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Banana Desserts: Just the Ticket for Winter

Banana Cream Pie Banana Cream Pie
by

It certainly doesn't require bad weather to inspire cooking up something good, but it doesn't hurt either. When the snow flies or the bridges ice up, what better thing to do than put your apron on (does anyone wear aprons anymore?) and create an enticing dessert.

Just one distressing aspect of the cold months is the absence of much of the fresh fruit that go into some of our favorite desserts. And here I refer to reasonably priced fresh fruit. But no matter, because there are always bananas. And bananas can be purchased just about everywhere, from the supermarket to the mom-and-pop grocery store to just about every convenience store.

Another particularly nice thing about bananas is that they should be very, very ripe for use in baking. The riper the bananas, the better the flavor will be in baked goods. So if you have bananas that are so over-ripe you don't want to eat them, they are probably perfect for our recipes.

There is nothing fancy about these recipes, three cakes and a pie. But each is guaranteed to be delicious.

Banana Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Topping

This moist and delicious cake has a crunchy caramel-pecan topping.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (the riper the better)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1-1/2 cups flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13-inch pan.

Combine the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Mix well and set aside.

At medium speed of an electric mixer, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

At low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk and mashed bananas, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat only until ingredients are blended; do not overbeat. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Spread evenly in the prepared pan, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes.

Topping:

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, milk, coconut and pecans, and stir well. (Or, melt the butter in the microwave and combine with the remaining ingredients.) Spread the topping evenly over the cake.

Place cake in a preheated broiler about 6 inches from the heat. Broil for 2 minutes or until golden brown.

Keep a close eye on the topping while it's in the broiler so it doesn't scorch.

Banana Chocolate Chunk Cake

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 squares semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup mashed, very ripe bananas

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 squares semi-sweet chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square pan.

At medium speed of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and sour cream.

Combine the flour, baking soda and chocolate. Add to butter mixture alternately with the mashed banana, stirring just until dry ingredients are incorporated.

Pour into prepared pan, and bake for about 30 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on rack.

Frosting:

Beat the softened butter until fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners sugar and melted chocolate, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over cooled cake.

Banana Pecan Cake

This cake delivers delicious banana flavor in both the cake and the frosting.
  • 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (the riper the better)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cups chopped pecans

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/3 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13-inch pan.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well and set aside.

At medium speed of an electric mixer, cream together the softened butter (1 cup) and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the 1-1/2 cups mashed banana and vanilla, mixing well.

At low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat only until ingredients are blended; do not overbeat. Stir in the chopped pecans.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

For the frosting, beat all ingredients together until smooth. Spread evenly on cooled cake.

Banana Cream Pie

This old favorite has a scrumptious coconut crust.
  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts or cashews
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 egg white

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 5 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts or cashews
For the crust, preheat oven to 375°F. In a bowl, combine the nuts, coconut and sugar. Beat the egg white until stiff, and fold into nut mixture. Press mixture evenly into and up the sides of an 8-inch pie pan. Bake for 7 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool on rack. Crust will tighten up as it cools.

For the filling, beat the egg yolks in a heavy medium saucepan. Stir in the cornstarch and sugar until well combined. Then stir in the milk, salt and butter.

Cook mixture slowly over medium heat, stirring constantly for 5 to 7 minutes, until filling is thick and bubbly.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Transfer filling to a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

Two hours before serving, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into chilled filling. Peel and slice 1 banana. Arrange banana slices evenly on bottom of crust. Spoon half of the filling over the banana slices. Peel and slice the second banana, and arrange slices evenly over the filling. Top with remaining half of the filling. Top with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator for two hours.

Before serving, remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the chopped nuts over the filling. Garnish with additional banana slices if desired. Serve immediately.

I think you will agree that it isn't necessary to consult the weatherman or the barometer before your try one of these desserts. After all, any one of them will taste just as good in August.

If you have questions about this article or the recipes, contact us at moc.gnikoocsaxet@nibrof_solkim.

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