my recipe for maple cream cheese frosting even better than other versions I’ve seen because it’s less stiff on the cake. The original recipe called for chopped walnuts; personally, I wouldn’t put chopped walnuts in many things, as they go rancid easily. But in the olden days, that was all you could get. We’re quite spoiled. For instance, I remember that when it was winter, you didn’t get certain fruit or vegetables, but now we can get everything we want year-round.

I didn’t grow up in a family where my mother did much cooking or baking; it’s something I came to after I retired. I started to make cakes for my grandsons, and at first, I would make just chocolate and white. When I found this banana cake recipe, I began to play around with it. It reminds me of how when I was a child, my mother used to make banana bread. That would be a really special treat for us.

A bride-to-be asked if I would make her this cake for her wedding. On the night of her wedding, she wrote me an email while traveling between her reception and hotel room to say how awesome the cake was, that there was none left. That was really, really nice.

The truth is I don’t eat much dessert, but I do love to make them. I like the satisfaction of knowing how happy they make other people. This is a delicious, awesome cake, and people are going to get a lot of accolades if they make it.

Banana Cake With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, courtesy of Audrey Vrooman

Banana cake with Maple Cream Cheese icing - Blog Embed

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 ¼ hours
Yields: 1 large 9-inch (2.5 L) square cake or 9-inch (1.5 L) round cake, or 12 to 16 servings

Ingredients
Cake
5 bananas, peeled
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
½ cup (125 mL) butter
1½ cups (375 mL) granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups (500 mL) cake-and-pastry flour
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk
1½ tsp (7 mL) vanilla

Frosting
250 g tub cream cheese
¼ cup (60 mL) butter
¼ cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup, medium grade
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1 tsp (5 mL) pure maple extract
4 cups (1 L) icing sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) meringue powder

Directions
Cake
1. In small bowl, mash bananas; add baking soda. Set aside.
2. In separate bowl, cream butter with sugar; whisk in eggs.
3. In third bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add one-third of flour mixture to butter mixture, stirring to combine. Stir in half of the buttermilk. Stir in another third of the flour, the remaining buttermilk and the remaining flour. Stir in banana mixture; stir in vanilla.
4. Scrape into cake pan. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for about 40 minutes. (Option: Slice cake horizontally to make two layers, instead of cake with no layers.)

Frosting
1. In large bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add maple syrup, vanilla and maple extract; beat until well combined. Beat in icing sugar and meringue powder until smooth.
2. Ice top and sides and cake.

Option for layer cake with banana filling: Cut cake horizontally into 2 layers. Ice cut side of bottom layer (you could use vanilla cream cheese icing between layers with maple cream cheese icing on top and sides of cake. To make vanilla cream cheese frosting, omit maple syrup and maple extract). Lay sliced bananas on top of iced layer. Replace second layer of cake over filling, cut side down. Frost sides and top of cake.

Any leftover cake or icing can be double-wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to three months.

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