Banana Cake from a 1940’s Recipe

bananacake4Legend has it that my great-grandmother Mina would hear guests coming over the bridge at the end of their long driveway and have this cake mixed and in the oven before they arrived at her door.

I can probably only dream of being that fast when it comes to baking, but this banana cake is still legendary.  It’s tender, not too sweet and an excellent use for those brown bananas that no one really wants to eat.

Hungry yet?  Tie on an apron and let’s get started!

bananacake1You will need:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening (trust me on this one)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 bananas (already mashed)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 scant tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (optional)

Cream together the shortening and sugars, then stir in the rest of the wet ingredients.  Next, add the dry ingredients and mix well.  Your batter should look something like this.

bananacake2Pour batter into a greased 8×8 baking dish (or be a rebel and use two smaller ones like me!)  Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the middle comes out clean.

bananacake3Yum!  I topped one with chopped almonds and used this recipe for the frosting.  I can imagine lots of yummy variations on this recipe.  Stir in nuts or chocolate chips, frost with cream cheese, chocolate or peanut butter frosting or bake it in two circular cake pans to turn it into a birthday cake.

bananacake5I love this recipe, not only because of its flavor, but because it was passed on to me by my grandmother, who got it from her mother.  Sometimes food tastes better when you know the story behind it.  But this cake is delicious whether it was your grandma’s recipe or not.  🙂

Do you have any family recipes that you treasure?



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