Thursday, August 7, 2014

Banana almond cake - simple yet delicious

Banana almond cake / Bolo de banana e amêndoa

After posting a recipe that calls for homemade vegetable stock, homemade tomato sauce and homemade ricotta I had to bring you something simpler, but equally good: a no-fuss banana cake with part of the all purpose flour replaced by almond meal, which gives it a delicious almond flavor and combined with the sour cream and the mashed bananas makes the cake moist and tender.

In my defense, it could’ve been worse: I could have told you to make your own sprinkles. :D

Banana cakes are favorites of mine and I always have a couple of ripe bananas in the freezer, just waiting to be transformed into something delicious – it’s too cold now for banana sorbet, so cake was my decision and it was a no-brainer, really.

The cake sunk a bit in the middle and years ago that would have stopped me from posting it here, but with time I’ve learned to dial down my perfectionism at least a bit, and I try to do that whenever possible because as much as people parade it as a “quality” I don’t think that’s true – it is actually a cage we build around ourselves and from which it gets harder and harder to escape.

The cake sunk, yes, but it tasted amazing, so I photographed it to share it with you – I hope you like it as much as I did.

Banana almond cake
slightly adapted from the delicious World Class Cakes: 250 Classic Recipes from Boston Cream Pie to Madeleines and Muffins

1 ¼ cups (175g) all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup (65g) almond meal
2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sour cream*
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter a 20x10cm (8x4in) cup loaf pan, line it with paper and butter the paper as well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder , cinnamon and almond meal.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla.
Add the sour cream and the banana and mix on low just until combined. Add the dry ingredients in and mix on low just until incorporated.
Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden and risen and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 15 minutes, then carefully unmold onto the rack and cool completely. Peel off the paper, dust with icing sugar and serve.

* homemade sour cream: to make 1 cup of sour cream, mix 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream with 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk until it starts to thicken. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 1 hour or until thicker (I usually leave mine on the counter overnight – except on very warm nights – and it turns out thick and silky in the following morning; refrigerate for a creamier texture)

Serves 8


lisa is cooking said...

I always love banana cakes! This sounds like a great one with the almond meal and sour cream. Perfect for tea time.

Oana said...

This recipe has everything I love: almonds, banana and sour cream. I find sour cream batter so moist and fragrant!

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

No-fuss cakes are the best, I'd love this with tea!

Anonymous said...


I'm so glad you decided to post this recipe. My banana dessert loving husband took one bite and said, "It's wonderful."
Mine sank a little too, but what do looks matter compared to flavor?
Thanks again for all the wonderful recipes I've gotten from your blog.



Patricia Scarpin said...

Dear Ellen,
Thank YOU for your kind words, I appreciate the comment!
I'm glad you like it here.

Anonymous said...

Hi Patricia,

First and foremost, I really miss your posts. I hope you're having a great time at your new job.

I made this cake for the second time yesterday. It was delicious and tender. It was so good that it got devoured in one day by three people. I just want to let you know about the U. S. pan size. The first time I made it I only had a 9" X 5" loaf pan so I used it and it worked fine. I have since bought an 8 1/2" X 4 1/2" loaf pan. It was too small for the batter.



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