I have been trying to buy less bananas at a time, as they ripen way too fast in the heat. Somehow I still had 4 ripe bananas in the freezer...but we did not want banana bread again!
There was some buttermilk in the fridge, leftover from something else, and I did not want it to spoil, so I used that, along with the bananas for the liquid portion of this cake. I was afraid the batter was too runny, but the cake turned out perfectly, and was very moist.
I added cocoa to the batter, as well as chocolate chips, and did the same with a crumble topping. Why not? The last of the dark cocoa is now finished, but it added a rich, dark chocolate taste to this cake.
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9" X 13" cake pan with parchment paper. Set aside while you make the cake batter.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream until light and fluffy:
6 ounces soft butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
While the butter and sugar are creaming, sift together the dry ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Set aside until needed.
Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl down in between each addition:
1 teaspoon vanilla
Add in the mashed ripe bananas:
1 1/3 cups (I pureed mine with a hand blender)
Mix to combine. Scrape the bowl down.
Add one third of the dry ingredients, and mix on low speed until just combined.
Add half of the buttermilk, and mix on low speed until combined. Scrape the bowl down.
You will need a total of:
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Add the remaining dry ingredients, a third at a time, alternating with the remaining buttermilk.
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Mix until just combined. this can also be done by hand.
To make the topping combine the ingredients until you have a clumpy mixture:
2 1/2 ounces butter, melted and cooled
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake batter.
Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 45 - 50 minutes.
Allow the cake to cool completely before removing from the pan and cutting.
- As I mentioned, I was using dark cocoa, which added a really rich, dark chocolate taste to the cake. Any cocoa can be used; it can also be omitted, using flour instead and making a white banana cake.
- Mini chocolate chips can be exchanged for regular chocolate chips of any variety - try the salted caramel ones for something different. Shaved chocolate can also be used.
- I pureed the bananas with a hand blender, which gave me a very smooth puree. The bananas can be mashed with a fork, or grated, which will give a chunky texture, and add small pieces of banana to the cake batter.
- Sour cream or plain yoghurt can be substituted for the buttermilk; they can be thinned out with a bit of milk to achieve the same consistency or left thick. Milk can be soured with the addition of lemon juice, and used instead of buttermilk as well.
- The topping can be omitted and the cake can be eaten plain, or it can be iced with a cream cheese icing, or glazed with ganache.
- Nuts can be added to, or used instead of the chocolate chips, in the topping.
- This can be baked as 2 loaves, or turned into muffins. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- The cake freezes well.