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Banana Cake


CanadianBakin'
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I LOVE Wendy's Banana Cake!! So does everyone who tries it. Even my 2 year old daughters will eat more of it than any other banana loaf recipe. That said, I'd like to use it in the coffee shop in loaf form but as you mentioned Wendy, it doesn't rise much which is fine for a cake but to sell in individual slices I need some rise. The dough pretty much fills a 9x5 loaf pan so more dough is not the answer. The first time I tried it I used cake & pastry flour which gave it great texture. Last night I tried it with AP flour and 2 tsp baking powder but other than make it a bit rubbery it didn't rise any higher. Does anyone know how I can adjust the recipe to fit my needs?

Wendys Secret Banana Cake:

Cream together:

1 1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. butter

then add:

3 way over ripe verging on completely gross bananas, aprox 1 1/2 c. banana

To that creamed mixture add:

1 c. sour cream

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. soda

3/4 tsp salt

Lastly add:

2 c. flour

Nuts are optional......1/2 c.

Bake 350F. I spray my pan with release spray and line with parchement. I multiply this recipe into huge batches with-out needing to change anything. You can bake this in any size or type pan. It's not a huge riser, so fill your pans accordingly. I hope you all enjoy it.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Banana cake must be lighter than banana bread. I always use cake flour in banana-layer cakes. The gluten content in a.p. flour, will be counterproductive to the sought-after cakelike texture. My initial response to seeing sour cream listed in the recipe is that it is more appropriate for, say, a pound cake, or cheesecake. I would substitute either plain yogurt or buttermilk for the sour cream.

I use 2½ tsps. baking powder + ½ tsp baking soda per 2 ½ cups cake flour, always sifted. A ¼ cup less sugar; 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten before being added to the creamed mixture. Focus on not overmixing the batter. Use either release spray or baker’s grease (flour + shortening) to grease the pans. Try greasing only the bottom of the pans, so that the batter can “climb” up the sides and rise higher.

"Dinner is theater. Ah, but dessert is the fireworks!" ~ Paul Bocuse

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Does it have to be a 9"x5" loaf pan? What about a narrower loaf pan or a tube pan? You'd probably be able to get more height and the middle would cook through without falling and/or before the edges overbaked.

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Thanks for all your suggestions! I will give them a try and report. If I can't make it work I think I'll try the Martha Stewart recipe on the banana bread thread. It's got similar ingredients so hopefully similar flavour. :)

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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I just recently made the recipe posted by ludja again (and again ate them wihout the frosting - it's so good even on it's own) and this time subbed half the amount of baking soda with baking powder. It is just my kind of banana cake - beautiful texture and just the right moistness level and banana taste. It actually taste better the next day. And oh, this time I didn't have any buttermilk, so I used sour milk.

..... I have a banana cake recipe that is on my list to try but have not tested yet. It sounds so good I thought I would post it. 

It is a 3 layer cake with banana-buttercream frosting, banana slices between the layers and in the cake!  It is described as an old Southern Cake and the advice given is to try it with all the bananas even though it sounds like a lot.  Maybe someone will try this before me and give feedback here!  I guess for comparison one should compare the cakes plain though...

It comes from a cookbook by Jeanne Voltz and Caroline Stuart called The Florida Cookbook

Fresh Banana Layer Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour     

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temp

2 1/4 cups sugar

3 eggs, well beaten

5 ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup pecans, finely chopped

Frosting and Filling:

1/2 cup mashed bananas (~ 2)

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 stick butter, at room temp

1 box (1 lb) powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 ripe bananas, sliced thinly

1. Set oven to 325 deg and prepare pans by buttering and flouring (shake out excess).  Use three-9 inch pans.  Cream butter and sugar together until smooth.  Add in eggs, one at a time and mixing well after each one.  Add in the mashed bananas.  Mix together flour and baking soda.  Then, alternately add in flour mix and buttermilk to the creamed butter mixture.  Add in vanilla extract and pecans.  Fill three prepared pans and bake for ~ 25 min or until cakes are brown, pull away from side and/or a cake tester comes out clean.  Let cool for 10 minutes and then turn out to complete coolling on rack.

2. Frosting: Mix together mashed bananas and lemon juice.  In a separate bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar.  Add mashed bananas and fully blend.  Add in vanilla extract.  Taste and add more lemon juice if desired.

3. Assemble by frosting and adding slice bananas to each layer.  Fully frost the top and sides.

On a separate note regarding frosting ideas for banana cakes, some of my older cookbooks recommend rum whippied cream or rum buttercream frosting.  Sounds good to me.

Edited by kew (log)
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Kew - have you tried Ludja's recipe in a loaf pan? I guess I'm looking for a banana bread recipe but I really like Wendy's cake and am hoping I can get it to have a good rise in a loaf pan, for which it is not intended. If Ludja's recipe works well in a loaf pan, I'll give it a try too.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Oh, I thought you're looking for a banana cake recipe. :biggrin: Ludja's is definitely a cake recipe not a bread.

When I was living in Canada, I can't get enough of Duncan Hine's banana bread. Does Duncan Hines still make this? Just curious.

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I didn't know Duncan Hines made a banana bread mix. I thought they just did cake mixes. Is that what you mean or does Duncan Hines sell prepared products as well. Sorry I can't answer your question.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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I just recently made the recipe posted by ludja again (and again ate them wihout the frosting - it's so good even on it's own) and this time subbed half the amount of baking soda with baking powder. It is just my kind of banana cake - beautiful texture and just the right moistness level and banana taste. It actually taste better the next day. And oh, this time I didn't have any buttermilk, so I used sour milk.

kew--thanks so much for the feedback on the recipie, including your tweaks to it. I'm glad that the recipe has "held up" with additional tries!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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CanadianBakin', unless you're making something like a wedding cake that absolutely HAS to be white, cake flour is vastly inferior to pastry. Cake and pastry flours are both made with the same soft wheat, with the exception that cake is bleached. Texturally, they come out the same. From a flavor perspective, though, it's night and day. Smell/taste the cake flour next to the pastry flour and you'll understand what I'm talking about. The cake flour is lifeless, soulless, it's wheaty essence having been removed. Unbleached pastry flour (not whole wheat) is the best choice for making low gluten cakes, biscuits and pies.

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Cake and pastry flours are both made with the same soft wheat, with the exception that cake is bleached.

Interesting. I've never seen pastry flour, but I've always been curious about it. I don't think they sell it in Japan. At least I've never seen it.

Please excuse my ignorance but I just assumed the only thing that distinguished pastry flour from other types was the protein percentage--is this not true? What else is different?

Sorry for all the questions, but I'm wondering what would be the next closest thing in a Japanese store.

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Interesting. I've never seen pastry flour, but I've always been curious about it. I don't think they sell it in Japan. At least I've never seen it.

Please excuse my ignorance but I just assumed the only thing that distinguished pastry flour from other types was the protein percentage--is this not true? What else is different?

Sorry for all the questions, but I'm wondering what would be the next closest thing in a Japanese store.

The protein percentage distinguishes pastry flour AND cake flour from all purpose flour and bread flour. Modern technology's ability to mechanically extract just about any portion of the wheat kernel puts a very wide number of flours in the realm of the commercial baker. To understand the basics of pastry/cake, AP, and bread flour, it helps to go back to a simpler time. From the two types of wheat, hard and soft, 3 basic types of flours are born. Grind hard wheat and you have bread flour. Grind soft and you have pastry. Bleach it and you have cake. Combine pastry with bread and you have all purpose.

That the basic gist of it. Quite a bit oversimplified, but the basic gist.

Pastry/cake flours usually have around 7-8% protein

Depending on where you live in the US (South - softer flour for pies/biscuits, North - breads) all purpose flour can run the gamut from 7%-12%

Bread flour usually clocks in around 11%-14%

Where I am (northeast US) unbleached pastry flour (not whole wheat) is almost impossible to find retail. A local baker sells me some of his.

I know nothing about shopping for Japanese food. Might this be a good question for the Japanese forum?

I am certain that both hard and soft wheat is grown in temperate areas across the globe, so the Japanese should definitely have some sort of soft wheat flour.

Also, it may not be cost prohibitive, but you should be able to purchase flour online and have it shipped overseas.

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Where I am (northeast US) unbleached pastry flour (not whole wheat) is almost impossible to find retail.  A local baker sells me some of his.

Where I'm at in the mid-west US it's almost impossible to find also, even wholesale. I mix my own when I want it, very unscientificly.........I usually do half cake and half ap. flour. I never really know what the exact gluten level is in my ap. flour so I can't be very methodical about blending my flour. I've gotten alot looser in working with flours and don't always follow the recipe to a T. I think method has a more dramatic impact, unless your using bread flour and mixing endlessly.

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  • 1 year later...

i've actually made this cake a while back but i could have sworn there were eggs in this recipe, i'm pretty sure i added them. :unsure: i just looked over the recipe a few minutes ago and wanted to double check with you all before i started baking.

also, every x-mas i make cakes for friends and family and this year i decided to make them wendy's banana bread. i was thinking of adding extra stuff in it to make it more festive but not sure on what to add. do you think candied fruit would be okay or maybe just chopped marachino cherries? i was also thinking of maybe adding choc. chips and nuts as well. i'm thinking a half cup of each would be good, does that sound about right? any sugg. on other things i could add? thanks!

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thanks beanie. :smile: i wasn't sure if the eggs were accidently left out in the recipe, i'm certain i added them the last time i made the cake. maybe i just threw a couple in there assuming the cake needed it! at any rate, i do remember it being a very good and dense cake. i, too, dislike candied fruit but i want to "dress" them up a bit for the holidays. i usually go all out and make cakes that are very time-consuming but this year since i'm 8 months pregnant i decided to go with something simple but delicious. :biggrin:

o wait a minute! that's not the recipe i was looking at previously. it does call for eggs, thanks for posting the link!

Edited by Dailey (log)
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also, every x-mas i make cakes for friends and family and this year i decided to make them wendy's banana bread.  i was thinking of adding extra stuff in it to make it more festive but not sure on what to add.  do you think candied fruit would be okay or maybe just chopped marachino cherries?  i was also thinking of maybe adding choc. chips and nuts as well.  i'm thinking a half cup of each would be good, does that sound about right?  any sugg. on other things i could add?  thanks!

I always add a half-cup each of coconut and toasted pecans--or macadamia nuts if I have them-- to my banana bread and sub in some wholewheat for the white flour to add texture. But as far as Wendy's banana *cake*--I wouldn't add a thing to it; I made it recently and it was great -- didn't even need a glaze or frosting.

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I love nuts, so I always add a lot of pecans or walnuts in my banana bread, and sprinkle some on top too. I've had some good banana bread with slivered almonds and chopped apricots. I'm not a big fan of candied fruit, but dried cranberries or raisins may work well too. To liquor it up, I substitute the vanilla extract with banana liqueur. I haven't tried Wendy's recipe yet, but it looks good.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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The banana cake recipe is great. I would add either nuts or chocolate, but the candied fruit idea doesn't seem to work in my mind. Ditto the maraschino cherries. I frost the cake with a barely sweetened rum cream cheese frosting, as the cake is sweet enough by itself.

Edited by Ling (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi folks. Since I'm almost completely ignorant concerning all baked goods I thought I'd better ask a few questions before attempting this banana recipe. :rolleyes:

Ok, I want to use muffin pans instead of baking whole loaves. Should the baking temperature be altered? How long should they stay in? Do I need to grease the muffin cups? Should I use those cupcake papers? I'd like to add extra bananas to increase the banana-y flavor, will that alter anything I should know about? How should they be stored? On a plate under plastic wrap? What do think of the use of lemon zest? Yummy or not?

For such a simple recipe I can sure make it complicated! :raz: Thanks to all!

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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