We are pleased to share with all of you a recipe courtesy of Erin’s wonderful* mother-in-law – her family’s treasured Banana Cake recipe from Grandmother Tillie. For a special Amoretti touch, she added Banana Compound, which ratcheted up the flavor and texture in a spectacular way. You don’t have to love bananas to enjoy this cake – but it helps!
- ¼ c buttermilk (or sour milk – add 1 tbsp lemon juice to milk and let curdle)
- 2 eggs
- 1 c mashed bananas
- ½ c shortening
- 2 tbsp Amoretti Banana Compound (call to place an order)
- 1 ½ c granulated sugar
- 2 c cake or all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream (very cold!)
- 4 tbsp powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder (such as Knox)
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 firm bananas, sliced, for garnish
MAKE THE CAKE –
Prepare your pans by lining the bottoms of two round cake pans with parchment paper, greasing the sides with oil or butter. Preheat oven to 350° F.
NOTE: Grandmother Tillie used a LOT of bowls! For this recipe, you will be using 4 bowls – no, 6 (you’ll need a couple more for the frosting)… Better make sure your dishwasher is empty before embarking on the Banana Cake adventure.
Bowl 1 (small): Beat the eggs thoroughly, set aside.
Bowl 2 (small): 1 c mashed bananas.
Bowl 3 (medium): Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together, set aside.
Bowl 4 (large): Cream together shortening and sugar. Add in the (well beaten) eggs, vanilla, and Amoretti Banana Compound. Mix together until you reach a creamy consistency. Add the dry ingredients, please be careful to not over-mix. Now, alternate adding some buttermilk, then bananas, blending as you go until there is nothing more to add. Divide the batter between the two pans, and bake for 25-30 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean). Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then turn out the layers and let cool on wire racks. The cake layers must be completely cool before frosting!
MAKE THE FROSTING –
For the frosting, you can just make whipped cream and slather it on, but we recommend making a stabilized whipped cream – it’ll hold up longer and better support the sliced bananas.
Bowl 5 (large, metal): Stir together the cold heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Place bowl and whisks of electric mixer in fridge for 5-10 minutes to make everything cold.
Bowl 6 (small): Meanwhile, combine gelatin powder and 2 tbsp water. Once water has been fully soaked up by the gelatin (about 5 minutes), microwave the mixture for about 10-20 seconds. It should become a thick, hot liquid. Stir well and let sit at room temp.
Remove Bowl 5 from fridge. Beat cream mixture on medium-high until soft peaks start forming. Still beating the cream, steadily pour the (slightly warm) liquid gelatin into the bowl. Beat until you reach stiff peaks, and be sure to use within 30 minutes (after which smooth spreading will become difficult!).
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE –
Spread frosting on top of one layer (you might want to add some sliced bananas too), then put the top layer on and frost the entire cake. Garnish with sliced bananas, serve, and enjoy! Store leftovers (if there are any!) in the refrigerator.
*She IS wonderful, it’s true! Made and brought us a delicious Banana Cake on her day off!