Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mom's Banana Cake

When I think of birthdays, one of the first thoughts that come to mind is of banana cake. My mom used to make banana cake with cream cheese frosting for birthdays when I was a kid, and because of that I have a special sweet spot for mom's homemade banana cake. It wasn't until years later that I learned she liked making banana cakes for our birthdays because she used to eat Sara Lee's banana cake for birthdays when she was a kid, and was trying to recreate the cake! She tried several before baking up this one, and it is SO GOOD! It's cake at it's finest in my opinion, perfectly cake-y and scrumptious. I'm sure the Sara Lee cake is wonderful, but in my opinion Mom's is better because her version is gluten free, just for me! :) Ha!

This all being said, I can NOT believe I didn't take a picture of the final product! It was eaten too quickly to get a good one in, and in all honesty I was busy trying to make a banana cake of my own (check out the next post!). It was made in the morning before company, and polished off right after lunch. G. O. N. E. All done. But, the next chance I get, there will be so many pictures up of this cake, it will be overwhelming.

I've never had the Sara Lee Cake, nor will I get that chance because for starters it's no longer made and it was of course made with wheat; but with Mom's cake I'm not missing out on anything. According to her and other relatives however, it's pretty close to the original beloved Sara Lee Cake.

Mom's Best Banana Cake - Gluten Free
1/2 vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 cup or 3 medium mashed bananas
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk + 1 t lemon juice)*
3/4 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup potato starch
3/4 cup tapioca
3/4 t xanthan gum
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

Preheat the oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 9x13 " pan (or for a layered cake, 2 9" round pans) with cooking spray and a little granulated sugar.
*If you are using the buttermilk substitute, mix any milk of your choice with the lemon juice now.
Cream together the shortening and sugar. Mix in the egg yolks, then mashed banana and buttermilk.
Combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Now add this flour mixture to the banana mixture and combine until there aren't any more lumps.
Separately, in a new bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
Carefully fold the whipped egg whites into the banana batter until completely incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan(s) and bake for about 30 minutes until the cake(s) are golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the cake(s) cool in the pan before removing or topping with cream cheese frosting.

Here's one for the tips and trick's category, instead of flouring the greased cake pan so the cake doesn't stick, on special occasions like this I will sprinkle granulated sugar around the edges. The thin coating of sugar will crystallize a bit when baking and form a little crust around each and every slice of cake, making it just that much more special.

 Like This!

I was also pretty proud of the egg whites that were whipped into perfect little peaks. I think I'm finally getting it down, the trick is to just not quit....they'll get there.

I said this cake was delectable and gluten free, neither one of those things make it health food. Though I like to focus this blog around healthy AND gluten free eats, I also recognize not everyone is a fan of chia seeds and mashed chickpeas in their food like me. This being said, I am a proponent of the "everything in moderation" campaign; and especially when baking for company, using sugar and (as much as it pains me,) vegetable shortening is okay once in awhile.

But be on the lookout, I have quite a few super healthy recipes coming up! Most of them probably contain either chia seeds or chickpeas...if we are lucky, maybe even both! :D

What is your favorite birthday dessert?


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