Favorite Things: Bananas

cm-banana-focus_fotorWhile grocery shopping a few weeks ago, I realized how much I like bananas. Let me count the ways…

  1. You get a lot of bang for your buck: 3 pounds for $1.48. That’s amazing.
  2. They are packaged on their own. I don’t need to put them in a bag or a box to put in a lunch bag.
  3. They are versatile. Great for a snack on their own or as an ingredient in a bread, muffin, or cake (more on that later.)
  4. You can buy them and feel healthy, knowing that you can use them in less “healthy” ways when they brown and still feel good about yourself because you’re not wasting!!! Wow!

I am sure there are more positive things to point out but I want to get to the recipes! My first terrific recipe using bananas is my banana cake recipe. I would have never tried it if it wasn’t for our friend, Mark, who was always more adventurous than me. Anyway, he saw the recipe first so I want to give credit where credit is due…

This recipe is from the Ann Arbor’s Cookin’! cookbook and has been my husband’s choice for his birthday cake for many years now. It was also the favorite of our dog Katie, who never even begged for food, but one year she somehow was able to eat half the cake before my husband even touched it. To add insult to injury, she couldn’t stop licking her “lips”  for quite awhile afterwards even as she tried to look innocent. Hopefully that is a hard enough sell for you to try it!


Banana Spice Cake


-2 cups all-purpose flour

-1/2 teaspoon baking powder

-3/4 teaspoon baking soda

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

-1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

-1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3)

-1 teaspoon vanilla

-1/4 cup sour milk (or fresh milk with squirt of lemon juice)

-1/2 cup butter or margarine

-1-1/2 cups sugar

-2 eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift dry ingredients together. In separate bowl combine bananas, vanilla and milk. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs. Continue to beat until color lightens. Add flour mixture alternately with banana mixture, stirring until smooth after each addition. Turn into 2 greased 9-inch layer pans. Bake for about 30 minutes or until done. Cool on racks and ice with buttercream frosting.

An adjustment I make with this recipe is to make 1 small cake (6 inch round) and 12 cupcakes instead of a 9 inch 2 layer cake. I can freeze the cupcakes to enjoy later and the small cake is plenty to celebrate the day!

The second banana recipe I would like to share is for banana bread. My friend, Ann, shared this recipe with me and this is what it looks like.


I am always worried that I am going to lose it because it is so small! As you can see I have used this recipe many times and have to agree with Ann- it is the best banana bread I have ever had!  I hope you try it and enjoy it as much I have!


Ann's Best Banana Bread


1/3 cup shortening or margarine

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 cup mashed bananas (2-3)

2 eggs

1-1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped walnuts


-Cream margarine/butter and sugar

-Add bananas and eggs

-Mix separately flour, salt, baking soda and add with milk

-Stir in walnuts

-Bake 350 degrees 1 hour (at least) in greased loaf pan

-Cool on rack, wrap in Aluminum Foil

-Slices better on the 2nd day

Like the previous recipe, an adjustment I make with this recipe is that I make it in 3 smaller sized loaf pans. I cook it until the testing skewer comes out clean. It is close to an hour. Another way to know it is finished is it smells wonderful!


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