I know I’ve professed my love for banana flavored baked goods before, but let me reiterate: I love them! I think it has to do with the fact that I have so many happy memories of my Nana Dee and her famous banana muffins and banana bread. Banana bread and banana cake have always been really homey foods to me, and I find them incredibly comforting. I happened to have some over-ripe bananas attracting fruit flies in my kitchen, so I decided to branch out from the usual banana bread and go for banana cake.
The recipe will make either one 9×13 inch sheet cake or two 8 or 9 inch round cakes. I like to go with the sheet cake because it’s simpler. The vanilla bean is completely optional in the frosting, but I think it gives this otherwise very simple, no-frills cake a little bit of fanciness. Oh, and it tastes good, too.
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening and sugar with an electric mixer until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix until smooth.
3) Mix in the bananas, vanilla and milk.
4) Stir in the flour, baking soda, walnuts and cinnamon (if using), mixing until smooth.
5) Pour into a greased 9×13 inch baking pan or divide into two greased 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.
6) Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake is golden brown. Cool completely before frosting.
7) For the frosting: In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until combined. Add the vanilla, vanilla bean seeds and powdered sugar and mix until smooth and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add enough milk to reach the desired consistency. Frost cake.