Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

banana cake

As you might have noticed I'm now using Twitter. It's a fascinating microblogging platform and it's completely infectious. Yesterday I posed the question "What's your favorite way to use sour cream?" I got back many answers reinforcing my assumption that sour cream is completely versatile. It is commonly used in Mexican cooking as a topping. It can be served alongside crudités as a dip or as a topping on baked potatoes. It is a traditional ingredient in Hungarian cooking, from soups to stews. And someone even suggested it works great stirred into scrambled eggs.

My favorite way to use sour cream is in breads and cakes like this one. I always have a pint or two of sour cream in the refrigerator. You just never know when you might need or crave it. Sour cream also works well as a substitute in baking recipes that call for buttermilk or vice versa. This recipe for banana cake can be put together in minutes from ingredients that are easy to come by. The result is a moist cake with great texture that is full of banana flavor and lemon fragrance. Make a quick cream cheese glaze for decorating and to serve alongside each slice. The cake also works well in a Bundt pan form, but baking times may vary.

Banana Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two large (9-by-5-by-3-inch) loaf pans.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, at medium speed, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until incorporated. Add the eggs and beat until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the bananas, vanilla, and zest; mix until incorporated. With the mixer on low, alternately add the dry ingredients, then the sour cream, and finish with the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centers come out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle cakes with glaze. Yield: 18 slices.

Cream Cheese Glaze

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups confectioners sugar

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, at medium speed, beat the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, add the confectioners sugar one cup at a time. Mix until incorporated. Yield: 2 cups glaze.

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