Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Recipe Redux: Banana Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Ugh, I have been the worst blogger this month. I'm at 6 (now 7) posts for the month. I feel like I'm still on vacation. I usually post 3 times a week, but I've been averaging about 2 this month. I'm trying not to get too worked up over this, it is what it is. I've been spending a lot of time outside since I returned from my break, getting the garden ready and planting flowers. We added another raised bed to our garden this year. Year by year, the garden gets a little bigger than the year before. Obviously, the bigger the garden gets, the more time it needs. I'm feeling that this year. 

And truth be told, I'm just enjoying how lackadaisical I've been this month with the blog. It feels good to remove some of the pressure. I'm such a weird person with pressure. The more pressure I put on myself, the more I rebel. Yeah, enjoy that going on in your head. I don't know, sometimes it just feels better to go outside, feed the birds, water the garden than it does to pound nonsense out on the keyboard. 

So really, sorry for the lack of posting this month. I will try to do better next month :-)

Let's talk about this uber healthy and delicious cake!

I first tried this cake when we had just moved into the house. April of 2013. Crazy that I'm redoing it in April, 3 years later. I've got a thing for timing! Here's the before:

Update sorely needed!

I love banana cake. It doesn't taste like any other cake. It has its own wonderful texture, and the dreamy vanilla bean frosting is the perfect counterpart to this light dessert. 

You could almost have this cake for breakfast with a cup of coffee. Almost.

It's a fairly easy cake to make, too. You'll need a couple of ripe bananas. You want them to be a little mushy. 

Since the cake is fairly light on butter and sugar, I decided to mix the cake by hand instead of in my stand mixer. The stand mixer is not the best when there's not a larger amount of ingredients in the bowl. Hand contraption to the rescue!

The cake bakes fast, about 20-25 minutes in the oven.

While the cake was baking, I got to work on the frosting. First, I had to infuse the milk with vanilla bean. After discarding the vanilla bean, I got straight to work with the flour part of the frosting. Yep, this is one of those frostings you add flour to in order to thicken the milk. You then add the thickened milk to fluffy butter and sugar- 

And you have magic! Flour frosting is definitely my favorite frosting, and one of the only frostings I'll eat.

It is so good on the cake.

I added some sliced bananas to garnish my cake, but keep in mind that the banana gradually starts to turn brown. My advice would be to slice some bananas on the side, and just garnish each slice as you serve it. That way everyone is happy :-)

That's it for me today! I've been at Lowe's the last 3 days in a row, and I'm going for a 4th! Ha ha. The hubby and I are focusing on landscaping this year, so I've been bringing home lots of plants and flowers. I am sooooooo excited we are focusing on our outdoor areas this year. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to be surrounded by flowers. The colors, the smells, all the bees running around our yard... it's been amazing. The hubby and I often talk about how few honey bees there are around these days, especially compared to when we were kids. Both of us can remember walking out into lawns absolutely saturated with honey bees foraging on dandelions and clover. These days, we were lucky to spot 3 or 4 honey bees in the yard. That was, of course, before we got the bees. Now it's magical to see all the bees in the yard. I want to bring them all kinds of different flowers to eat!

Don't worry, I'll take lots of pictures for my April round-up :-)

Have a great day everyone!

Recipe adapted from: ButterYum


2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temp
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 very ripe bananas
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk
1 vanilla bean
2 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar

garnish- sliced bananas (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a 8 x 8 pan.
2. For the cake: In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar, until pale and creamy. Beat in egg. Beat in Greek yogurt. Beat in vanilla. Beat in soft bananas. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to banana mixture, mix until well combined. Pour batter evenly into greased pan. Bake in pre-heated oven 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven, and let cool completely before frosting.
3. For the frosting: Add milk to a small saucepan. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and scrape seeds into the milk. Add vanilla bean to milk. Heat over medium heat, until small bubbles appear around the edges of the milk. Remove from heat, and let milk sit for 15 minutes. Discard vanilla bean. Add flour to the milk, and heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until mixture becomes thick. Stir in the vanilla extract. Remove from heat, and let completely cool. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until very pale and creamy (take your time on this, because you don't want your frosting to be grainy from unincorporated sugar). Add flour mixture to the butter mixture, and beat until frosting takes on texture of whip cream (about 5-7 minutes). Chill in fridge for 15 minutes before frosting.
4. Remove cake from the pan. Spread frosting on top the cake. Slice, garnish with banana (if using), and serve immediately. Store leftover cake in the fridge.

Printable Recipe

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Linked to: Weekend Potluck


  1. Confession time, I have never made or even tasted a banana cake. Second confession, I have never made a flour frosting. Ugh... I didn't know what I was going to bake when hubby finishes his current dessert.... Looks like it will be this! I need to go where I have not gone before!
    Have fun landscaping :) :)

    1. Oh man Kris! We need to get you some banana cake, STAT! But the flour frosting- you must try it. You will not believe how good it is. It tastes like whipped cream. I hope you try it, you'll never go back :-)

  2. I LOOOOVE banana cake and this is very similar to my absolute favorite frosting. It looks delicious!

    1. Thanks Carlee! I don't know what it is about flour frosting, but it is the most delicious frosting :-)

  3. Don't feel a bit guilty about taking time away from blogging to actually get out and do things in your yard. :) I have the same battle going on in my head at times. ;) Your banana cake really does look good.

    1. Thank you Debbie! Yeah, it's hard trying to keep up with everything sometimes. I can't imagine if I worked outside the home. Our yard would be a jungle :-)

  4. Banana Cake is my favorite!! This looks to-die-for.

    1. Thanks Jenn! Banana cake is one of my favorites too. Great minds think alike!

      Have a great day! :-)

  5. This looks right up my taste bud alley. Love a flour frosting and haven't made it in forever! Thanks a million for sharing with us at Weekend Potluck. I say...enjoy your 'break' from blogging as long as possible. I took a month break this winter, and I still feel like I'm catching up. See you soon.

    1. Thanks Marsha! Flour frosting is the best. Probably my favorite of all frostings! I took my break a while ago too, and yes, I feel like I'm still catching up too! Funny how that happens :-)

      Hope you had a great weekend Marsha!

  6. I always buy bananas and I tell you no matter what there is always a few that are left to sit on the counter and beg for some love. I am always on the hunt to new recipes to use them up into and this one is right up my alley. Can't wait to make this! Thanks for sharing at Weekend Potluck this week. This is fabulous!

    1. I'm in the same boat as you! I always have a few lonely bananas leftover, and banana cake is one of our favorites! A close second to banana bread! :-)

  7. Will the frosting work with out the bean? I thought I had one.

    1. Hi Michelle! I've made the frosting many times without the vanilla bean, and yes, the frosting is great without! Just skip the step where you infuse the milk. Start where you heat the milk and add the flour, and follow the same steps.

      Thanks for stopping by Michelle, I hope you are having a great weekend! :-)


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