This is my new, absolute favourite banana cake! It was my parent's 24th wedding anniversary two days ago, so I made this cake for them to enjoy since they are both lovers of any baked goods involving bananas. It barely lasted 24 hours in my house. Words cannot describe how good it is and the pictures don't do it justice! It is so moist, full of banana flavour, and perfectly sweet enough to be enjoyed for dessert, afternoon coffee/tea, or even breakfast. Mashed bananas are featured in the cake itself, alongside their good friends chocolate and cinnamon, and then again as pretty, deliciously caramelized slices on top of the cake. I want to put that caramelized banana topping on everything. I really hope you're like me and have a stash of black bananas in your freezer at all times, plus a bunch fresh ripe ones on the counter - because there is no such thing as too many bananas - so that you can run to your kitchen and make it right now!
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp. water
3-4 medium, ripe bananas
a few drops of lemon juice
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 very ripe bananas)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
To make the topping, combine the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan and simmer on the stovetop for about 1 minute over low heat, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into an 8" square cake pan so that it evenly coats the bottom.
Peel and slice the bananas into 1/4" slices and arrange them in slightly overlapping rows on top of the melted brown sugar. Lightly sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent too much browning while you prepare the cake batter.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, mashed banana, sour cream, and vanilla.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Be careful not to over mix!
Scrape the cake batter over the sliced bananas and use a rubber spatula to gently spread it evenly over the slices. Bake for about 38-40 minutes, or until the cake is golden and the top gently springs back when pressed.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes, then run a knife along the edges to loosen the cake from the pan. Carefully invert the cake onto a serving platter or cake plate. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.
*Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz