Is there anything better than a family recipe that’s been handed down? Not in my book. The recipes we remember from childhood evoke memories of people, places, and events. This banana nut spice cake not only evokes memories, but it will have you scraping the pan to get every crumb!
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This recipe came to my mother from her aunt Finnie. Aunt Finnie actually introduced my mother and father back when they were in high school. My dad was working for my Uncle Bill (Aunt Finnie’s hubby) and Aunt Finnie liked him so much that she decided he would be perfect for my mom to date. Obviously, Aunt Finnie was a pretty good matchmaker because they ended up married and spent over 52 years together before my mom passed away.
She was also a pretty darn good cook. I guess it’s good to have multiple talents!
Aunt Finnie’s Banana Nut Spice Cake recipe
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (can add lemon juice to milk if you don’t have buttermilk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup mashed bananas
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans but walnuts would also be good)
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine (melted)
- 2 1/2 Tablespoon flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- Stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
- In mixing bowl cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and baking powder and mix together. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
- Add bananas and nuts to mixture and pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Test with toothpick to be sure cake is done.
Icing: Bring melted butter, flour, salt, and milk to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Stir in brown sugar and remove from heat. Add powered sugar, vanilla, and nuts. Spread over cake.
I occasionally get caught without all of the ingredients I need for baking: especially buttermilk and powdered sugar. But there’s no need to make an extra trip to the store or to decide that you can’t make the cake. I learned a long time ago that when I don’t have buttermilk, simply add about a teaspoon to a cup of milk (vary accordingly) and let that stand while I get the rest of the ingredients together. By the time I need the buttermilk, the lemon juice has done it’s job.
This time I got caught without powdered sugar. No worries! I put the sugar into the blender and simply let the blender run to make the sugar a finer texture. I did only do about one cup of flour at a time though. As my grandmother always used to say, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”
I have always made this cake in a 9 x 13 pan but I see no reason why you couldn’t make it in round cake pans. There’s enough icing to go between a couple of layers and still have plenty for the top. It would be a very pretty cake made that way – my family is just more interested in “delicious” than in “pretty”. Imagine that!
The cake needs to have the icing set just a little so that it firms up somewhat. But I’ve got to admit…this is one delicious cake! My mother usually either made this cake, Simply Superb Oatmeal cake, or a homemade chocolate cake that I’ll share soon. Between these three cakes there really wasn’t much need for anything else at our house.
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So what is your favorite kind of cake? I would normally say that chocolate anything is my favorite, but this one is right up there in my top three favs.
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