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Slice of banana cake pulled out from whole glazed bundt, banana chips on top, white background

Buttermilk Banana Bundt Cake

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooling time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A fantastic banana cake, with buttermilk for a soft and tender, if dense, crumb. It's easy to make and very versatile. It can hold add-ins and be baked in different pans so there are lots of ways you can enjoy it!


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (see below for substitutions)
  • 2 cups (about 2 medium-large bananas) very ripe and mashed

For the glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (this is an estimate, as you should add until it's as thick or thin as you want)

For the chocolate bourbon glaze (bonus):

  • 1/3 cup cream (heavy or double)
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup or golden syrup
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F/ 180º C.
  2. Spray (use baking spray with flour) or butter well and flour a 10-cup capacity or large Bundt pan. Put it in the refrigerator while you make the cake batter. The cold pan will help remove the cake after it's baked. See Notes for further details.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Beat butter in a large bowl until creamy, 1 or 2 minutes.
  5. Add sugar gradually, beating for 2 more minutes until light.
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and beating an additional 1 minute after the last one is incorporated.
  7. Add vanilla extract and mix.
  8. Add dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk in 2 parts. That means you start and end with dry ingredients.
  9. Add mashed bananas and mix just until no streaks of flour remain.
  10. Pour into pan and bake in the middle rack for 45-50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Time might differ depending on the oven and pan used. 
  11. Cool in a wire rack for about 15-20 minutes, carefully invert onto a plate, invert it again onto the wire rack and let cool completely. If the cake at first resists, shake the pan up and down carefully or let it cool down a little more, and try again. 
  12. It keeps for one or two days at room temperature, covered.

For the glaze:

  1. Beat together butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl until creamy and no lumps remain.
  2. Add powdered sugar and integrate well until very smooth. The amount of sugar depends on how thin or thick you want the glaze to be. 
  3. Drizzle over the cooled cake that has been put on a wire rack with a parchment paper underneath to catch any drips.

For the chocolate bourbon glaze:

  1. Chop chocolate and put, together with cream, in a glass or stainless steel bowl over boiling water (bottom of bowl doesn't have to touch the water). When the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth remove from the heat.
  2. Immediately add butter and corn or golden syrup and mix well.
  3. Add the bourbon, mix until completely incorporated, and let reach a thick consistency before drizzling on top of the cooled cake.

Notes

Homemade Buttermilk: mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice (my favorite) or 1 tablespoon white vinegar. You can also use 1 tablespoon yogurt. Or substitute only milk in this recipe if that's all you have

Organization: always read the recipe before starting and make sure you have all the ingredients measured and at the right temperature, the right pan size, utensils, and enough counter space to work comfortably. 

Pan: make sure the bundt cake pan is correctly prepared. More details in the Notes section of the recipe card.

Preparing the bundt pan: you can use baking spray that contains flour (very important) or you can do it my way, butter and flour the pan and then refrigerating it while you make the batter. I use soft butter (NOT melted) and usually my fingers, to patiently cover the whole pan, every angle, then flour it and pop it in the fridge. I take it out at the last moment when I need to fill it and it goes like that into the oven. 

Cooling down: always use a wire rack (a.k.a cooling rack) to cool down cakes, especially bundt cakes that are dense like this one. If you don't have one (a wire rack) put the pan on top of something that allows the air to flow below the pan. I sometime place them on the stovetop (turned off!) because the burners allow that.

Ingredients at room temperature: this is very important for achieving the best result you can. 

Cooling down: let cool completely before glazing, otherwise it will not be thick as the heat will dissolve most of it. 

Bananas: use very ripe bananas. They should be soft, with brown spots and mushy. You know, those you don't want to eat. For this recipe, I like using chunkier mashed bananas because they add texture to the crumb.

Serving it: I highly recommend room temperature cakes, unless they have creams. The flavors are somewhat numbed when they are cold.

Storing it: after a day at room temperature (at the most), cover it well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several days. Or freeze for up to a month. Though, in my house, it hardly makes it to the next day.

Chocolate chips: I find this banana cake is great as it is, but I know readers who add a few tablespoons of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter.

Keywords: banana bundt cake