Why This Blog?


Come in and make yourself at home. I'm so happy to be able to share my recipes here with you.

I bake mostly cookies, quick breads, muffins and scones -- sometimes pie, sometimes cake, but nothing too fancy. I prefer simple recipes that call for ingredients that I already have in my kitchen.

These are the recipes I will share with you. They come from family and friends, magazine clippings saved through the years, favorite cookbooks, and other blogs.

I'm so glad you came to visit. Enjoy your stay!

Michael Ann

Monday, July 11, 2011

Banana Cake

Yes, I am posting a cake recipe! I don't usually bake cakes unless it's someone's birthday.  I'm not a big cake fan myself, but my family enjoys them so I really should bake them more often. This, however, is a cake I enjoy baking and eating.  This is a recipe my grandmother used to make, and her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren still make it. It's delicious and it reminds us of family celebrations and good times.

Banana cake may sound boring in these modern times of fancy cake flavors and box mixes, but this cake is anything but boring.  It's got a wonderful dense texture and distinct banana flavor, and the home-made butter cream frosting, colored just exactly the right shade of soft pink, is the perfect compliment. Don't use canned frosting please! Ick. Sorry, I just think canned frosting is disgusting. And yes, you must color the frosting pink otherwise it won't taste as good. Trust me.

Perle's Banana Cake

1/2 cup shortening
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2-1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1 cup mashed bananas (2 or 3 ripe bananas)

Preheat oven to 350-F.  Grease and flour two 8" round cake pans (or use PAM cooking spray for baking). You can also make cupcakes with this batter (makes ~30).

In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar til well combined.  Add eggs and beat some more.  Dissolve baking soda in the buttermilk.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Add buttermilk and flour mixture alternately a little a a time. Beat in bananas.

Divide batter evenly between cake pans. Bake for ~25 min. or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. You might have to cover the pans with foil after about 15 minutes, to avoid the outside getting over-done. I'm actually not sure how long to bake cupcakes, but start with 12-15 min. and go from there.

Remove from oven and cool in pans for 5 min.  Invert onto cooling racks. When completely cool, frost the cake with Butter Cream Frosting.

*If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own "sour milk" by measuring 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice into a measuring cup, and adding enough milk to make a total of 1 cup. So for this recipe, just cut that in 1/2.

Butter Cream Frosting

What I have written down as Grandma's "recipe" for the frosting, is not very specific and actually doesn't make nearly enough frosting to cover an 8" layer cake. So I use this recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens "New" Cookbook (from 1975!)

1 stick  (1/2 cup) softened butter
1 box (1 lb) powdered sugar
~ 1/4 cup cream or 1/2 and 1/2
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter; gradually add about half the sugar, blending well.  Beat in 2 TB cream and the vanilla.  Gradually blend in remaining sugar. Add enough cream to make of spreading consistency. Add 2-3 small drops of red food coloring and mix in. 

By the way, this cake tastes really yummy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Happy Baking!


  1. I'll definitely be trying this cake, pink frosting and all! I love the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook-one of the first ones I ever received-and my kids love it, too!

  2. Let me know how you like it! My BH&G cookbook is so dog eared and pages are falling out all over the place, but I'll never get rid of it!

  3. I'm trying it, too, even though i'm not a cake person either. i need a cake success right about now. You did a nice frosting job on that cake.

    Why pink and not yellow?

  4. Yes, I would say you are due for your cake success :-) Why thank you! I have an off-set spatula that makes it easier. I should add that to my baking tips....

    I have absolutely no idea why the frosting is pink and has always been pink. Hmm.....

    And in case anyone is wondering, I also have no idea why my photo won't show up in the comment section. I've spent hours trying to figure it out and on the help forums, and no one has an answer.... just so you know.

  5. I made this cake tonight, and it was as delicious as it looks! Thank you!

  6. Oh good! Thanks for your comment, Jennifer. I'm really glad you liked it :-)

  7. Sounds wonderful, if it has buttermilk in it, it has my attention. Like your blog thanks for sharing andi


  8. I love bananas (and blueberries), but the go bad so fast. I need to try this cake the next time my bananas go bad because I hate to throw them away (but I do). This sounds so good.

    Stopping by from Members to Remember...a little late!

  9. This is almost a perfect match to my banana cake, but takes butter instead of shortening. I bet they could pass as twins....Yummy!! Banana cake is the best.

  10. This recipe looks delicious Michael Ann. I have something special for you but it looks like you have already received one! Anyway, there's another Versatile Blogger Award waiting for you over at my blog if you'd like it. Have an awesome weekend!


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