Last week my lovely Brazilian blogger friend Ana Elisa asked her followers if they wanted an apple or a banana recipe on her blog – I voted for banana, but the apple post won at the end and she published these mouthwatering apple fritters (I bookmarked the recipe immediately). :)
We’ll have bananas here, then, as a very tender and deliciously moist cake, made with bananas that had been in my freezer for 2 months.
Banana poppy seed cake with lemon glaze
slightly adapted from Baking for All Occasions
1 ¾ cups (245g) cake flour*
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
¾ cup (170g/2 small or 1 large) mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (90ml) well shaken buttermilk
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup (70g) icing sugar, sifted
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Center a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 25x5cm (10x2in) round cake pan (10 cup capacity), line the bottom with baking paper, butter the paper then flour everything, tapping to remove any excess**. Have all the ingredients at room temperature.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a small bowl; add the poppy seeds and set aside. In another small bowl, stir together the bananas and buttermilk.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-low speed until creamy and smooth, 30-45 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. On medium speed, add the sugar in a steady stream and continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and texture, 2-3 minutes. Stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, about 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing after each addition until incorporated. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and pale ivory. The entire process of adding and beating the eggs should take about 2 minutes. On the lowest speed, add the banana-buttermilk mixture until blended. Turn off the mixer and using a rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture in three additions. With each addition, scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue mixing until the batter is smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake until golden, springs back when gently touched in the center and the sides are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, 35-40 minutes (start checking at 30). Transfer the pan to a wire rack, let cool for 10 minutes, then carefully unmold onto another wire rack. Peel off the baking paper and let cool completely.
Make the glaze: in a small bowl, stir together the sugar and zest. Gradually add the lemon juice, stirring, until the desired consistency. Drizzle the cake with the glaze.
* homemade cake flour: 1 cup (140g) all purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons corn starch
** I used a 6-cup capacity ring cake pan