vgcea Posted 19 Jan 2013 , 12:26pm
post #1 of

Baked a couple of recipes over the last couple of days and they all fell short. They would be great for dense banana bread or muffins but I want a fluffy cake.

 

RLB's Banana cake in the Cake Bible was a bit of a disappointment. Too dense/dry.

 

Reverse creaming typically gives me a tender cake but banana cake is defying the method icon_lol.gificon_cry.gif (yeah I feel like crying and laughing right now. Tired of getting dense results).

 

Looks like I might have to go the creaming route (icon_sad.gif) but even those I've looked up online have reviews stating they're no different from banana bread. 

 

ANY suggestions please to either improve RLB's recipe or another recipe.

 

Thank you!

 

P.S. Tried adding bananas to a yellow cake recipe but my leavening is off. Food scientists: how much baking soda neutralizes 1 banana? Can't seem to find this online. Thx.

18 replies
-K8memphis Posted 19 Jan 2013 , 3:13pm
post #2 of

one way around it is a banana filling icon_biggrin.gif in a nice fluffy yellow/white  cake

 

but 'fluffy' and 'banana cake' are kinda opposites huh

 

i mean short of using banana extract that may or may not be wonky tasting--bananas are fibrous and dense people not light and fluffy folk

 

but i do remember having/eating a lighter banana cake at some point or other in my memory banks

 

but how it was done?

 

i had a friend who juiced bananas in his dad's juicer and he got whupped for it--hahahahaha!

 

bananas don't really juice do they so all that to say try a nice roasted banana filling

 

ok--what if you made two batters and layered the fluffy in between the banana--more fluffy than banana--a marble cake--that would work!

 

i would definitely use cake flour and extra fine granulated sugar though and oil not butter

 

i don't know about the baking soda--but i'd use baking powder too

BakingIrene Posted 19 Jan 2013 , 3:25pm
post #3 of

I make fluffy banana cake all the time.

 

Start with any regular banana cake, creaming method, that uses 3 medium bananas.  Cut the butter and sugar in half.  Add one package (4 serving size) instant banana pudding mix and decrease flour by 1/2 cup. DO NOT change egg or banana or leavening. 

AZCouture Posted 19 Jan 2013 , 5:22pm
post #4 of

I tried a few highly recommended banana cake recipes, until finally one day I just mashed up some bananas and added them to my buttermilk cake recipe. BEST banana cake I've ever had. No muss, no fuss, just buttermilk goodness, and bananas. So aromatic too.

vgcea Posted 19 Jan 2013 , 10:47pm
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

one way around it is a banana filling icon_biggrin.gif in a nice fluffy yellow/white  cake

 

but 'fluffy' and 'banana cake' are kinda opposites huh

 

bananas don't really juice do they so all that to say try a nice roasted banana filling

 

ok--what if you made two batters and layered the fluffy in between the banana--more fluffy than banana--a marble cake--that would work!

 

 

Thanks for your suggestions K8memphis. Yeah fluffy and banana aren't usually seen together, all the more reason why my hard-headed self is determined to find/make something that works. I plan to use a Bananas Foster filling and feel like pairing it with a banana cake will make more of an impact than pairing it with white/yellow cake, even though that's an excellent option too. I just refuse to accept that I would be stumped by something like banana cake. I conquered white and yellow cake darn it! LOL. 

 

Every tutorial I've seen on 'roasting' bananas shows them baking it. I don't see how that has any impact on the flavor since the banana does not get direct contact with the heat (like toasting coconuts or other nuts before using), texture definitely changes but what's the point of baking the banana in its peel first? Can you tell a difference in taste?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene 

I make fluffy banana cake all the time.

 

Start with any regular banana cake, creaming method, that uses 3 medium bananas.  Cut the butter and sugar in half.  Add one package (4 serving size) instant banana pudding mix and decrease flour by 1/2 cup. DO NOT change egg or banana or leavening. 

 

Thanks BakingIrene. If all else fails (and I hope not) I'll try these options. I try to avoid traditional creaming if at all possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

I tried a few highly recommended banana cake recipes, until finally one day I just mashed up some bananas and added them to my buttermilk cake recipe. BEST banana cake I've ever had. No muss, no fuss, just buttermilk goodness, and bananas. So aromatic too.

 

Thanks AZCouture. I tried that last night but something was off (my leavening I think). Will update as I tweak and go.

vgcea Posted 19 Jan 2013 , 10:57pm
post #6 of

UPDATE:

 

Okay, I said I tried adding bananas to my yellow cake last night and thought the cake was off. I tried it after a couple of hours in the freezer and this is my weird result:

 

Edges and outer crust were super dry (I wasn't in the mood for bake-even strips so I dropped temp to 325. This may have contributed to the weird crust. I guess I'll be going back to the strips and baking at 350). 

