Banana Cake

A Classic Cookbook

In the 1960’s and 1970’s Sara Lee made a frozen all-butter banana cake with banana cream icing that was light as a feather and tasted like heaven. My Mom and I would sneak downstairs late at night and have big slices with a pot of tea – usually ending up finishing off the entire cake before it was all over. Like all good things, it came to an end. Sara Lee changed “her” recipe and midnight snacks were never the same.
My beloved friend, Jim Bullard, from Palm Springs, gave me a copy of the Silver Palate Cookbook, and this recipe evoked memories.

Banana Cake

1/2 pound sweet butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cream-Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 to 2 medium, firm ripe bananas, sliced
1 1/2 cups shelled chopped walnuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9 inch layer cake pans.
2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add mashed bananas, mixing throughly.
3. Sift dry ingredients and add to butter and egg mixture. Stir until flour has been incorporated completely. Add buttermilk and vanilla. Mix 1 minute.
4. Pour batter into the prepared pans. Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted int the center comes out clean.
5. Cool in pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Unmold and cool on rack for 2 hrs.
6. When cooled, place one layer on a serving plate and frost with Cream-Cheese frosting. Arrange slices of banana over frosting. Cover with second layer and frost tip and sides of cake.
7. Cover sides of cake with chopped nuts, holding nuts in palm and pressing firmly to sides of cake. Dust top of cake with confectioners’ sugar.
10 to 12 portions

                                                Cream-Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons sweet butter, room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)

  1. Cream together cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl.
  2. Slowly sift in confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until fully incorporated. Mixture should be smooth and lump-free.
  3. Stir in vanilla, and lemon juice if desired. 

                     Thanks Jim and Silver Palate…xoxo’s!



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