One thing that stands out in my childhood memories is my dad’s love for banana cake. Whenever it was his birthday, my mom would bake him a Pillsbury banana cake. (By the way, it was the ’70s and boxed cake mixes were the new, big thing.)
This banana cake recipe is an adaptation of the formula for our house birthday cake at Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant. I’m pretty sure people have faked their birthday just to get a piece. I don’t blame them one bit — the cake is killer. It is the moistest, lightest, and most deeply banana-flavored cake you will ever taste. Because the recipe has such a large volume of moisture, we bake this in a half sheet pan so that it is sure to be done in the middle. I have tried baking this cake in a regular 9” x 13” cake pan and it can be done; just know it will not be a tall cake. The sheet pan bakes better, in my opinion, as it allows better circulation and more even heat.
If you want to get fancy with it, once it is cooled you can always cut it, frost it, and stack it like a layer cake. It works fine and holds up well to handling. I like to serve it with a scoop of creamy homemade banana ice cream. I am proud to say this is now the cake Mom bakes my dad on his birthday. Terryl Gavre, owner of Cafe 222 and co-owner of Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant; breadandbutterismyjam.com
Banana Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
9 oz. oil
11 oz. sugar
12 oz. ripe bananas, pureed
5 oz. brown sugar
4 oz. buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
10 oz. cake flour
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. Mix the wet ingredients with a whisk in a medium bowl. Allow sugar to “melt” into other ingredients for a few minutes before adding dry ingredients.
3. Gently whisk dry ingredients together and add to wet ingredients. Pour into a greased half sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
4. Bake 10-15 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
8 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Whip all ingredients together until homogenized.