 

Surprisingly the cake itself was more cake-like than bread-like. Almost what I'm going for texture-wise (I'll give it 87.5%) but I need it to be a tad less dry or dare I say more MOIST (LOLOLOL!!!!!)

 

I've made some adjustments (that don't involve adding extra bananas). Now I just have to get bananas and wait for them to ripen. Fingers crossed.

subyu62 Posted 19 Jan 2013 , 11:34pm
post #7 of

AI use this banana recipe all the time for cupcakes. It is a true cupcake, not muffin like. I haven't tried it as a cake but maybe it will work? http://allrecipes.com/recipe/banana-cupcakes/detail.aspx

-K8memphis Posted 19 Jan 2013 , 11:35pm
post #8 of

so sorry i guess i didn't technically 'roast' them

 

i should have said pan fried or something like that

 

it's a bananas foster type filling i made same as you

 

i 'roasted'  party.gif or toasted or fried --i cooked my cut bananas in brown sugar and butter

 

i was disappointed that mine did not stay kinda crispy

 

they kinda meld into one bananamessaramafilling

 

but they did not oxidize either which was more important i guess

 

then i thought about what might happen to dehydrated bananas

 

if they would stay crunchy and that's as far as that thought got

 

it was in a sculptured purse cake for family

 

i'm sure i had some rum in there somewhere

 

i made a banana caramel also if memory serves

 

edited for clarity

-K8memphis Posted 19 Jan 2013 , 11:58pm
post #9 of

i bet 'grilled' would give a great flavor boost

 

both of these split longwise and keep the skin on but

 

sandra lee grills hers cut side down & has great grill marks

 

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/grilled-bananas-foster-recipe/index.html

 

emeril grills his cut side up

 

http://grilled-banana-splits-with-hot-fudge-and-rum-caramel-sauce-recipe

BakingIrene Posted 20 Jan 2013 , 12:17am
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea 

UPDATE:

 

Okay, I said I tried adding bananas to my yellow cake last night and thought the cake was off. I tried it after a couple of hours in the freezer and this is my weird result:

 

Edges and outer crust were super dry (I wasn't in the mood for bake-even strips so I dropped temp to 325. This may have contributed to the weird crust. I guess I'll be going back to the strips and baking at 350). 

 

Surprisingly the cake itself was more cake-like than bread-like. Almost what I'm going for texture-wise (I'll give it 87.5%) but I need it to be a tad less dry or dare I say more MOIST (LOLOLOL!!!!!)

 

I've made some adjustments (that don't involve adding extra bananas). Now I just have to get bananas and wait for them to ripen. Fingers crossed.

Umph.  Whether I am baking banana cake in a loaf or in layer pans, I cover the cake loosely with a thin dish towel about 10 minutes after it comes out of the oven.  Give it overnight on the counter, and it is MOIST like you would dream of.  No other cake does this.

KoryAK Posted 20 Jan 2013 , 5:10am

Try using Hero Compounds added to your regular vanilla cake.  The Hero stuff is a lot better than traditional extracts and made from real bananas.

vgcea Posted 20 Jan 2013 , 7:11am
Quote:
Originally Posted by subyu62 

I use this banana recipe all the time for cupcakes. It is a true cupcake, not muffin like. I haven't tried it as a cake but maybe it will work? http://allrecipes.com/recipe/banana-cupcakes/detail.aspx

 

Thanks subyu62, I noticed this recipe calls for chopped bananas rather than pureed. Maybe that's the trick to fold them in so they don't mess with the texture of the batter. Interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

i bet 'grilled' would give a great flavor boost

 

both of these split longwise and keep the skin on but

 

sandra lee grills hers cut side down & has great grill marks

 

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/grilled-bananas-foster-recipe/index.html

 

emeril grills his cut side up

 

http://grilled-banana-splits-with-hot-fudge-and-rum-caramel-sauce-recipe

 

Oh my! That bananas foster looks good!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene 

Umph.  Whether I am baking banana cake in a loaf or in layer pans, I cover the cake loosely with a thin dish towel about 10 minutes after it comes out of the oven.  Give it overnight on the counter, and it is MOIST like you would dream of.  No other cake does this.

 

You know I banana cake/bread tends to be one of those baked goods that taste better a day or two after they're baked freezer or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK 

Try using Hero Compounds added to your regular vanilla cake.  The Hero stuff is a lot better than traditional extracts and made from real bananas.

 Thanks KoryAK, I don't know why I didn't think of that. We had some orange compound in class that we used in pound cake and it was the business. The flavor was so intense. I'll see if the stores nearby have any.

erin2345 Posted 20 Jan 2013 , 8:01pm

I make this one:  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Banana-Upside-Down-Cake-2516 and just omit the first step of the caramelized bananas.  It is very fluffy and not at all like a banana bread texture.

AZCouture Posted 20 Jan 2013 , 8:14pm

I definitely don't puree mine. I mash them up with fork only. And the cake recipe I add them to does not contain egg yolks, it's a light airy white cake.

FromScratchSF Posted 20 Jan 2013 , 8:40pm

Vgcea, 

 

The best banana flavor comes from black, over ripe bananas because the sugar and flavor is naturally developed and the pH is the lowest - so it does not effect your leavening.  Yellow or slightly green bananas have a high pH, low flavor and low sugar.  But if you pop yellow or slightly green bananas in the oven to roast, you are forcing the pH down, developing the sugars and essentially speed ripening them by caramelizing them in the skin.  You will not get the same results if you take them out of the skin and try and cook them either in the oven or on the stove.  Same goes if you want to use fresh pumpkin, sweet potato, yams or other gourds and fruits to make a cake.  Always roast them in their natural state.

 

I have had GREAT success converting my regular yellow cake recipe to a banana cake - I just swap out 1/2 my buttermilk for mashed ripe bananas.  I reverse cream, and because I've lowered the pH by roasting or use bananas that are over-ripe, the pH in the banana is about the same as my buttermilk  - so I don't have to alter my leavening.  It has the texture of a fluffy cake with a tight crumb, smooth mouthfeel, and is especially tasty with some mini chocolate chips thrown in topped with Nutella SMBC.

 

The buttermilk is still necessary for emulsion and for tenderness, if you use too much banana you will get a heavy muffin or bread texture.

 

Good luck!

FromScratchSF Posted 20 Jan 2013 , 8:42pm

And I may have my pH reversed, (low vs,. high or high vs. low), but it's the same principal.

vgcea Posted 21 Jan 2013 , 3:19am
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF 

Vgcea, 

 

The best banana flavor comes from black, over ripe bananas because the sugar and flavor is naturally developed and the pH is the lowest - so it does not effect your leavening.  Yellow or slightly green bananas have a high pH, low flavor and low sugar.  But if you pop yellow or slightly green bananas in the oven to roast, you are forcing the pH down, developing the sugars and essentially speed ripening them by caramelizing them in the skin.  You will not get the same results if you take them out of the skin and try and cook them either in the oven or on the stove.  Same goes if you want to use fresh pumpkin, sweet potato, yams or other gourds and fruits to make a cake.  Always roast them in their natural state.

 

I have had GREAT success converting my regular yellow cake recipe to a banana cake - I just swap out 1/2 my buttermilk for mashed ripe bananas.  I reverse cream, and because I've lowered the pH by roasting or use bananas that are over-ripe, the pH in the banana is about the same as my buttermilk  - so I don't have to alter my leavening.  It has the texture of a fluffy cake with a tight crumb, smooth mouthfeel, and is especially tasty with some mini chocolate chips thrown in topped with Nutella SMBC.

 

The buttermilk is still necessary for emulsion and for tenderness, if you use too much banana you will get a heavy muffin or bread texture.

 

Good luck!

Thanks for chiming in FromScratchSF. ^^ This may have contributed to the problem. I used yellow, just ripe bananas. I know, I know I should have waited, but I really wanted to test out my recipe icon_lol.gif I have 4 bananas that I have placed on the fridge and plan to forget about for the next few days. 

 

For my next test, I've decided to add some sour cream to the recipe rather than an extra banana to avoid the heaviness that the extra banana can bring. Upped my baking soda by a small fraction to compensate for the extra acid. 

 

Looked up some stuff online and you're right that the pH does change as the fruit ripens (making the 'nanas less acidic as the sugar content increases with ripening). Kinda makes sense as underripe fruits tend to be super acidic compared to their ripe counterparts. So other than the soda for the sour cream I won't mess with the leavening too much.  Thanks!

vgcea Posted 21 Jan 2013 , 3:26am
Quote:
Originally Posted by erin2345 

I make this one:  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Banana-Upside-Down-Cake-2516 and just omit the first step of the caramelized bananas.  It is very fluffy and not at all like a banana bread texture.

Thank you erin2345. I'll see what I can incorporate from that recipe. I love the idea of caramelized bananas... just as a snack while the cake bakes hehehe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

I definitely don't puree mine. I mash them up with fork only. And the cake recipe I add them to does not contain egg yolks, it's a light airy white cake.

I read that puree-ing kinda ups the overall liquid content of the batter making the cake heavier. I think I'm going to mash loosely leaving chunks (kind of a cross between mashed and chopped) so the 'nanas don't mess too much with the rest of the ingredients of the tried-and true yellow cake.

FromScratchSF Posted 21 Jan 2013 , 3:49am

Be careful with sour cream - it might add too much fat to your cake making it dense (unless your recipe already calls for sour cream).  Can't wait to hear how it goes!

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